Aaron and Tonya are passionate about their organic salad greens; they are truly a labor of love.
Because the greens are harvested when they are young, the mesclun, kale, mustard greens and arugula need to be sown every two weeks throughout the season to assure availability for our CSA. If a heavy rain hits before the seeds have germinated and started rooting, the entire planting could be washed away. That is why sometimes you see the new plantings covered with a thin white fabric known as remay. It helps protect the fragile plants from rain and sometimes hail that shreds even well established lettuce.
In this picture you can see that different greens are grown separately. This enables us to provide members with a “salad bar” of lettuce leaves to chose from so each person can create their own mix depending on the flavors and textures they and their family prefer.
Before the greens get too big, they are harvested by hand with a mechanical cutter and then are immediately washed several times to remove the sand and soil that clings to the leaves. Finally, they are dried in yes, a washing machine set on the spin cycle (don’t worry, the same machine is not used to wash clothes!). Drying the greens well is critical to their shelf-life!
We encourage our members to bring their own bags for the salad greens to cut down in the amount of plastic used for the CSA. A zippered plastic bag works great and can easily be washed and used many times over. Some of our members have found other bags made especially for storing vegetables that they swear keep the greens super fresh such as these from Debbie Meyer or these machine washable fabric bags or these organic cotton bags. TIP: Always store your greens with a folded sheet of paper towel. It will help absorb moisture and keep the greens fresh longer.