Monday, May 3, 2010

Always Wrap It Up And Make Sure To Leave Some Space At The Top


Look at that crystal clear sky on another beautiful morning at the farm.  Soon the fields are going to be filled with new and delicious plants, but for now we are still focusing in and around the greenhouse.  Although we had to cut our day short, there was plenty to help with and learn about in the time we had.

Not all plants are suited for high heat and humidity so during the daytime, while the sun's rays are strongest, the greenhouse roof will automatically open to provide proper ventilation.  

Now that we could breathe, it was time for some good old fashioned spinach bagging.  With the spring forging full steam ahead, veggies were growing at a rapid pace which meant there were more opportunities to harvest and in turn sell at market.  We learned that the farm would now be holding about three markets a week instead of the once a month that took place during the colder months.

This flavorful bin is full of Red Cardinal spinach, a delicious and colorful vegetable we had learned about a few weeks ago.  With mere hours before the market began, Sara had us packing up this freshly cut spinach.

Our job was to pack plastic bags with about half a pound of spinach.

We had to weigh them out and seal them, which I initially thought meant sucking out all of the air to keep them fresh.

Surprisingly enough, different rules apply to a bag of spinach than to a bag of potato chips...who knew??  So air was actually needed to help keep the spinach fresh and prevent it from getting squashed against its fellow bagged brethren.

A good tip we picked up was to spin the bag around our index fingers twice to create a decent sized overlap which would lock in the air.

A double knot sealed in the freshness.

From here, the bags were placed in holding crates in two rows of four and stored in the cooler to prevent wilting until they were ready to sell at the market.

Once we had 4 or 5 crates ready and loaded in the cooler it was unfortunately time to leave, but not before we got to try some fantastic fresh radishes the Captain had been rinsing off.  

Seriously, this is not an apple.

So refreshing and tasty, but as I took a monster bite into this radish, gushing with flavor, I realized that it wasn't so long ago that I had no idea what a fresh radish tasted like.  If it wasn't for the farm, I don't think I would have ever known how good they, along with a wide variety of other vegetables, could taste.  After spending almost my entire life relying on mass-marketed supermarket vegetable selections, I am finally beginning to understand the powerful advantage of local food.  This continues to be a truly eye-opening experience to not only sow and watch these plants grow, but to taste the "fruits of our labor."


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