On Monday, I got up to the farm to harvest our first chard delivery for the World PEAS CSA–25 bunches. The weather was cool and overcast which made spending almost 4 hours in the field quite pleasant. Yep, I’m still VERY slow. As with the kale last week, the first harvest required a lot more plant maintenance, plus a little weeding. Also, we had some leaf damage from slugs and other early pests, so there was a fair bit of sorting involved. I probably had almost 5 pounds of “seconds” that had too many holes to sell, or the color was slightly off–those came home and we’re eating lots of chard for dinner this week.
This time, I did the bunching in the field, which make it go a lot faster. I brought my little portable digital scale out there with me, so I could make sure each bunch was up to weight (12-16 ounces).
I enjoy being up at the farm and harvesting. But after a full morning picking, I can see how harvesting chard for 10 hours a day for a few months would get old very, very fast. That’s the nice thing about working on a tiny, diversified farm–lots of variety to tasks.
At the World PEAS dropoff today, I got to meet the people in charge of making our 400-customer cooperative CSA run smoothly: Kate Petosky, CSA coordinator, and Rick Stec, Assistant CSA Coordinator. They bring good cheer and competence to a job that features a large number of moving parts. I’ll be working closely with them all season to make sure we’re delivering the right stuff of the best quality. Fortunately, they’re very understanding about crop failures (i.e. our snow peas) and reduced yields (our kale). World PEAS offers a great model for provide tiny farmers like us with a way to market our vegetables in a sane way, to a large number of customers. It’s hard to imagine this season without them.