I find I’ve been under-representing how much I’ve dived head first into salad greens production for market with Travis from LACTUCA. It’s been a weekly harvest and seeding gig for the past few months, and I’ve learned loads, about zero of which I’ve documented here. Can’t win them all I guess. I blame spending most every waking hour in the past two weeks either picking or crushing or pressing apples and pears.
Today’s salad going to market is delicate and lovely. The endives are starting to shine, growing robustly and light on the bitter in the cool weather. The varieties that are brown or red are also entering their season – a striking difference in color intensity vs even a few weeks ago in August. Growth has slowed considerably, which is posing some challenges for yield. The spring and summer blossoms are long gone to seed. Cold hardy varieties like spinach, arugula, minutina, and mache are about to have their day again, closing out the growing season that they brought in. The romaines and leaf lettuces that were gorgeous through July-August are now being trumped by the epic scarlet frills and merveille des quatres saisons. What a treat to watch varietal performance evolve through the seasons – the best teacher for how to nail down the best seasonal salad mix possible.
I have 8 4’X8′ sheets of corrugated greenhouse plexi arriving this week to top next season’s additional 8 production frames. Demand continues to be heavy, and we’re doing what we can to max out production for the 2013 year. What a project. Urban ag rocks.
Will we see a post on what you’ve learned? Recharging the soil? Water management with the cold frames? Eager minds…