Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015: all REGS & EOS (final box for EOs)
Work (outside of the office) this time of year can best be described as a continual effort to move vegetables from here to there.
After the prior week’s snow and hard freeze we are officially done harvesting. (We had hoped we could keep on harvesting Brussels sprouts into December, but alas.) All of the crops are in from the field and in storage. At our farm, food is stored for winter in either one of our three walk-in coolers or in our insulated portion of the barn. Just about everything is stored in large pallet bins that measure about 4 feet square and are about 3 feet tall. The crops are stored with their dirt.
So the work on our farm, whether it’s packing an order for Willy Street, or prepping for the CSA pack involves the same efforts.
1. We pick vegetables out of their storage bins into smaller, more manageable crates that can hold about 40 pounds of vegetables.
2. We wash the dirty vegetables using either a barrel washer (carrots & parsnips) or a brush washer (everything else). This applies to everything except alliums (onion family): Onions, shallots and garlic we clean by hand by rubbing and pulling the outer skins off. Leeks get peeled and sprayed clean with a hose.
3. We pack the vegetables. For wholesale to grocery this means packing usually 40 lbs. at a time into boxes. First one crop, then another. With CSA it’s a little more complex in terms of packing. For many items we first have to bag them into their appropriate portions: 1 pound; 3 pounds; 5 pounds. Then we have to set up a huge assembly line so that each box gets each item. On the larger delivery weeks, this take 4 people about 3 hours.
4. We deliver the boxes to wherever there may be. We deliver to the Willy St. coops two times per week and to area restaurants once a week. (Sardine and Alchemy are our most loyal, consistent buyers). And then of course, we deliver to you once/twice per month.
And well, there you have it. In four quick steps, a summary of late November and December work on the farm: Pick from storage, wash, pack, deliver. Repeat. And in this way we devote our physical energies to getting food from here to there.
We hope you enjoy! A special thanks to all of our EO winter members. This marks your last box for the season. Thank you for your support of our family farm!
Mike & Cassie