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Logo of AdAgrA 2018: Something Better

Eat Your Greens!

Michelle Lesher Larry Lesher


The Art and Science of Salad Mix Production: In this session you will learn how to grow specialty salad mix from early in the spring all the way through to late fall/early winter. We will share with you the good and bad times we have experienced over the last 11 years of planning, seeding, growing, harvesting and packing salad greens.



  • January 19, 2018
    10:45 AM


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Heavenly Father Lord we thank you for the day again we thank you for your watch care mercy over's father asked as we. Have this discussion about Psalm next and the different concepts behind salad mix and why we do what we do that you would. Work through me to be a blessing to these these folks are people that they might be able to do something in their community that helps them to stand out for you Lord and as a present I pray that I would be working with you and not against you that you would labor in me and through me to minister to your people we thank you for the opportunity to share these things I pray it's a blessing or a prayer they hear it but not just be here but they would put these things into action they put their hand of the plow and they be about your business this is our prayer in Jesus' name and for his sake we pray Amen. So I get to do the introduction slide. So this is a proud moment on the farm. And we just. Use this money OK sorry. We had a hard time growing had lettuce and so this is our fourth season in the head but it's actually started working so that's why Larry he doesn't usually smile in pictures but you kind of see his teeth there I think he's happy I'm pretty sure is that he had this picture and then this picture on the top there well sorry this is Larry Lesher. I'm supposed to be introducing him so that's Larry this is Larry Michel is my name and we both are stewards of the farm eastward gardens it's in southern Indiana We've been farming this ground for five years previous to that we were at the Black Hills Health and Education Center where Larry ran their farm for four years and I worked as a dietician there. And then previous to that Larry farmed in Seattle Washington for four seasons so this is our twelfth season this past season of farming so a lot of what Larry learned about salad mix production was in Seattle and that experience in Seattle area and then. I've been working as a nurse and a dietician and lactation consultant for many many many years and my dream was to quit my job and start farming with Larry full time and that dream came true this past June so we are a family farm now and we both do this full time it has been such a blessing and then this is our cat this is Monte he brings us a lot of joy on the farm he loves the farm and so we had to include him in the picture because of that reason. Monte is pest control. So I think it's this. All right so so it mixes is not a straightforward as one would think or hope that's been my observation when I when I started farming the farm that I interned on they their specialty with salad mix when I say their specialty was salad mix I don't mean they did a lot of salad mix like it was like a big salad mix farm it was a very mixed diverse farm but sell it next was a big seller at the market and we did bitters mix and we did regular salad mix and so we cut it all by hand we. I learned a lot and when I came to sell it makes you know my minor saying of salad mix was if you were really really adventurous you got the one with all the different lettuce isn't it you know at the salad bar whatever and typically it was iceberg lettuce and you got the little church made on the side and so that's how I understood salad mix as a young person growing up and when I came to this farm I was just like this is crazy like this is nothing like I've ever seen and so I got very interested in it because to me it was if you saw the first slide it was like an art project like all these different colors and textures and just all this possibility and so I just really enjoyed it and so when we started our own farm the next year. We. We started looking at salad mix in a real serious way on our farm and so we did it the same way I'm going to get to how we do it and why we did it but where I learned was on this farm in Seattle we actually introduced a whole nother branch we didn't do the bitters mix which I wish we would but most people don't like better things unfortunately it's very good for you digest. They're usually very nutrient packed like if you take a red ribbed dandelion green they're probably one of the best things in the garden for you but no one will eat them generally and so we shipped it to what we call a a spicy blend and saw explain that to you later. And showing. I just wanted to add that salad mix has become our best seller at the market so it's what draws people there week after week we have dedicated customers that come just for the salad mix and then sometimes they'll dabble in get other things if it draws people to the booth it's become our niche it's a little more labor labor intensive which we're going to go over but it has become our niche and our best seller. So. I don't know the. You know there's different things for different people I think of concrete more he does it totally different than I do it some of the folks that I know that do it different ways they're all very successful at what they do and so what I do may not work for you and so I want to give you kind of a broad scope of different options like different ways people do it but ultimately it's going to come down to you're talking to me and this is how I do it and so I'm going to go through how we do it at the end and kind of a more detailed fashion. So you can see up there so you can buy and you people are probably familiar with so these are the different general different ways that things happen you have mixed blends which are if you have a bottom explained seed packet if your first. If you've ever seen a mix blend seed packet they. They. They tend to. Just try to figure out what seeds are going to grow at the same rate blend them together to give you a multiple mix of lettuces and different other things the paint on the kinds of mix you get. They have pluses and minuses you can put those down relatively You can use small spaces it's easier you don't have to think about it you just put your blend in and everything comes up together it has its pluses and minuses because you don't get to select any of those seeds you don't get to decide what's in your blend. You don't get to select what you get in the blend and so for me that's that's kind of complicated because the thing that happens is one thing will grow really fashion mustard greens like if they have if you get a spicy or blend the mustard to take off and your lettuce is a little runty it's yellow because it can't see the light and now you've got this really funky blend and so that's kind of a drawback to it so when you're picking your blends if you decide to go that route you need to kind of experiment with them to see which ones are going to really actually grow at the same rate it's really important otherwise they just look funny and they don't work right. Yeah. So like if you look in there that's a mixed blend but if you look at it this is a Ruby streaks mustard that's a Mizuno mustard that's a red giant mustard that's in a sock a purple mustard. I don't see any lettuce that's not a mustard blend there's a lot of. Underneath those leaves I will I can almost guarantee you and so this is the problem that I see with this blend most of the time and so if you're going to do lettuces then you need to kind of get the packages that are all lettuce and not the spicier ones and you know that you just have to if you decide to go that way you decide you know what works for you so that's one thing. And even if it works for you at one time of the year. Let us doesn't grow the same in the heat as it does in the cold neither does mustards and so it may work for you one point in the year but another point of the year it may not work right and so they get a little bit complicated in that way and so we've opted not to do it that way because I just found that you just don't get a quality salad mix out of that. And again I'm saying that John Martino has done it for years I think the switch and somewhat the way he does it but he's made a perfectly fine living doing it and so people do successfully grow things that way so I'm not saying you can't do it i'm same for me I found those problems. Didn't work for me so the other way that's becoming very very popular is Sally Nova. Sally No because I have not experiment with them I call Johnnie's this year I have some concerns with them they are patented for me anything that's alive and patent it is like a red flag to start going left and right like wild and so I called Johnny's and asked them about the patent Danis doesn't grow it they get it from somebody else and obviously someone put a lot of effort and energy and time and money in developing this lettuce and they want to protect that and I can respect that too. But the patent life is a big leap in my mind and they have not just the like there's several different kinds of patterns you can get on food and this is the bout the strongest pattern you can get is called a utility patent and if you as a gardener work to save see from this technically you're breaking the law you're not allowed to even use it for your own self now there are other patent laws where they say you can you know you can save the seed you can do whatever you want with as long as you don't sell it and you don't breed it and sell it the second breeding stage then you can sell it so there's just different patent laws and this one is is definitely. The strongest patent law you can get for living things that you decide what you think of that and how you want to deal with that so I put that out front. Just because that was something that I called Johnny's they sent me a packet of it to experiment with it the see it to to see if it's if it's really if that's what I want to do or not. There is another variety that comes from high Moline called one cuts and so I ordered seed from them to see about those so when I show you what I do I'm telling you that you should never be stuck in one model you should never be willing not willing to throw something away if something better comes along and so we're going to experiment with these and see if either you know they're good enough as our Or if we can incorporate these into our system because our system is really a proprietary blend I'm going to share it with you guys it's only proprietary because I made it up. But. I think it's a really good blend it's got a lot of good coloration it's got a lot of good textures and it's got a diversity of flavors and we'll talk about that in a minute so the benefits of Salah know that is that it tends to be a really quick way to get salad mix the thing that is so unique What's the reason it's got a patent is because it's got certain disease resistance but the thing that's actually for my purposes that so unique about it is all those leaves are generally the same size so you grab that whole head and you cut it just above the growth point and when you let go the outside leaves are bigger than the inside these it's all generally the same side and the same size Aleve The other benefit is if you're cutting baby greens the Greens really I know the micro green craze and all these things but they really don't have a flavor in my opinion generally speaking this is a full size leaf that's in a baby size. Generally it's a little larger sometimes than you might want but it's a good size leaf for salad mix but it's a full size leave with full sized lettuce flavor so that's a really huge benefit in my mind and so there are some real real strong cases for why this is a really good option. And so that's something we're considering. There are. It's also probably easier to manage it's a head lettuce it's not a row of greens with in real weeding the weeding is like a whole very easy very quick head lettuce is much easier to grow than a row of salad greens with weeds all coming up in your mix that generally requires either still betting to prevent that or some sort of technique before you plant to prepare the bed not to have that problem or. Your hands. Yeah so. It's also is everybody here familiar with landscape fabric. All right so landscape fabric is a Michael kind of hit on it it's whether it's solid plastic or of plastic that's breathable landscape fabric is a is a mesh plastic. And water penetrates it. Air to move in and out of it so you have less chances of anaerobic behavior. Watering becomes less of an issue it does tend to run off but it does penetrate expect in a couple of years when the stuff sort of breaks down and isn't so repellent to water water goes through it much easier and so you can use that which obviously mitigates. The problems of weed pressure in the fall and in the spring it's also going to warm the ground quicker so your lettuce is going to grow faster. Sure thing can yeah I can see it M.R. hundred degree weather our plant is melting so there's that thing to consider as well so it has its pluses and minuses and timings with that but it is a definitely a benefit often to be able to use that product you've got to put it down put it up that can be a bit of a headache with that as well but pluses and minuses you got away. You do have less options and this is the whole selection for the salad over the next you have your what they call chord types and your insights types and that's it that's your selection so at best you're going to get eight blends in your mix. From it and you can see the bottom ones aren't that different the top ones aren't that different I mean there are subtle differences but they're not that different you've got to in my opinion a pretty bland mix with your options. All right the other thing the other drawback and I think this is a pretty big drawback. A thousand seeds of the core type one thousand seeds is forty two dollars and five cents. That's a lot of money you are getting for that now I want to back up because. You get a lot more salad mix out of that one head than you would out of one row foot of just cut in a row of salad mix and so while it is more expensive up front you may want to weigh Are you getting more lettuce with less headaches in the process so what's the contrast to what it thousands of hours. What I don't buy them by the seed like I buy them by the quarter pound bag and they're usually a quarter pound of seeds which is. Thousands and thousands and like you know forty thousand seeds. For like. Thirty two dollars forty dollars at tops I mean you may get them for one thousand dollars even I get some I see just in the variety the scene you're getting but there are substantially cheaper. But you're laying them in a lot thicker than you would with these so. You know I don't know what the actual I said I haven't used it yet and so we're going to test some of this and see what the cost really is and it may not actually be more expensive in the long run but up front thousand seeds for that price is a little nerve wracking to me like I'm like well that's a lot and it's not a lot of money but. Anyway it's more than what you're used to paying and I should say it that way. We're going to if you write your questions down because of the mike if we can I'll definitely I should have time at the end answer questions I got to hurry up now then. All right individual varieties this is how we. Do it and so this is what we do we select which righties we want to grow and we plant them individually you can see there are there are seven rows in our beds that's how we plant. Most of the time I'll do two of two rows of the same thing two rows of the same thing to rows of the same thing in a row of one thing. What I find is I get a higher quality product when I do it that way so everything if I'm planting and will get to some of the names I I know the names of every lettuce that I grow so if you come to my booth if you have a marketing seminar earlier this week. It's important to know when a customer comes up and you're like oh that's Samantha or how one up there and I pointed out all the different mustards when a customer comes up and they know you know that and they can kind of automatically tell you care about what you're doing and you really thought about what you wanted to grow and that makes an impression upon your customers. And you should care about it and you should have hand selected you should have selected it because you know what characteristics you want and it. And so. Like I said earlier I think this is more cost effective right now I'll tell you once at once I experiment with the other one and it may not be but right now it's more cost effective for seed but it does tend to require more space because I'm not just putting all the seeds down in one row so automatically I've got to. Have seven or I have seven lettuces I have seven rows of lettuce you know and I'm adding a lot more stuff to the blend so right now we're just talking about lettuce as I'm doing eight different kinds of lettuce is and then we do mustard crest we do several other things we'll get to that. One of the big drawbacks. There's more management. It is it requires a lot of management and Michelle wants to talk about it because she manages the weed pressure. Let's talk about how she deals with so just so you all know I love the salad mix and I love hand weeding and I love hand harvesting So if you don't love those things it might not work for you because there's a lot of stuff that goes into the salad mix I just it's like Larry said it's kind of like my art thing you know the varieties and just enjoying that the color and the textures and just how unique it is that it's a good quality and people can get it anywhere else. I really put a lot of time into it so I pretty much do all the harvesting for all the salad mix because honestly Larry is not patient enough for it he is just like forget it if there is a time we have a large order and say one of the things that we're growing is not doing so well and you have to do more picking through it Larry would have just said forget it a long time ago but I will patiently sit there and harvest through and pick through things when he would not so another reason why our salad mix isn't one of our best sellers is because we have it consistently the entire season most farmers stop doing salad mix in the summer because it becomes so labor intensive. And you have to do succession planting much quicker one after the other because it grows so fast and then it can bolt but because it's become my labor of love I do it all summer long and that's another reason why it sells a lot because no one else really has it. So she's managing that side of it the side that I manage is that planting plan and how that all looks on the field and how that happens successively and the rates at which we need to do that and it varies like she said in the spring time it's different from the summer and falls even different than than the other two and so you kind of got to get a feel. Well for the weather and what's going on and it's really difficult because if you when you get into the rainy seasons prepping those beds in a way that it facilitates the seeds even get in the ground properly timing becomes a really big issue and management really is an issue in tarps can help a lot they can cover the ground and keep it relatively drier. And so those are some things that you can do. Those are some of the things you can do to. To sort of help you get into the field when it may be wet you may be having rains it also helps you with trying to mitigate some of that seed bank that's there by germinating the seeds and killing them back I do agree with Michael though when he was when we were talking about that and a robot condition you know a lot of people are using tarps are not tarps with black plastic on their fields I don't do that because I do believe you start to get anaerobic when you can't get oxygen down there because it's a solid block you know from that heating things up. What we do though is we use it for short periods of time just long enough to germinate that seed kill that plant back and then we've basically in a large degree still bet it that bed and now are we bank is much more diminished and so that's one of the techniques to trying to get your beds manageable for weed pressure. So there's a whole lot of timing involved as you can see so what we do in the timing of it is I will go in and so we amend as we go on the farm we don't mend once at the beginning of the season we may do that with certain materials but there are certain materials that go down every time we're working up beds and so I'm going to work up beds a little bit in advance and so what I'll do is I'm in the beds. Work that in and we have a spade or we use a spade or if you don't know a spade or as you come talk to me it's an Italian implement we work those materials in and then I will cover the beds from there. And then when I take the cart tarp off I do a shallow. To set a seed bed and then we'll mark the beds and seed right into the beds. But so that's there's a lot of management that goes into all the salad mixes really but I think when you have the different blends the different when there are individually in every row you just got a lot more dynamics going on in that. The varieties that I have that I use I'm going to give you the specific ones. They are really good varieties flavor wise. They generally work when it's hot and when it's cold and that's hard to find we've done a lot of experimenting and it's not always the case you know weather can do a lot number on anything really and so but generally speaking we grow this pretty much year round and they are salad mix are all pretty much always delicious. And so that's a big. So our mix will just cut to the chase. So the number that you see that's how many rows I plant of it and then those are the varieties so Samantha is a red oak leaf Royal Oak is a green oak leaf but it's not just a typical green oak leaf it's a it's a looks like that one that I was holding my hand at the beginning that's that was Royal Oak I grow it is a head lettuce as well you see I had the little pointy stick is shooting off everywhere it looks like you just woke up from bed head it is such a spectacular oak leaf and so that one will get to burn sometimes when it's hot it's really hot and so that's something to know about that particular variety I plant them anyway because we're cutting them fairly young and I can usually get them before they get to burn or anything like that. And that is what I am considering the Innova. They may change places after we try and see how good it is and I'll probably most likely I won't use the sound of this most likely I'll go to the one cuts from my mind since they're they're open seed you know it's not a it's you can do whatever you want with those and so I'm trying them both to see how it's going to work out so mascara is a it's a it's a another Red Oak So here's the trick if you look at a red leaf lettuce. It is not a red leaf Usually it's about two thirds red or half red and so you got half green and if you want coloration in your salad mix and you go I'm going to do have green and half red you really just done a quarter red and three quarters green and so you need to add a little more red into that to get that punch that that you know those those bright colors and you want different color Reds because. You know why they make cars in commercials red because people's eyes are drawn to it people are attracted to that color and if you want your salad mix to be attractive the. As red highlights just make it pop and so we do the two Oakley's and they're subtly different in their textures and their coloration textures huge when you put something in your mouth you don't want to be some limb just you know just body it just says Choose up goes that you want crunch that's why people like Romaine right Romaine salad it's crunchy it's got some body it's got some there but you don't just want Romania there and so we also do emerge a low number low as a pretty bitter mix but it is the darkest it's solid read all the way through from top to bottom it's got a very frizzy leaf. It's got a strong pungent flavor in my opinion I think it pads to the mix because when you put that if you eat it by itself that's too much but when you put it in the mix it just has a little bit of hint of flavor in the background that just adds a little more to the salad mix in my opinion. Now. This is outrageous is spelled correct it's also red it's a red romaine. It's a very nice lettuce it works well most of the time. I. Have grown it but I think we've grown this since the very beginning and I've never changed it is such a good lettuce in my opinion flash back is a very temperamental lettuce in my opinion it has a tendency to to tip burn but it has does everybody here know what flash back is. Florence I can't name say the word swap with flashy job but you name it is like this emerald green lettuce that looks likes like like some abstract abstract expressionist just splattered paint on it and it's this brilliant like a maroon ish red splattering on it it's a beautiful lettuce and it's a it's a Romaine lettuce as well and so when you put that in the. X. is just this spectacular splashed green and red that shows up in your mix and it's just beautiful to look at the show and. I just wanted to add at the times when flash back doesn't do as well because it's like a little more temperamental I might not be able to put as much in there but it's still in there and it's still adds beauty it's not as much and it's a good tasty lettuce to do so it has really good qualities it has some challenges like she said if it's having problems if you just add a little and just as highlight accent you know. The next one would be brown Goldring now that just sounds ridiculous in the title even in the when they when they like I'll give you who I get these things from as well but while garden seed it has a little thing they while garden seat is a guy named Frank Morton He's probably my favorite breeder he's actually breeding for nutrient density in foods now and so that to me is like This guy's on the right track and he does really interesting salads or lettuces he. He they write about this and they say the name really doesn't do it justice people generally don't buy it because who buys Brown Goldring like what is that right no pill and should been rocket shyness what one of the people who should name this rocket shine but so they do testing with with high school kids and what they do is they have these the Future Farmers of America or whatever it is group from and he's in the lamb a valley in Oregon and he will bring these kids in and they do they do flavor test this one always wins it's the sweetest legacy has and it's got this BROWN It's a green an emerald green lettuce with the bronze brown bronze hue that as it comes up to the tip and it is just a really pretty light it's not a practical lettuce it's a very thin romance Romaine style lettuce and it but it adds a lot to the mix it's just a different texture and it's a very sweet lettuce and so that's why that's in there. The Plato two I struggled so long with a green Romaine that was a decent green Romaine they just they just don't work right for some reason they just didn't they never at least for me I mean I tried Jericho I tried you all kinds of different ones I never really liked them and I kind of dealt with them this lettuce is a spectacular performer and it tastes good. Sometimes I mean sometimes it is like the base of our mix it's so prolific and so good and it's very hearty it works in the summer it works in the winter it's a great romaine and so even after bolts a little bit it still tastes good yeah and so you if you're desperate and you need to get somebody into the mix you can always go back to that. So that's our general mix. Then. So then here is a brazing mix that we do well not exactly so the way I have the set up is these are my beds is how I have labeled it for you so I do one bed like that the next but I do like this and this is my third bed if you look down here at the bottom that's called Trace find Mera sherry or for say if you've ever gotten mixed salad greens you know the really frizzy one that's in there that's it's bitter and nobody likes I love it is absolutely spectacular in the mix it gives a loft in texture to the mix that you cannot get anywhere else and while you may not like the flavor you should like the flavor and. The texture is just wonderful and it gives a nice white stim and to get white in your mix is important too like it just adds dimension to the salad mix and if you don't like it don't put it in your mix but I'm encouraging you to learn to love it the trace find Mera Sherry our marriage I think it's fine it's called for is a and specifically there's different versions of this and I think this is why people don't typically like it. Most people don't get a triple cut what that means is the tips are much finer and if you don't get that they're kind of a wide leaf it's kind of thick and kind of chewy and it's really bitter and they're not that good but if you get the fine cut ones and you can get this that while garden seat as well the fine cut ones they don't they're not as bitter and you get more blanched hard more white on them and it's a much it's really and it gives this loft to the salad mix so it's not just a flat you know when you put a bunch of you know flat leaves together the water gets in there just like a flat. The and you start adding these things in and it just gives a loft to the salad mix and it looks way better. So we can we can put if you see the red Russian kale the bull's blood beat in the rainbow chard we used to put all that in the salad mix and my sense was the customers it was a little overwhelming for our customers I think it's great in the mix you get the gold and you know Rainbow charge in the painting and all these colors it looks great they typically would get too big for our mix and it was getting complicated. The Bulls blood beat I think it's a it's a little tougher but it's like this just the burgundy dark red this really adds a color to the mix but it was a little bit hard I think for people to palate a beat flavor in their salad mix the red Russian kale actually works really well in the salad mix you could put that in there but we took it out because we actually turn this into a brazing mix and so now we just cut this effort lead by itself and we bag it by itself and it's a brazing mix. Just the just the charge on the beat not the the trace one not the first day the present is actually for the salad mix so just to clarify he has it on the projector like this because this shows you how we plant them yet. A brazing mix if you don't know to brazing Does anybody here know what a brazing mixes so let me explain the she's doesn't die in nutrition OK So brazing mixes are typically hearty or green the term brazing is when you you get a pan you can put just water or you can put a little bit of olive oil or whatever oil you want to use I tend to do a little garlic or onion you put the greens in there and kind of get them cooking and then just a couple minutes after that you're going to splash water into the pan because like a steaming effect in that's the brazing So it's a quick wilt cook you don't cook them very long maybe three to five minutes and it's usually the hardier greens so we call it our brazing mix because all those greens are hardy or greens so you kind of get a secured edge but then when the steam when you feel the water and it seems that it kind of steams the inner part of the leaf and so you kind of get this cooked. Nice wonderful food. And so anyway that's our brazing mix. Space so it's all right so this is so we would make that mix OK. So we that's kind of the base of our mix we'll get to another portion of our mix which is a rubella. And we've actually put a rule and our base mix as well. We call it a not so spicy mix and then we have a spicy mix. Just has a nutty flavor to it that a lot of people love or hate but in the salad mix it just adds a little background hint of the flavor that it has is a really good addition in there even if you don't like it I don't think it's overpowering and it works really well and so we put that in our base mix and so what we do is we create a base mix and then that's what we would. We would build off of that everything else so that mix we're going to we're going to harvest all. That bring it into the wash though in the water if you have questions write them down and I will answer your questions at the end will will throw in the water will go back out while that stuff is hydro cooling. And harvest the rest of our mix when we come in before we throw whatever we've harvested into the mix we'll take whatever poundage we want out of that water spend it dry pack it up it goes in the cooler and then the rest is left in there and then we create a whole nother mix and this becomes the base of that mix and this will be our spicy mix and so in our spicy mix we're going to use some mostly a bunch of Asian greens. Some hot some not hot and I'll tell you which ones are and which ones aren't so taut soy. Tots always a very mild green it's and I think I talk about it in a later slide but I'll just give you the inside of it now it's what spinach wants to be it's kind of the same texture is diminished and it looks like spinach except for it's got a little more flavor than spinach and so. It's much easier to grow than spinach spinach would be a definite plus in the mix as well but spinach you can sell by itself at a high dollar point and in it's a little more difficult to have consistently and so to have it in your base mix would be it would be coming and going out and at our farm so we leave it out of the base mix cress the particular crest that we grow there are Persian crafts there are several different kinds of press we grow one called Ringgold crinkled crumpled crafts and the reason why is it looks like a little miniature green curly kale I mean when I say little it's like half an inch it's big and it tastes like with sabi. It's got its. Punch I mean this stuff is is a powerful little leaf. Wrinkled crinkled crumpled caress. And it packs a major punch. It's the one thing at the market when people come out and they say oh you have a spicy salad mix who are like yeah do you want to try leave and then they try they're like whoa I can't believe that little Eve can have so much flavor and then they buy back. The other scared of it. And so we don't put a ton of it in there so it is just background but it's got like this with sabi flavor which you can overpower somebody with that that's a lot of flavor and so if you just lay it in just slightly It gives this really great addition to the scene we're making a very complex flavor here there's a lot of different flavors going on our salad mix we want to compliment one another we don't want one to just over bare and so you start to figure out when you're mixes OK we've got a lot of this this week and so we can pair it with this and that's why it's like art. It's going to vary somewhat Every time you do it. I'm not telling you oh this many pounds of this this many pounds of this this many pounds of this and this is your mix we just blend them together and we look at it and go yet needs more red it needs more of this it needs more body and we kind of make a decision like that because it's. So OK so the next bet I'll plant and so you can see I do four beds of hot soil and I'm sorry for Rose not bad it was a rose of top soil and three rows of cress we almost never utilize all the crass but it's such a small little thing I can't really put a bunch of tall stuff next to it some kind of. I put it in the bed anyway. Restaurants oftentimes will buy it from us by itself high end restaurants will use it for different things because it's got such a large amount of flavor the top so I also we sell individually bagged and so I've grown a lot of it because we can also use that as an additional bag item on the table so we then do Mizuno Mizuno is a mild green it's got a really long stem and I will cut that and people will be like you're stuck on all this stems and I go I know it's terrible you should taste it. It's delicious it's spectacular and it adds a whole nother crunch and body to the mix and if people can get over it it's absolutely phenomenal salad mix and usually after people try it they're happy to have it in their in the key is to pick them is you know when it's smaller so it has this long stem that's part of what it is it's nice white longer stem it's really crunchy it's not a cutie stem it's a really mild nice crunchy white stem so you just want to cut that one when it's smaller so the anyway that's that's in my mind it's a huge bonus to our salad next the next one is Ruby streaks and Ruby streaks is a pretty hot one. But it's the same as the trace find it's super frilly I mean it's just like and it's purple and purple to add to a salad mix is just a beautiful touch and so it's got this green with a purple Vining all through it it's a really pretty. Mustard and. It adds a little bit of heat to the mustard to the mix. Red Giant is a as it would sound it's a red mustard big least red mustard you typically want to cut it when it's a and that's baby stage. But it adds this really pretty reddish purple ish color to the mix as well it also has a really firm stem that adds a bit of texture and crunch to the salad mix purple Osaka is a purple. Mustard that it has like a cup the leaf to it as opposed to like of a mustard like if you used to see a mustard greens that are more frilly this one has like a real cup to it and the stem is kind of it kind of comes down and widens out almost like a charge on but not like it's are but similar let that type of way and so it adds like this whole other dimension to the salad mix now these two I have the most trouble with. With germination and sort of having them all the time usually one works and one doesn't so either has one of the other is usually the way it goes and so I grow them both I would like to get rid of one of them honestly and just grow one of them but. So far I haven't been able to figure out which one on and to get rid of green wave is like a workhorse mustard Green same thing it is like a the same we're always there it always performs is great as a small cut it fill it has it's so frilly It's almost like. A curly green Kale is kind of what it looks like it's a little paler in color than that. But once it gets bigger you can bunch it as bunched calles or bunched mustards and so you get multiple uses out of that so you cut it is a baby you know and you can get a second harvest out of it if you don't get to the end of the row and it gets too big you can start bunching it. And so it's great for that. Really bad it gets this whole bed of its own all seven rows or and I just you base your of I used to do while the rule and basic rule and I just found the the wilder rule and. People like the basic rule of better it was what I found and it made it easier for me. In managing things that we put the the salad greens Harvester it's an OK yeah and so I have a you go to see me I'm going to use the salad greens Harvester on some wriggle and I'll show you a video of that and then I just wanted to mention to you that one of the reasons why we do. It's own bat is because we sell over the last separately by itself it's one of our Another one of our big sellers we sell it for twelve dollars a pound and. It's a Wonderful. Leaf because you can get multiple cuts you can use the salad Harvester very well with it and cut it really quickly and it's just really popular in the beds pretty much you can have a real an about thirty days it's fast it comes on really fast you get multiple cuts out of it and we have customers that literally I mean we were at farmer's market in December so it December and we would call them and say Hey we're down here with her and they would like they would say call as if you're going to be there if you still have it that's held them they would come down and buy the Cyrillic from us. So I talked a little bit about prepping beds. Get very running out of time aren't you he already kind of touched on prepping the beds. So soil amendments tarps we talked about speeding and prepping beds. We talked about seating so you can we didn't talk about seating so let's stop there all right. So you know back in the old days you get your packet of seeds you poured in your hand and you went out there and sprinkle them in a row. You could do that. If you have a small garden that would be practical if you're doing market gardening you're trying to do this for a living that would be insane. People do it I have a friend who does it comes to market that's how you plants it. It's tough it's it's what I'm saying is that's kind of when you start to price the cedar and the amount of labor you pay for the cedar really quickly so to me it's doesn't make it doesn't add up and so if you're going to do a lot of this and you're going to make money at it. As. Cedar. And we're going to talk about it so that right there is the Cedar. That's a walk yeah a walk behind cedar that's a planet Jr This is technology from probably one nine hundred forty S.. I used that cedar for years at the Black Hills Health and Education Center that was our cedar it is a drop cedar effectively it has a bucket you put plates and it that different size holes and it has a brush that sweeps over the hole and that's metres the seeds out as you walk. Perfectly fine technology even today but today we have much better options. And so there's a lot of different options and a lot of different approaches to how people do this these days. And so they have and I can run through them. There's one called a four point pen cedar I think or something like that the Johnny sells concrete more he thinks that's his choice right now it works for him a lot of people are using the six row seat or from Johnny's as well that is a lot of people's choices if you don't have a really good bed system if you have chunky beds and Iraq's in your be. These tend to be more difficult because they're really closely spaced in the G.M. easy and people have problems like that but if you have nice beds and you can prep your beds Well they're really good tools and so you can look at those and see if they would work for you you can read the reviews you can look at videos online and they'll kind of you know you can kind of get a feel for how they work and if it might work for you. The other. Well. OK. I have a slide on here so you can read only. I discovered that one still anyway so there's the cedar that I use is called a Jang Cedar. It's I wish I could show you a picture of it I had planned to show you a picture of. Jang J. Angie I think it's Korea are one of the countries over by Korea they actually have a lot of small scale farmers and there's not really a lot of appropriately scaled technology for small scale farmers and so their government said listen we will fund a project. For somebody to develop a practical singular cedar so singularly means that we're actually seeing you late the seeds and drop the seeds one at a time appropriately scaled simulating cedar and we will you know everybody submit their you know ideas and if we choose your idea we will help fund the project and Jang won the project and they have developed this cedar and we've brought it to America and it's a brilliant listen to the picture at the end we'll have time to do that so I disconnected some in Germany I'm going to talk about the germination but I just wanted to know I don't use these Cedars anymore I use a Jing cedar you can get them singled walk behind they have them where you have walk behind with three rows six rows up to twelve rows at a time thirty six inches wide they can also be mounted on the back of a three point hitch they have attachments that you can mount those bigger ones on three point so if you're doing big. Beds with tractors and if you know what scale you're at they have those for all the different scales the way they work is they have little rollers that have different hole patterns and you buy those different rollers depending on the seed you want to use in it and there's all kinds of adjustments and mechanisms to for each different size cedar shape of seed facilitates it singularly correctly or at least like with the salad mix roll legacy it gets pretty close to simulate it it's not really going to singularly those kinds of seeds very well but they're hard to singularly. And. I would like to talk to you about Germany. So this is where you tap into people that have been farming a while to get these tips and tricks that help with things and save a lot of time so here's a picture of you know direct seeding the different greens in the rows and we have found one of the keys germination is keeping it very moist the ground moist and we have this kind of rule of thumb on our farm is if it hasn't rained in a long time. Like a heavy rain just go out and direct seed and then it will heavy rain and mess up all the germination that you need or if you don't want it to rain decide not to Trixie that's just how it works so what we've found is if we direct succeed we put row cover over it right away and that little bit of covering helps if we get a trench will down poor It protects it and it doesn't mess up the germination once we see it about this size then we'll pull that row cover off and that's made a huge difference on our germination and it also holds the moisture so instead of the wind drying out in the sun drying out your you know it's a brown bed so you know it's going to pick up heat and wick wash off really quickly but with a row cover layer there it tends to stay more Oist and then the germination happens a lot more evenly and a lot faster that way. And I'll make another call. On the mustard greens and the roof has anybody ever had problems with lead beetles. OK they will devour they will leave you with little sticks on those things we put the ROE cover on and we leave the row cover on those even in the middle of summer will get the lightest weight what we will do is we'll pull it off will cultivate and we'll put the wire hoops little many hoops on the beds and then put the row cover back over and that's how we manage the mustard in the mushrooms grow so quick one little quick weeding and they are pretty much going to canopy and you won't get much in the way of weed pressure after that. We use wobblers on the farm right now I am mixed feelings about it I like the I like the idea of how it works this is drip tape here you can see the drip tape and then this is a bed of peas that we have with your pipe and them. In one thousand. And so we use drip tape for a long long time and it works really really well but when you're cultivating are you doing anything you've got all this drip tape in seven rows That's a lot of drip taping when it's two people and you just got a hundred foot rowing or going back and forth and back and forth turning those while others on the moving those around is a lot easier so it's there's pluses and minuses it doesn't water is even now and it takes a lot longer to get the amount of water down that I'd like to see when I'm watering so I have to spend more time letting them run kind of nice as a minister to kind of cool things down in the day expression if the row covers on it just what the row cover does too as it's almost like a diffuser when you get a heavy rain it hits that stuff in a kind of diffuses the rain drop and it doesn't it doesn't pound the ground. So it's cultivation because we're doing. Seven rows the really tight together this is a hoe from Johnny's it's three and a quarter inch hoe so it's about this wide and it will literally it fits right in and are rows and so. We use that I've just developed a little tines system I have an Alice Chalmers G. which is a belly mounted cultivating tractor with the engine in the back and creating a way to do the whole bed mechanically but until then we have this. The other option. Is Michelle's favorite way to deal with it and waiting so the future of your i Phone that we learned last night that we're all going to get rid of and you. Put a nice sermon on there and use your technology appropriately and you listen to a sermon leading on to serve you we need and think about Lord what do you want to teach me today and you look for the object lesson because I don't want to take a moment here. This is fundamental. You can make money doing this and it's nothing wrong with making money doing it it's a wonderful way to make money but the fundamental thing is this is an object lesson for us to meet with our Creator in the garden and when you're there and you're doing all these tasks. Enjoy it. It's easy to get wrapped up in the stress and the management and the complication in life failed how come it didn't work. But ultimately this should be a pleasure and a joy in a place where you're coming and meeting with your Heavenly Father. And affording the opportunity to have your character developed and accepted all these challenges. Don't let them overwhelm you and I say that because. It is hard not to be overwhelmed sometimes. So I want to show you one more tool it's just plain. I haven't used this but I'm very intrigued by this they make one for a tractor and this is a little handheld one these little times you see all the little green leaves in there those little times or just softly going over the soil when when weeds or thread weeds just before the. When they just germinate before they're anything and you just go in and it just disturbs the store soil enough to kill those weeds and it's soft enough times that obviously it's hard for me to understand or believe but it's just soft enough that it just kind of pushes the little lettuce is out of the way and people have been using it's very much time in oriented and you've got to have your beds you know not too wet not too dry all the things got to be there for it to function right but it seems like it could be a really really good tool for early cultivation to just mitigate a lot of headache. Alright since Michelle does a lot of the harvesting I'm going to let her talk about the harvesting. Obviously she's talking about the hand harvesting this will be a big quick service or plug for Jonathan. So you might be asking yourself why don't we just use the Harvester for all the Greens and the reason is some of the Greens. If we use the Harvester you only get one cut if we want to get two and three maybe even four cuttings off of it it doesn't work as well because obviously by hand you're being much more careful of how you cut this is just sort of a quick in an out in and out it's more of a design for like turning over beds really quickly which is what our ultimate goal would be that we're not spending hours and hours and hours hand harvesting. That's our goal but you have to be really on top of that succession planting and probably planting every two weeks we do every four weeks so three or four weeks so that's part of the issue there because that is a fast growing plant just the way the you know it's not quite what you say it's not quite as delicate as a lot of this. It is hard. Because a growth so fast it just works really well with the Harvester we usually get to cut out of a bed with the Harvester So here's an example of what that looks like. So pretty much. Takes about five minutes to harvest like twelve pounds it's really fast. The new just put it in the top I think part of it too. I think part of it too is Larry and I have been doing this for so many years you know you kind of just get stuck in your way WE LIKE REALLY LIKE CAN harvesting but it. Won't now it's my turn. But what I'm trying to say is you know you get to where you feel like you don't want to lose any lettuce like you get you know that's sort of I don't want to lose any of it I want to use every single leaf and I don't want to I want to grow back better but the reality is if you're turning over a large amount of the stuff you have to let that go and to say OK I'm going to lose some leaves but I just harvested twelve pounds in five minutes you know it's a give and take thing so I thought it would be nice to kind of show what it looks like in the field the other thing about the Harvester if there's weed pressure you see all that weed pressure we have there you can't really use a harvester I mean you could harvest it and then go sit in a shop in the shade and pick through it I know some farmers do that we have done it before but if you can harvest while you cut your picking through the good you're throwing the good in the top of the bad out and you know you've been doing it long enough it actually gets to be quite quick so when it's really weedy I just hand harvest it and. That's where the mustard to be in this is that bed system he was talking about these are the two different lettuces the brazing mix and then all the Mustard's are over there. The musters will go way faster than the cell and so part of the management is timing on your mustards from that So what I do is talk to your plant mustards and let us at the same time I will get the work at the mustard before anything else and then when we do our second planting about the time that the the mustard for the second plant. Dinner coming on we'll get the lettuce for the from the first planting and so then my cycles kind of set for the rest of the year and it just sort of goes that way for the rest of the year. So the other thing about hand harvesting is the squatting you have to be really good at squatting because you're squatting for hours no joke I think that was part of Jonathan's inspiration to make that Harvester is probably to save your your backer and whatnot so that's me for a lot of hours when we're doing the salad mix so we just thought we'd show you that So this is the processing and packing. Bring it in obviously that's we have a. Galvanized tub filled with water go out so our harvesting when we bring it in we weigh it before we put it in the water. It then goes into the water and we write the weight down and we know basically what we want and usually it will add a little bit of weight water weight as it takes in that water. We would then. OK so yeah there you go. That's a tub of a rule of us the just harvest it with the salad greens Harvester. Oh. So I don't think it shows this but we have right now we have basically laundry bags the mesh laundry bags and was just I take them and I scoop it across the whole thing and pick it up in the laundry bag and then right next to that is a little salad Well it's a laundry machine I do washing machine and that bag goes in the machine and we put it on spend cycle and it spins it like a salad spinner and you can clean it because it's it's an enamel coated so you can delete it and clean it out and kind of that's how we maintain that and then that comes out of there we have a scale with we use wax boxes and one in one night but shoebox we put a hamburger bun bag in there it's a food grade plastic bag and that. Then we scale out put the Greens in until it's the weight of whatever restaurant or market or whatever we're doing wait out pack it up and it goes in our cooler now even if I'm leaving for the market and in two hours whatever time I can put that lettuce or wriggle or whatever it is any green into that cooler I prefer Billy I would have about twelve at least twelve hours for that stuff to hold in the cooler to really christening it down to a cold temperature and most of our greens that's our cooler there and you can see the boxes there on the on the right. And we're out we're two minutes past but that's that's what happens is my salad mix generally if the if the customer handles it correctly it will last for them about a week and a half to two weeks OK I'm going to show you one last picture because it's really funny. So this is just we've already talked about all these games this year season extension just adding putting those green greenhouse. Theory All right so yeah you can use your greenhouse obviously you can plant earlier and you can go later if you were if you have it if you. Get it back. If you go online and when me and Allan were doing the market garden class. I think it's the fourth lecture. The fourth lecture Allan talks about. The. The degree you move south when you put covering over your product. And so you can listen to that on audio verse for see an extension he talks about when you put it you move what do they call it. Zones Thank you you move one and have zones for every layer you put over your product and so if you put it in a greenhouse you move and want to have zones south if you put a many row cover hoops in there. Now you are three zones warmer than you were when you didn't have that and so you can extend your season on both ends using those techniques is what we'll do now because level forty nine will take questions for a few minutes for those that want to see it back otherwise the lunch. Starts at twelve thirty just to give you like a timeframe of time so it's eleven forty nine next thing is that twelve thirteen slides and I want to make one more mention there's something really amazing about lettuce you can actually let us freeze and if you don't touch it if you leave it alone it will thaw and you can harvest it and so it's a it's a very good winter and spring fall early Well mostly in the fall that's a winter and spring and winter and fall it's very good and they also want to know really right for me. Ricky. All year long Yeah and I we have repeated requests Oh do we use the same mix all year long yes we use the same mix all year long I think it's just been a blessing to find those lettuces that have been very very good at working in the hot and the cold there they do really well obviously some do better than others given the circumstances but they generally they all do very well all year long for us now you guys are obviously a lot probably hotter than we did You may want to mess around with that a little bit I think let me go ahead. Ideally I'd like to do it every two weeks just because it's been how often do we plant to keep a continuous supply Ideally we would do it every two weeks but just because it before she came on me being able to do that was just not realistic like I just have so many responsibilities on the farm that it turned out to be more like every three to four weeks so that now that she's on the farm we're getting better at it when we had it tarps. Weather didn't mess me up weather can really throw off your plans to and so weather permitting and just responsibility permitting every two weeks would be ideal. It's six. Was one so it's no so the way when we when we seed the way I did it was I do chew rows of like this Samantha two rows of royal oak leaf and then two rows of mascara and I did one row of Marlo which is seven rows I. Know all the lettuce is our base plan plus a rule and for say. They'd all go into one mix and then we would take that's our base mix and anything we're building any other type of mix we're building after that would be based out of that so then we just add more stuff depending on what we want to do. Our rows are forty two inch bed tops. Yeah. Right OK So forty two inches by one hundred is what our bed system is it's actually five foot wide is my tire tracks for my tractor and so I have a twelve to thirteen inch wide shot tire measured at twelve inches so that is me five feet center to center on my bed system with a forty two inch bed top meaning six inches on either side which gives me a one foot walk path that's a narrow walk path for people mostly we're doing eighteen inches or bigger even but for us as a farm it's not always about like what's most convenient for me it's good enough for me like I can stand here and I can reach I can stand over that bed. While she has a hard time doing that. And so that's what the system is based on our beds we never we have a. Much a permanent system I always drive on the beds I don't drive in the beds I mean don't well over the beds made on the on the tire tracks of our walk paths and so it's pretty much a permanent system where I'm not compact in our beds ever with the tractor. When we mow whatever we're doing putting amendments down we always say on those patterns so that we're not compact in our actual bed system so. I think he had one. So so there's a there's a debate about that obviously it's more difficult to harvest when the sun isn't fully out. Nutrients. Typically nutrients will go to the roots in the evening and in the morning it's in the roots still and so you have a lower nutrients in the leaf in the mornings but that's the best time to harvest. Evenings is probably the best time to harvest we harvest when we have time. I mean there's times I'm out there at noon worst time of day yeah I mean we what has to happen yeah so I do it I just you do you do a lot the reason I think is probably the best the reason why too is when I'm doing it in the heat of the day I'm having to go back to that water very quickly because the leaves just wilt and you don't want that to happen so to prevent that if you get up really early in the morning you could be done with your harvest by Levon o'clock and be completely done with your leaf harvest but if other things get in the way and you have to go out there at noon and harvest it's going to take you twice as long because you have to run that stuff to the wash nation. You wouldn't plant so much in the winter repeat the question do we plant in the winter. Mostly we plant in preparation for the winter and so we plant I mean we plant more with the idea that it's going to go into the greenhouse it's going to be held and the cold temperatures it will just kind of sit there until you harvest it. We left it. Yeah but if free market Yeah. Yeah otherwise of burgers and damages. Yes I'll do that. Yeah. Right there we talked about the selling over. Yeah so I said you know you got away what works for you. Know I mark them and then I come back oh that's terrible lookin but I do know I do one wrote a time so I mark the Rosen to keep them straight I just go down those rows. You can slide the handle out so that it kind of you stand in the path and push it to. The very very difficult to work with a good static we have a lot of problems there in expense of people and the really good for peas and beans and bigger stuff. Yeah and so the Jang you can get those see the rollers up there at the top with the different holes that is. That. Costs somewhere between five and six hundred dollars to get a complete set up for the jank All right thank you guys so much. This media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio first if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W. Or.


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