Harvesting at Barefoot Gardens
How Harvesting Works
Although we pick and prepare some items for distribution to the CSA, the majority of produce is picked and harvested by the members themselves. This allows members to familiarize themselves with their favorite varieties and to choose and harvest exactly what they will use. We try to always have someone on hand to help you find and/or harvest what you are looking for.
To help you harvest, we have a white board set up in our screened porch. Please check it before heading out to the garden to harvest. The white board has information about what is available to harvest on any given day. Likewise, we use a flag system to indicate the crops that are or aren’t ready to harvest. Red flags indicate items that are not ready for picking. Blue flags are used to indicate items that are ready to harvest.
What to Bring:
We suggest you bring the following when you come to harvest at BFG:
1. A Harvest Basket – A harvest basket is the #1 tool for keeping your harvested materials together and protected. They are just handy to have. These are sometimes sold at Middle Earth, on the square in Macomb. They are well- designed, durable, beautiful, fair- trade and reasonably priced. They should last you many, many years. We will also be making our smaller BFG baskets available for use when harvesting.
2. Ziploc type bags – One of the things that really reduces the quality of your produce is allowing it to dry out. This is especially true of greens. The best way to avoid this is to bag your produce the moment it is cut. So, it is handy to always have a number of bags of different sizes with you when you come to harvest. The handiest of all are quart and gallon sized ziploc type bags. They seal easily and are easy to wash and reuse. We will usually have some plastic grocery store bags available for those who forget their own.
3. A Cooler – A second threat to your freshly harvested produce is to let it get warm. 90% of the things you will harvest over the garden season will appreciate being put in a cool dark place as soon as possible. We recommend that you have a cooler (with ice pack) so that you have a place to keep your produce after you harvest. The cooler becomes even more critical as we move into the hot days of summer.
4. A Knife and Pruners/Scissors - We find the handiest harvesting tool to be a simple kitchen knife with a finely serrated edge. However, other folks prefer snipping herbs and greens with pruners or heavy duty scissors/shears. We make some of these available for folks who forget their own but you will save yourself time and frustration if you have your own trusty tools with you.
5. A Vase or Large Jar - When planning to cut fresh flowers, we recommend bringing a water- tight container with you to transport them home. We will have flower food available to extend the life of the blooms that you take home.
6. Something to Share - It has become a tradition over the years for people to occasionally bring a drink or a healthy snack to share. This is especially true on Monday evenings, which tend to be the most social of the harvest times. We invite you to make your own unique contribution when you are inclined to do so.