One of the challenges of growing produce for the restaurant is cleaning and prepping it for their use. It’s easy to send a basket of zucchini with the chef in the morning, but harvesting, cleaning, spinning, and storing a 10 gallon spinach harvest is another thing all together. I wish I had a commercial 3 bay sink, but I did purchase one tool last fall that is a great help. I ordered a used commercial salad spinner off of eBay. I used it Thursday to triple wash and spin spinach, spinach, spinach, and raddhicio, chicory, mache, and arugula. The chef uses the spinach in many sauteed pasta dishes and the rest was blended together to be added to the leaf lettuce used for side salads. All of it gets washed again at the restaurant and gets used first. The chicory in particular is a delicate green and gets bruised easily. We want it to be as fresh as possible and use it the same day it goes to the restaurant. After I triple wash and spin, I bag it up and store on the back fridge (also indispensable (thanks dad!)).
Nearly two weeks of bronchitis/asthma and a very busy time at the restaurant coupled with tax time have me really short on time. BUT I wanted to post a brief update. I have lots of stuff started in the indoor greenhouse.
Indoor crops: lettuces, tuscan kale, and micro-greens (all nearing harvest)
Phase One: Starts to be moved out into small hoophouses (yet to be built!)—kale, romanesco broccoli, waltham broccoli, mixed japanese greens, evergreen bunching onions, mache, romaine, chard, strawberry spinach, broccoli raab. New territory to me to try to get such a jump on the season and I am excited about it. Hubby and I will be using pvc to make removable hoophouse tops in three of the raised beds. Greenhouse plastic is one the way as well as some wax paper “hot caps” for added protection. We’ll see how it goes.
Phase Two: 2/15/10 started crimson bunching onions, newburg onions, siskiyou sweet onions, and white lisbon bunching onions as well as Grumolo Biondo Golden chicory.
Here are a few pictures taken on 2/13/10. We had two spectacular early morning shows of snow and glittering frost on the trees. Truly amazing. I have spent my drive time this winter marveling at the beautiful silouhettes of winter trees–often standing alone in a field. Easily as lovely as they are in summer, if not more.