This is a Nagoya Red Garnish Kale. Isn't it beautiful?! The heart (inner) leaves of this go into our mix.
These are some salad mix neighbours we met last night after transplanting and putting the row cover back on. One tried to have a stand off with the car, so we got out and then one growled at Jon, and rolled backwards down the hill! Talk about adorable-- Too bad they'll grow up to be chicken eaters!
We are growing our transplants at home now, and though we were worried about being away from them all day, it has been massively hot all week and watering before we leave for work and as soon as we get home has been enough. They look GREAT. Jon jokes that it's like having a micro farm. Each morning he feeds the rabbits and waters the transplants... All 4 trays! Our next round is being seeded today, as it's a storm day here. Last night we battened down the hatches on our field, i.e. took off all the row cover so it didn't end up in a tree. Initially they were calling for 120 mm of rain here, but the forecast now says mostly wind-- strong winds gusting up to 120 km/h.
Below: Jon putting row cover in our trunk last night, and the storm before the storm - big rain and thunder and lightning last night.
Stay safe & dry, and we'll hope the salad mix patch makes it through today! :)
Yesterday was our first harvest for wholesale. We harvested for: 106 bags, 10lbs bulk, and 5 lbs bulk arugula. The harvest, washing, labelling, and bagging and cleanup took both of us 4 hours (from 5:30 - 9:30). Our plan is to harvest evenings when possible, but with the heat wave we're having right now, it had to shift. As it was, the temperature at 5 am yesterday morning was 22 degrees celsius!
Here's a few photos: Jon mixing salad, 70 lbs of salad, ready to be bagged, and 1/2 of the orders that went out yesterday (these boxes went into the city, to Pete's Frootique Bedford, Local Source, Pete's Wolfville, and samples to the rest of the clients. We had a bit leftover, and so are able to share with our friends and supporters.
Selling the mix at the Farmer's Market was less exciting than I thought it would be. I had POS materials ready and printed beside the mix, but our label is very subtle and really overtaken by the colorful, recognizable TapRoot Farms label that is also on the bag. People weren't distinguishing between the lettuce mix that TapRoot produced a few weeks ago, or the salad mix that Noggins carries, and our salad. Oh well-- They are excited to see the TapRoot logo, and so we will ride those coattails a bit, I suppose. The extra love and attention we've given our salad will hopefully come through in the flavour!
If you've bought a bag of our mix, and are now visiting our website and reading this post: Let us know what you think! We think it is a heartier mix than most salad-- The type of lettuce we are growing makes for more mature leaves, meaning more crunch and flavour. We've included a fair amount of different kales in the mix, which also make for a more substantial salad. There is lots of colourful goodies in there too, and a tiny amount of flavourful arugula. Email us at email@example.com and share your feedback, we'd love to hear it!
Thanks for all your support in this project: by simply reading this post, you are helping support our goal of buying a farm! If you are able to buy salad grown by us, all the better!
We harvested our first salad mix this week! We will be supplying our wholesale markets next week and so we wanted to do some trials on harvesting to make sure that we are on target for what we committed to supplying. Harvest was quicker than expected, and the mix is even more gorgeous than our wildest dreams! We are using a special lettuce developed by Johnny's Seeds called Salanova. It grows heads of lettuce that are basically heads of small leaves once the core is cut out. That makes for a heartier lettuce with lots of flavour and crunch! We also have lots of colorful greens, like Nagoya kale, red leaf amaranth; baby kales; and just the right mix of mild mustards and arugula to make the flavours pop. It holds it's own pretty well in a salad bowl without any additions-- That's how we've been eating it all week!
Our first harvest went to our first customer, my dear friend Heather. Heather owns Pie R Squared and had a catering for 100 people on Tuesday. She served her clients Jon and Teri's first harvest! She was so excited for our greens, she opened the box and dug right in! Here's Heather, loving our salad as much as we do!
Our salad is being marketed by the wonderful and amazing Allison Grant of Southfield Organics (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm so glad we are working with a wholesaler, it means we don't have to go out and find customers, we just fill the orders. I love chefs and produce departments, but I do not have time to grow salad mix AND market it, so we are grateful that there is someone like Allison who appreciates gorgeous local organic produce.
Things are good and we are stoked!