Thursday, December 16, 2010

When the Snow Flies

Most of you know that we do quite a bit of season extension on our farm. We use low tunnels in our South Garden to extend our field harvest and also have the two high tunnels to get us into the back-side of the growing season. These are amazing tools, but they are not flawless. If the ambient air temperature isn't above freezing, then we can't harvest (especially leafy greens). Now in the tunnels, it doesn't take much sunlight to get the temps above 32° but heavily overcast days can still delay the harvest. One of the other tricky things about harvesting at this time of year is that even when the tunnels get warm enough to harvest, we still have to get the vegetables into the house without freezing.

We've learned a few coping techniques over the years. If you're just harvesting enough for supper, then you can tuck your harvesting bag into your coat and make a run for it, though tripping with a coat full of kohlrabi can result in some very some ribs.

When harvesting for larger numbers though, a little planning is required. Our best technique is to haul our big market coolers out to the high tunnel and allow them to warm up a bit before packing them with vegetables and dragging them to the house.  Best of all, though is when there is a little snow on the ground, then we just load them up and ride 'em home! We'll try to get a pic of this crazy fun sometime yet this season ; )
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