Market time!

All the work and planning that goes into growing food comes to this – a successful harvest, and then selling that food to people to enjoy!

Harvesting the Bounty

Kale

Kale

We’ve moved into that busy time of year of harvest and market. Every Friday, UBC Farm practicum students, staff, and volunteers gather to harvest for the market. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent time harvesting salad greens – bunching lettuce, spinach and chard – as well as green garlic, kale, collards, and herbs, and several hours in the hot sun gathering sweet strawberries and amazing blueberries.

The planning and work that goes into harvest is quite intensive. In the days leading up to harvest day, field managers take an inventory of what they think they can get out of their fields,and market managers use past information and projection to get an idea of how much can be sold. It’s a fine balance, one that takes into account many years of experience and knowing your audience. Too much harvested from the field will result in wasted produce, and too little will disappoint customers and may result in reduced customer base, not to mention lost revenue.2013-06-21 12.42.53

One of the best things about harvest days is a shared lunch. Every Friday, 2 people cook a huge meal for everyone, and we all gather and eat together. So much outdoor work makes for a hungry group, and it’s always a great time, hanging out with everyone over good, simple food.

To Market We Go

All of that harvest ends up on the tables of the UBC Saturday farmer’s market. Salad mix, mustard greens, kale and collards abound, and cucumbers, zucchini, garlic scapes, and radishes have been making their appearances. UBC Farm is known for their eggs, and they always sell out early, with people happy to pay for eggs that come from very happy chickens.

This past week, I had the opportunity to be on market duty, standing behind the produce stand and letting people know what things are, how they might cook with them, and happy to chat about how things are grown out in the field. Getting to talk to people about the food we’re growing gave me so much energy, I really loved seeing people’s reactions to new produce and exchanging ideas on cooking recipes.

I’m really looking forward to continuing to be a part of the harvest and market rotations, which really is the point of all of this!

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