Prepping Lettuce for the Farmer's Market

Discussion in 'Market Gardens' started by mommagoose_99, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,456
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    I am growing lettuce for the Farmer's Markets this year and was wondering how you prepare the head lettuce for market. I am planning on either cutting or pulling up the whole plant washing it and packing it in large totes to drive the 25 miles to the market. What do you do? what kindof equipment do you use? How do you present the lettuce on your stand? Any help is appreciated.
    Linda
     
  2. chicky momma

    chicky momma Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Lower Michigan
    I don't really sell head lettuce, other than romaine. I would cut it, wash it and display it in the tote I bring it in with a little ice water in the bottom. I don't really have any equipment for this as I'm quite small. Plan to get a lettuce knife from johhnies this year. Possibly a "spinner". Lisa
     

  3. jlee503

    jlee503 Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    MN
    For head lettuce, cut at the base/ground level, then I like to dunk it for a few minutes in ice cold water to clean off any 'big dirt' and to take out the field heat. I then place it in the cooler ( I have a big beverage cooler from a liquor store) and I take it to the market in a styrofoam cooler. Use a spray bottle of cold water to mist during the market to keep it fresh. Head lettuce is so much easier to prep than leaf lettuce/cut lettuce. I do remind customers that while the lettuce has been rinsed, it should be washed before they eat it. I grow organically (but not certified) but there will still be some dirt on the inside.
     
  4. Rowena

    Rowena Wishing for more green

    Messages:
    930
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    Phelan, California
    I have been selling only loose lettuce, which includes romaine, bibb, green and red curly loose varieties that way I can sell whatever is ready. I was washing by hand and taking in produce bags I bought wrapped in a paper towel or two, but I sell person to person, not farmer's market yet. I did have a Pampered Chef party last night just so I can get their salad spinner, I swear that thing hits 60 mph and it even has a brake! I am hoping it might make things go faster! Let you know later!
     
  5. red hott farmer

    red hott farmer A servant

    Messages:
    448
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Location:
    N.W. central Georgia
    I have a friend who does lettuce and bags it they sold over 50 bags this past sat. They use a washer. use the spin cycle for no MORE B THAN 30 SECONDS spins all the water out. clean the washer out with a vinegar bath. like your coffee pot. a "johnny' spinner cost several hundread dollars. a used washer cost less.

    something to think about.
     
  6. chicky momma

    chicky momma Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Lower Michigan
    We have an old dryer, been trying to figure a way to do the same with it. Think it will work? Lisa
     
  7. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    Sold 30 bags of leaf lettuce sat. The lettuce grown in the little hoop house I built mar 5th was ready weeks before the outdoors lettuce It did not even need to be washed like the outdoors lettuce does as rain does not splash dirt on it.