~This post was originally published December 10, 2015.~
We’ve started carrying EasyPak 2/3 oz clamshells on our store.
We chose these clamshells specifically because their size is perfect for wholesale herbs, and because the plastic is recyclable. Each case contains 540 clamshells and costs $69.99.
Brian Evans and Halo Greens in Charleston, North Carolina, has officially launched!
Halo Greens is a unique aquaponics farm located just outside of Charleston. One strong trait of the farm is that it is closely tied into the local community. Brian identified his markets early on, largely via personal networking. Check out Brian’s feature on the blog tomorrow to learn more.
Don’t forget week two of the retrospective! Download below:
Whether you deliver your herbs living or pre-harvested, the shelf life of your produce will reflect on you as a farmer. This can be tricky, since it puts the responsibilities of not only harvesting correctly but informing the customer of how they should store the herbs squarely on you.
When it comes to pre- and post-harvesting practices, this PDF might be helpful.
Summarized, these are the main take-aways:
-Keep it cool! Respiration rates slow way down when produce is kept cool. Harvesting during a cool part of the day will also help.
-Harvesting and packaging practices should be specific to the herb and its’ age, since needs vary widely.
-Temperature and moisture fluctuations are largely responsible for disease and decay issues.
-Production of hormones such as ethylene generally increase rate of deterioration.
-Ethylene generation is increased by wounds and may be inhibited by increasing CO2 levels.
-Other growth regulators exist that may retard ethylene biosynthesis and delay yellowing.
-Some herbs (like basil, shiso, and some oregano species) are sensitive to chilling and can be damaged by over chilling. (Basil should not be kept below 55º Fahrenheit, for example, but can attain a shelf life of 12 days at 60º F.)
-Tender herbs such as basil or chives lose less water when packaged in plastic bags, but condensation increases decay rates.
-Whether stored under light or in the dark may have effects on the decay rate of herbs, depending on the herb. (More on p. 33)
-You have an advantage over other producers since your travel time is short and you have control over the transport conditions and handling.
This reports contains several useful tables and other details- I recommend that you skim the whole report for more information.
Remember to take advantage of sales going on, to reflect on the past year to improve your farm in 2016, and think critically about how you’re treating your herbs during harvest and transportation!
Happy Holidays, Upstarts!