We really love growing salad greens so, while envisioning how to be more efficient at it, we looked into the Quick Cut Greens Harvester from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. First, I spoke with a few farmers who had tried it and read any reviews on farm blogs I could find. Then I asked Chris Siladi, our awesome rep from Johnny’s if he could arrange to have one sent to the New England Fruit and Vegetable Conference so I could hold it and “go through the motions” of harvesting imaginary salad mix in the trade show. The tipping point in the decision to buy it though came from Randy Cummings from Johnny’s who said that if we didn’t like it, we could always just return it. Sold!
Last week we tried it for the first time. On the first bed of greens this season that was sufficiently weed-free in our opinion (note: this does not mean it was free of weeds….just sufficiently for trying purposes).
The greens may have been slightly too big for ideal Quick Cutting. We harvested our mix of Asian greens that we call our “sweet ‘n’ spicy” mix, as well as arugula. Both were very quickly harvested and taken to the wash station. The time spent in the wash station cleaning those greens was longer than usual because weeds and leaf “bits” had to be sorted out. As well as a few bruised or broken leaves but those didn’t account for too many.
So, after this first attempt….we’re still undecided. We really like doing quality control at the harvesting stage. But it is nice to be able to harvest a lot quickly, before the sun comes out and heats the greens up.
Also, you can kinda see from the picture below, but it’s a bit less easy for me to maneuver this thing than Bryan (although I’m sure I’ll get better at it with practice…this picture captures my first moment holding it). I guess due to the size and maybe the extra weight. It’s not really that surprising I guess. There are lots of jobs on our farm that work better with a smaller/shorter person or a taller/stronger person.
We are also curious to see how it may work differently with our beds that are not raised (we’ve only tried it on this raised bed so far) and how the ergonomics may be different (I think we lean in more with the raised beds than we will with the non-raised beds).
If you like, you can watch a short video of the very first moment the Quick Cut Greens Harvester was used on our farm. Very monumental. Epic actually.
Or, if you’d like to watch one that is 100% slicker than our video, watch this one.