Quick Cut Greens Harvester

Cutting greens

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!

Sweet 'n' spicy mix

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.

Quick CutGreens Harvest

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).

Little Shannon

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.

 

 

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5 Responses to Quick Cut Greens Harvester

  1. eric stoffer says:

    Thanks for this post! As we get bigger we have considered purchasing this device. Your opinion is valued.

    Eric

  2. Jennifer says:

    Ah, very timely! I see Johnny’s finally has it back in-stock online!

  3. mayda says:

    Hey there, thanks for this post! Just wondering– What is your seeding rate for greens in the field so you get that kind of cover across the bed? Thanks!

    • broadforkfarm says:

      Without going back to look at my records, and based on the photos, that stand was likely seeded with a Jang Clean Seeder, roller XY-12, front gear 14, rear 9. I think there were 7 or 8 rows on an approximately 42″ bed. We have also tried using Johnny’s six row seeder, doing 3 passes (18 rows, 1 inch spacing in row) on the same sized bed. I’m still getting familiar with using the 6-row and so I tend to use the Jang more often (also a bit easier to use on parts of our farm where the soil is a little more stony). Hope this helps!

  4. Jason L says:

    Hey thanks for this post. I’ve been debating this harvester for too long. We now harvest around 300lbs of baby mix a week with knife and harvest totes. I haven’t jumped in this harvester due to the ergonomics. When I watch people use it they are half bent and usually twisted weird. Granted, harvesting by hand isn’t a cake walk but at least I can control my body mechanics to not injure myself.

    I could imagine turning the drill so the handle faced the direction you are cutting towards and walking backwards would stop the twist of the body. Then mount it on an old reel mower so o could stand upright. I would also probably change my beds from 40 inches to a size where I could straddle the bed. That’s a lot of lost growing space though.

    Two years later, did you return the harvester or are you still using it?

    Thank you!

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