Orchard Gardens gets squeaky clean


At Orchard Gardens, our crew takes pride in our dirty hands — a sign of a hard day’s work. On harvest day though, we like our produce to look clean, fresh, and vibrant. Thanks to the work of our CSA member, Josh Decker, our veggies are the squeakiest clean around.

When Josh approached Sarah with a generous offer to volunteer his carpentry skills for an on-farm project, Sarah immediately knew where his talents could be put to work: a sturdy wash shed structure that would protect the farm crew and the produce from the elements. The resulting wash shed is beautiful, functional, and — on its test run Monday — received rave reviews from farmers and volunteers alike.

The shed includes two large bath tubs for soaking or spraying vegetables, a cover (a salvaged parachute) to provide shade, and plenty of room for a table, the array of tools and materials, the farm crew, AND volunteers. The design provides protection from the sun and wind. As the temperatures rise, it is imperative that produce get cooled down as soon as it leaves the field (particularly greens). Clean, well-groomed produce is aesthetically pleasing and easier for the recipients of our harvest to prepare and cook. Not only will CSA members, Orchard Gardens Farm Stand participants, and Mobile Market customers now enjoy fresher, cleaner produce, working in the wash shed puts a smile on all of faces! Thanks Josh!

What to do with all that squeaky clean, crisp produce? I’d recommend thinly slicing it (no need to cook these tender young early summer veggies!) and wrapping them up as spring rolls, as inspired here.

We’ll have more from the gardens and farm next Thursday.  Happy 4th everyone!