Harvest / Postharvest Handling Resources

Here are links to videos on the EarthDance Youtube channel.  How to harvest:

Carrots   –   http://youtu.be/1eNfZmY7Wao

Spinach   –    http://youtu.be/TWTFJ6BbUR0

Chard   –    http://youtu.be/nU7WSoFViyw

Here is April Shelhon’s 2011 Post-Harvest Handling Powerpoint.

Here is a very extensive pdf from the UC Davis Cooperative Extension about Post-Harvest Handling for Organic Crops.

Here is a link to a University of Wisconsin website with further information and other references.

Roxbury Farm Harvest Manual:  http://www.sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/942/Harvest%20Manual%202010.pdf

Food safety and the heat
Pathogenic bacteria thrive in warm temperatures, so pay particular attention to food safety when harvesting, washing, packing, and storing produce in the summer. The guiding principle in food safety should be to prevent pathogens from getting onto your produce in the first place. A set of standards known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) is designed to help you identify potential sources of contamination such as irrigation water, wash water, personal hygiene, packing shed cleanliness, harvest tools and containers, and manure use. For the most part, GAPs are common-sense rules of sanitation such as washing after using the bathroom and using potable running water to wash vegetables. At this time, GAPs are still completely voluntary. However, some wholesale buyers are requiring growers to undergo a GAPs certification process to ensure the rules are being followed.  Many people assume that GAPs will eventually become mandatory.
To learn more about GAPs and how your farm measures up to food safety guidelines, see the self-audit created by the University of California. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/5453/4362.pdf

Post-Harvest Storage

This publication covers post-harvest practices suitable for small-scale operations, and points out the importance of production and harvesting techniques for improving quality and storability. Various methods for cooling fresh produce are discussed, and resources are listed for further information, equipment, and supplies.   ATTRA publication #IP116  http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/postharvest.html

USDA Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks

Here is a link to a site with more ideas on infrastructure to help with cooling.