“Farm to Table” is a fancy term that has been thrown around these days, especially among healthy eaters and conscious consumers. While we enjoy these fresh produce and food that is served to our table, we should also acknowledge the process that most people neglect – harvesting.
A main component of farming, proper harvesting plays an important role not only in putting fresh produce on your table, but also in ensuring that the produce that goes out of the farm are of top quality.
Harvesting can simply be done in two ways – by hand or mechanically. Some crops require speed to ensure that produce are harvested quickly and at the correct time – and mechanical harvesting would be suitable for it. Harvesting manually by hand, although time and effort consuming, has many benefits.
The chief advantage of harvesting by hand is that farmers would be able to assure that the crops are ripe at are harvested at the optimum stage and time for high quality produce.
Another benefit of hand harvesting is the decrease in damage on the produce. Some crops are extremely tender and require care when they are uprooted. Hardy crops also benefit from hand harvesting, as they will be subject to minimum damage when handled by humans.
Harvesting Organic Produce
Remember watching shows where people would just walk into a farm, pluck a plant or fruit off the ground and start munching on it? That is the main advantage of organic produce.
Most organic produce are grown without chemicals (Read also: Same Old Brand New Crops), and as such will only require a good rinse under the tap before it is ready to be consumed. Purists prefer to pick them up and taste them straight after harvesting (please refer to your local farmer to ascertain if produce is edible upon harvesting).
Unlike conventionally grown produce that are loaded with chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides which require deep cleaning before packaging and consumption, organic produce that arrive in your markets are as fresh as they get!
(Read also: What You See is What You Get)
Stay tuned as we share more about our harvesting techniques at Quanfa Organic Farm in our next post.
Image by Alex Kolyer for MPR