The First Harvest: Lettuce and Spinach

The first harvest has finally started!

The lettuce and spinach took about 38 days to go from seed to the students’ plates.  The first harvest was actually on November 28th and will continue up until the end of the semester and beyond.  Then it is time to replant and get started on next semester’s crop.

I was able to taste some of the lettuce right after cutting it and it hands down beats anything that you get in the store in terms of taste, crunch, etc.  It was tangy, sweet, and totally awesome.  Since it is a spring mix you will get a variety of flavors and colors which contribute a lot to your overall wellness.

After cutting the lettuce heads and before I could bring it to the cafeteria I had to wash, clean, and pick out the less than excellent pieces of lettuce.

After washing I needed to dry the lettuce to prevent it from wilting or molding because of moisture.  (Note:  Ever wonder why lettuce looks gross after a few days if left in the store plastic bags?  It is because they “mist” the lettuce to make it look more appetizing and keep it humidified.  To reduce this and prolong your lettuce you should take it out at home and immediately dry it before putting it in the refrigerator.)

I originally was patting with a dry paper towel and letting it air dry.  The process was too labor intensive and I have since moved on to a salad spinner.  It basically acts like a washing machine and spins the lettuce fast to throw the water to the side which can be drained and voila.  Lettuce done in a few seconds.

Finally, I needed to weigh my haul.

This shows me exactly how much to charge and I can determine yields per square foot for future planting references.


Well, back to the farm.

Farmer Tuley

About ideadonnafarm

I am the resident farmer for IDEA Public Schools in Donna, Texas. I, along with the students, tend an acre right on the school grounds. The things I grow go straight to the students plate, fresh and healthy. This blog is about the projects, ideas (pun), and all around happenings on the IDEA Donna farm. If you live in the area and want to help out, feel free to email me at
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