Sattin Hill Market Farming Course Module 18: Wash-Pack Station (FSFS256)

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Episode Summary

This episode of Farm Small Farm Smart features the eighteenth module of the Sattin Hill Market Farming Course, where Josh Sattin talks all about the wash pack station, from planning out the layout, to plumbing, to all the different elements that make up a good wash pack station.

Today’s Guest: Josh Sattin

Josh Sattin is a farmer at Sattin Hill Farm in Raleigh, North North Carolina. As an educator and professional videographer, Josh has published hundreds of educational farming videos on his YouTube to help make a difference in the local farming and foodscape.

            Josh Sattin – YouTube | Instagram | Website

In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • An overview of the Sattin Hill Farm Course Module 18 (00:53)
  • The importance of having an efficiently designed wash pack station (01:10)
    • Set up the wash pack station before you start going (02:28)
    • Get it away from the weather (03:05)
    • Ensure adequate lighting (03:47)
  • Think about a high-quality, potable water source (04:22)
  • Planning the plumbing: water in and water out (05:48)
    • Consider pressure and volume (06:34)
    • Large, dedicated drainage pipes (07:46)
  • The different elements of Josh Sattin’s wash pack station (11:35)
    • The greens bubbler (12:04)
    • Hudson float valve (15:18)
    • A fry basket (16:45)
    • Salad spinner (18:02)
    • Drying screen (19:48)
    • Packing table (21:22)
    • A reliable scale (21:44)
    • Packaging bags or containers (22:05)
    • A general washing sink (22:32)
    • Refrigeration or walk-in coolers (23:46)
    • A wire rack on wheels (26:25)

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FSFS256 (SHFC #17)

[00:00:00] Diego Footer: Welcome to farm small farm smart. I'm your host Diego, DIEGO. Today it's Sattin hill farm course module 18 on the wash pack station. If you wanna watch Josh's presentation of this module, you can do so on his YouTube channel by visiting the link below. And if you wanna read and view additional resources related to this module and all previous 17 modules, you can do so at also linked to below. Now let's jump into it. Module 18 of the Sattin hill farm course on the wash pack station.

[00:00:40] Josh Sattin: Welcome to module 18 of the satin hill farm course. This module is all about the wash pack station. And before we get into it, I set to have a huge thanks to our sponsor, Paperpot Co. Without the help of Diego and Paperpot Co., this entire course wouldn't be possible. And more on them later.

[00:00:52] In this module, I'll cover the importance of having a really good wash pack station. I'll talk a little bit about plumbing, of course, my setup and all the different elements that I have going on in my wash pack station, refrigeration, and a few other things

[00:01:10] Before we get into all the details of my wash pack station here. And of course we will get into all those details. I wanna first talk about the importance. Of not only having a wash pack station, but the importance of having an efficient and streamlined wash pack station. Now we all know that we have to harvest wash and packer vegetables, but what a lot of people don't know is literally how much time market gardeners spend in their wash pack station.

[00:01:32] So it's usually at least 50% of your time is spent washing and packing vegetables. It can be even up to 70%. So anything you can do to make it more efficient and more streamlined and save. And energy, the more time, energy you have to put on other things in your life. So I spent a lot of time thinking about that in terms of how mine's set up here.

[00:01:51] And I'll talk about my design and efficiency and flow, but keep in mind when you are designing your wash pack station, you wanna think about the workflow. And how things are gonna be moving around, but also how people are gonna be moving around. So for me here, I'm in my, uh, small two car garage, which never has cars in anymore, but I'm only using a, a fraction of it here.

[00:02:09] I don't know the square footage. I think it's maybe 35, 40 square feet that you're looking at over here. So it's not a lot, but this is designed for me to work in by myself. So if you have a crew or you might have a crew down the road, you might have two, three or more people working in your wash station.

[00:02:23] You gotta think about how it's gonna work. This is designed for one person here. I literally, I don't think I could have another person. Now another thing I wanna mention, not only just in the design and layout, which we will get into is you wanna make sure that you do all of this. You set up your wash pack station before you even get going on your farm.

[00:02:39] This is a really common mistake. People start building tunnels, building beds, planting stuff, and then. All of a sudden, the season starts rolling in there's crops, going off the field. And they're like, oh my, how do I wash these? So plan ahead at Raleigh CD farm, this is something we did as soon as we could, as soon as we, you know, could finalize our plans and get going, we needed to get our wash station up and rolling before we started pulling crops off the field, because then.

[00:03:00] You're not gonna be able to wash and pack them. So make sure you, you know, have that all set up ahead of time. Another important part of the wash pack station is getting it out of the weather. I think a lot of people try to just set things up outside, but as soon as the summer rolls around and the heat's bearing down on you.

[00:03:14] You want to be in the shade for sure. Having fans, or if you can, like, for me in my garage here, I have a window in the back. So I have an air conditioning unit. So in the summertime I can come in here and it stay's pretty cool in the wintertime. I have a small space heater that I pull out and I can keep warming here.

[00:03:29] That goes a long way for your own personal comfort or, and, and anyone that's working with you, have you ever tried to wash vegetables in the. It's miserable and especially in the heat too, and not just for the people themselves, but if it's really hot, a lot of the vegetables will start struggling too. So if you can keep it cooler in here, that's, uh, that's great.

[00:03:47] In addition to the workflow and stuff and all the elements which I'll get into, make sure you have decent lighting in, in your wash pack station. You can't see if things are dirty or clean, if you can't see them. So I have some strip lights over here. These are actually old grow lights from my grow rack.

[00:04:00] If you remember that I had them laying around and then I also have some under my drying screen here, just so I could see what I'm doing. You know, the, the final packaging that you do, you, you have to make sure that what you're putting in the bags or sending out looks good and you can do that, that quality assessment. So make sure you have good lighting in your wash pack station.

[00:04:22] water is gonna be super important in your wash pack station. You're gonna need a good amount of it, and you're also gonna need to be high quality and potable. So you might have a different water source in your wash pack station than you have in your field. Of course the wash pack station might be in a different area, so it might have a different water source, but you can use different water for irrigation than you can for washing vegetables.

[00:04:41] So here in the wash station, I'm tied into my house water, which is on our house. Well, and this act, the water comes through here is through our house water filter system. So SEP separate from the irrigation setup where I have just a, uh, basic sediment filter. I have a, um, you know, a carbon filter and a sediment filter on my.

[00:04:57] So I use that just to sort of clean up the water a little bit, but make sure it's potable. Makes sure you have enough of it. And of course, if it's colder, that's better. So for me here, like I said, we're on our house, well system, even in the summertime, the water's probably at most 50 or 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great for washing vegetables, the colder, the water, the better, uh, so that you can.

[00:05:16] Bring down the temperature of the field heat. We'll talk about more of that in the next module, which is about harvesting. So keep that in mind. Also, if you are pulling in city water in the summertime, especially in the south here, I know our groundwater can, if you're on city, water can get up to 80 or 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

[00:05:31] Of course, if you're further south it's even warmer. So having cool water, some people you won't add ice. To their wash station or into their bubbler, just to keep it a little bit cooler. So keep that in mind, you don't wanna have super warm water and you need to have good quality potable water for all of your washing needs.

[00:05:48] Now let's talk about plumbing, both in terms of water, coming into the wash station and draining out. So this takes some planning and if you're not comfortable with plumbing, just get someone to help you. You could even hire a plumber, but a lot of this is pretty basic. You could probably take care of it yourself.

[00:06:01] So of course, where's your water coming in? As I said, it's coming in from my. And so I have three quarter inch water lines all throughout my house. So what I did was I ran a line back to the source, right after the water comes into my house. And after my water filters, I ran a dedicated three quarter inch line into my garage here because I wanted to have maximum water flow.

[00:06:19] As I said, part of the wash pack station is efficiency, and one of the bottlenecks is filling up your bubbler. So you're limited in how fast the water can come in. So I recommend trying to get as much water into the wash station as possible. And of course you're doing a lot of root washing. And spraying and stuff like that.

[00:06:34] You're going to have a lot of pressure and a lot of volume. So get 'em as much water in as possible. So for me, it all comes in. It's down here behind my bubbler and it comes up to this. I have a little manifold here, sorry. This is all kind of messy over here with the wires. And let me just, let me just say really quickly, all this is plugged into a GFI outlet.

[00:06:50] So if you don't have one of those. Make sure all of your electrical stuff is plugged into a GFI outlet because it'll keep you safe from getting shocked and, and all that sort of stuff. If you dunno how to do that, again, call an electrician, but it's super important. So sorry for all the messiness back here, but basically I create these little manifolds.

[00:07:04] I've done this, uh, at Raleigh city farm too. Basically the water comes in here and then gets redirected out. So right here, this is what goes to my bubbler. This here is another sprayer. So I have a dedicated spray out for my greens bubbler. And then I have water that gets sent over to the. The laundry sink over here.

[00:07:22] So having dedicated hoses, hoses and sprayers are awesome. I used to have just one hose for the whole wash pack station, but this is great. And especially if you have multiple people working, you don't have to look for a hose or drag it across the, you know, the floor or whatever. This literally is just here to spray this out super handy.

[00:07:40] Uh, I really like that feature and not have to have, you know, all sorts of hoses getting dragged around and stuff. All right. So let's talk about the drainage. So for me, I have three elements that. Had to have drainage, cuz I'm focused on washing greens in here mostly. So I have a greens bubbler, we have the salad spinner and then we also have over here, the, um, the laundry sink.

[00:08:02] And so these are all tied into one common drain system. And so we are using a two inch PVC drain. They all tie into which has been working great. Uh, having a big drain is super helpful because one of the bottlenecks, as I mentioned is the greens bubble. In filling that up, but also draining it. So the faster you can drain the greens bubble or the faster you can refill it.

[00:08:21] So I wanted to put in a big drain. And so all this is tied into just two inch PVC. I made a detailed video about this when we built the wash station, which I'll leave link down below. If you wanna see all the details, uh, if you need help with plumbing, hire a plumber, or get a friend to come over. A lot of this is pretty simple, but just think about where all the water's gonna go.

[00:08:39] And of course the wider, the drain, the fascial drain, but also the less likely it'll be to clog, which is super important. If you have. Chunky stuff or bits of lettuce or whatever that winds up getting down the drain. It won't get clogged cuz you have a nice big opening. And one addition to that is with this whole system is that I added a vent over here and this is just tied in, this is an open piece of tubing.

[00:09:00] That's tied in the bottom of the tea and that allows the water to float very quickly. So just like with regular plumbing, if you have a vent in there, it allows smooth water, smooth drainage. And so we put that in and the drainage works great. But one thing that's I just wanna show you, which is interesting.

[00:09:14] You know, we have a garage door here and as I mentioned, we also, uh, don't have a floor drain. So let me show you this little work around and how I made it happen to get the water out of here. Originally here at the farm, I used one of those, uh, flat lay hoses that opens up when it fills up. And I just ran under the garage door.

[00:09:30] It worked okay. Sometimes it would take some finesing and I wanted a better solution for two reasons. First of which is I wanted to be more robust and drain a lot faster. but also I was dumping all the water into my driveway here, which is wind up in one of our, you know, garden beds in front of our house and killing everything.

[00:09:44] Cuz you have to think out where the water's gonna go. So what we did is we ran this two inch PVC line. This is the main drain. So you can see right here, this is where the, uh, the bubble ties in and all the rest of the plumbing comes in from around the back of all this stuff. And this gets directed. Out under my porch and away from the house.

[00:10:01] And there's a downhill slope over there. So again, if you watch a plumbing video, you'll see that. But one thing here is I just made a short section of PVC plumbing, PVC pipe with unions on them. And I just unscrew these. Which is pretty simple

[00:10:20] and then the door can close. So this is just a little solution that I came up with, not to say this is like a great solution, but I just wanna show you that. Once you pull that out, the garage door can close. No problem. I didn't have to put a hole in my garage door, and this is how it looks with that little connector piece in there.

[00:10:36] And also with the door down. So to do this, I just detached the garage door opener and put it in manual mode and then just slowly lower it down. And then when I'm done washing, I'll pull it back up and take this out and then I can close the garage door all the way. It does leave a little bit of a gap in the bottom and I've.

[00:10:51] In the summertime when it's super hot, uh, a lot of heat will get in that way. So I think eventually I might even like figure out some way to close that gap with foam or wood or something so that it can stay a little bit more pleasant there while I'm washing. But this is how it works. It's, uh, it's a little bit of work around, but it's been working out.

[00:11:08] So there are a lot of clever ways to do this, but think about how your water is getting out of your wash station and where it's going. You don't wanna just dump it every. Because this tank will hold a lot of water. And when that goes out, you know, you could cause, cause damage to things. If you don't have a dedicated space for it.

[00:11:23] So just think about the water coming in, how you're gonna redirect it around your wash station, to all the different elements. And then of course, how you get it outta here.

[00:11:35] As I said, this is designed really for just me to be working in here. So the different elements we have, the greens bubbler, the salad spin. And the, the drying screen. And then we have a sink in the back. So in terms of this being set up for me personally, and one person I'll fill this up with water, I'll add the greens, bubble them, transfer them over to the spinner and then take the basket, dump it on the drying screen.

[00:11:54] And while that's all going on, I'll be on the other side of the drying screen packing off. So let's go through all these details. The

[00:12:04] first element of the wash station is the greens bubble. Now each of these pieces is crucial to the operat. But the greens bubble are super cool for a lot of reasons. Now, traditionally in small farms and market gardens, they would have three basins of water. They dump it in the first. Then they transfer the product to the second and then transfer to the third and each succession it'll get cleaner.

[00:12:22] You've probably seen triple washed labeled on bags in the supermarket and things like that. So that's where that came from. But the greens bubble kind of allows you to do this all in one step, which is why it's so great and it's very effective. So I had a smaller one before. This is I think 110 gallon tank.

[00:12:37] I will try to leave links down below for everything I can think of that I've used in this. But, uh, this is a bigger tank, which I like a lot. I think originally I was using like a 70 or 75 gallon tank, but having a bigger tank allows you to wash more at once. But even if you put in the same amount on every.

[00:12:52] um, rotation. It allows more of the more action and allows the, the greens and stuff to move around more and get clean better. So this is, this is fantastic. Now a couple things about my bubbler. This, uh, was kind of a prototype that I was working with farmer's friend on, uh, last year or two years ago. And they sent me some stuff to try out.

[00:13:11] So. There's a lot of stuff in this bubble that I'm not really happy with. But like I said before, once you get rolling on the farm and you're in your season, it's hard to stop and, and, and work on your wash station. So I've been rolling with it. So I will show you kind of what this looks like to give you some ideas.

[00:13:25] I don't think there is a super streamlined setup for this. It's very, very basic. Essentially you have, uh, an air blower going into a man of old in the bottom. You have some sort of drain in there and then you have a way to bring in water. So those are all the elements. So let me go through and show you what I got going on here.

[00:13:40] As I. I'm not super happy with it, but it's been working, but it'll hopefully give you some ideas about how to, how to do this. Here's what it looks like inside the bubbler. And we have this manifold, which is a combination of PVC and vinyl tubing with holes in it. Uh, you have to experiment with the holes and the number of holes in the size of them to make sure you get the right flow.

[00:14:01] So give it a. This all comes apart, which is great. Cuz I can clean it. I can soak it. I can do whatever I want. But the one thing I don't like about this system is they had the idea of putting the air coming in from below. They didn't wanna have anything like in your way, this made this way more complicated for a bunch of reasons.

[00:14:18] I don't need to get into as I would definitely recommend that you bring the air in. This is the, the blower in the back. , this is the blower that goes underneath and up. I definitely would say that it's a lot simpler to just bring the airline into here and just deal with that obstruction. It just simplifies a lot.

[00:14:35] I'll just say that. So definitely don't go through the bottom like this, but again, I was, I was working with farmers friend to work on a prototype and, uh, so that's what I have right now. I'm just kind of working around it. I'll probably change this in the future. And just to show you another design of a manifold, this is the original one that I had in my other system.

[00:14:51] And this is where it attached with a union to the blower. This worked great. I had zero complaints about this setup, and again, this is just something simple. As I said, like a manifold that goes along the bottom with a bunch of holes in it, I will leave links down below for all of the different setups of wash stations that I've had over the years.

[00:15:06] I'll leave those videos linked down below. But again, this is not super crucial. Just make sure you have coverage along the bottom and some holes. And I like the ability to take it apart and clean it. So just give you. Another idea here, bringing water in is, uh, as I said is important because you need the water in the tank, but also bringing it in quickly.

[00:15:24] And one thing that I recommend is having this here. This is what's called a Hudson float valve. This is actually, I think it comes with a one inch. Thread, but I just adapted it three quarter here. Of course, if you have one inch line, you guys can figure all the stuff out. This is great because as the water fills up in here, it'll shut the water off, which is super important for a few reasons.

[00:15:43] One is you always get a consistent fill. So once you figure out the level of water that works in your system, you'll have the same level all the time. Also, you can turn this on and walk away and not have this thing over. This has saved me so many times and just made the whole thing run so much more efficiently, highly recommend the Hudson.

[00:15:59] Flowal not very expensive. Now the drain on the bottom is something else that I wanna talk about. I don't like this drain either because there's a little bit of a lip here. And so it's hard to, um, get all of the, if there's any like bugs or dirt or anything that comes off the greens, which this is why you're washing them.

[00:16:15] It's really hard to get them out. I have yet to find a good solution for this, where you can get a flush drain. So again, this is not one that I'd re. But like usual, you know, I'm just showing you guys stuff that I use, but, uh, give you some ideas. I don't think there is a perfect way to do this. I think a lot of people are still trying to sort this out, but some sort of arrangement where you have a manifold.

[00:16:37] Where the air comes in, gets bubbled through these little holes, and then you have a nice fill with a valve and a drain. That's pretty much all you need. One other thing I recommend is something like this. This is like a fry basket or something. And I use this to scoop the greens out from here into the salad spinner.

[00:16:53] So I, in the next module, as I said, I'll go through how I do all this stuff, but I just wanted to show you more of a breakdown about all the parts here. And this big stand is just on. Uh, this, this bubble here is on a wooden stand that I built. Just make sure it's heavy enough, uh, sturdy enough to support the weight.

[00:17:08] This gets pretty heavy. Let me jump in here real quick and take a minute to talk about our sponsor paper pot co, as I mentioned at the VA of this module and in every module, this entire course is sponsored by paper pot, co. I literally couldn't make this course and give away for free to all of you on YouTube, without the help generosity and support of Dao and paper bot co their commitment to the farming community is really unparalleled.

[00:17:28] You should definitely go check out what they have for sale in terms of tools, equipment, and They're a reliable place to buy things from, and they have great customer service. In addition to providing those things for the farming community. They also provide a lot of farming education through sponsoring things like this course, but also Diego's an awesome content creator.

[00:17:45] So check out his YouTube channel, but also his podcast like farm, small farm smart and carrot cash flow. In addition to all that great stuff, there are extra resources for this course over at paper, Back to the module.

[00:18:02] After you pull the greens out of the bubbler, we're gonna put them in our salad spinner. This is a modified washing machine and there's certain models and stuff that work better. I made a full video about how I built this and all the models and details. I'll leave that link down below as well. So basically we have a wash machine that we kind of rip all the guts out of, and it just runs on the spin cycle.

[00:18:20] So it doesn't go through the whole thing. And there's a drain on this, which I mentioned before, which ties into that whole two inch system over here. We have a timer, which is awesome. This one, I just set it to how many minutes I usually run it for six or seven minutes per cycle. And it gets most of the water out.

[00:18:36] And the reason why I have it up high, like. Is that it keeps it dryer. If there's any spray or anything like that. Although this, at this point, there's not much water going on. It's all kind of lower, but I also don't have to reach over and it's outta the way. So it's pushed back. So if it was up in the front, I'd probably hit it.

[00:18:50] So again, workflow ergonomics, all that stuff you wanna think about. This is all in that design that I, that I mentioned now, what, what I use here is a fish basket I got this years ago from agri. It needs to be replaced soon. I don't know if they still sell them. You have hold to buy 'em online. Um, but you've probably seen these around before.

[00:19:07] Just a big basket. You can have a couple of these if you need them, so you can get a bunch ready or you can use this for other stuff, but I just have one, because again, this is a very straightforward wash station with just me working in it. It just sits in there. I'll scoop the greens in here, spin it, and then I'll take this and dump it on my drying screen.

[00:19:24] So this is a super important part. If you're just getting started, you can use one of those hand crank machines that are like a hundred bucks. Once you get to any sort of scale, you're gonna want this and it just makes your life a lot easier and it gets the throughput going a lot quicker. This is not a big investment.

[00:19:38] I spent maybe a few hundred dollars on a washing machine and, uh, get up and rolling this thing's great.

[00:19:48] The drying screen is a crucial piece of equipment for this system and it does a couple of different. First of all, I'll talk about what this is. This is basically a, a, a simple two by four structure with three box fans on the top that blows air through the greens. There is, I think it's quarter inch hardware cloth on the bottom here.

[00:20:04] There's no specific design here. Just kind of whatever works. The neat thing here is that, as I said, I put a light under here, which really helps me see what's going on under here, unless you have really bright lights in, in your area, but this has been helpful. The other thing is that it rotates in the middle.

[00:20:19] So we have just a bolt with a nut going through there. It allows it to. And it's pretty tight, so I don't have to like lock it in place or anything. Uh, this, this is great. And for the reason that I have this is that when you're done, you can turn this, like this smack the bottom and all the greens fall out.

[00:20:33] And you're good to go for the next round, especially important if you're switching between like you're watching, you know, baby kale or arugula and you have to go to lettuce. You wanna dump that out, get all the material out and then start your next round. Or if you're at the end of the, the, the whole cycle and you wanna just get everything off of there, super easy to do that, sweep it up, get the greens outta here.

[00:20:49] Now this doubles for two things, first of all, gets the water off and that's again, helps with keeping the greens to last a lot longer. But the other thing is it's sort of like a sorting screen or a quality control area. So once all the greens are laid out here, you can easily see what you're doing because of course the light bit's also spread out.

[00:21:07] So this is the last step in quality control. I can look through. And if there's anything that looks, you know, bad or not up to your par, you can pull that out. And then we'll package this off here onto this little table that I have over here.

[00:21:22] You'll need some sort of table to package things on and just store things for a moment. And this little table has been more than enough for me here. I think having a slightly larger table would be helpful in some situations and I'm constantly using other services and stuff, but I had this laying around and it's stainless.

[00:21:36] So it's easy to. This, uh, you could kind of use whatever you have or you can get your hands on. So as I said, I'll pull the greens off of here and package onto here. This is the scale I use. Make sure I mentioned this in the tools and equipment module. You have a good scale. I really like this Torah one.

[00:21:53] It's a little pricey, totally worth it. Um, Yeah, you don't wanna short your customers that needs to be reliable. You don't, that's one thing you don't wanna waste time in is your, is weighing things out, especially if you're using small quantities, you wanna be quick and accurate. Uh, for packaging, I use one bag.

[00:22:08] Uh, this is one I get, I get these from you line because I'm selling two restaurants. I only kind of sell in larger quantities. I use one bag and then I put a rubber bander on the top and I have a Sharpie here. to label how many pounds in there, if it's not something standard, this is the whole setup. So keep it really simple.

[00:22:24] Don't keep a lot of clutter around. Just keep what you need and keeps it streamlined and simplified.

[00:22:32] The last element of the wash station in terms of wet work is the, the sink here. This is a double wide laundry sink. I got this at Lowe's. It was pretty INP. And it ties into the whole drained system. And as I mentioned before, we have it owned, dedicated hose and drop for this. So I have a ball valve over here to turn on and off, and I have, uh, a sprayer here.

[00:22:53] So this just, it lives in here for this. So that's really easy, has a separate thing. I don't have to be dragging hoses around. I keep saying about efficiency. I use this to wash root vegetables mainly so like carrots and bee. So I'll wash them here and then I can put them on the drying screen, which is right next to it here.

[00:23:08] So it's super handy else uses to spray out totes and other stuff like that. So having a general like wash sink is good, especially if you're doing roots, you're gonna need somewhere. You can spray things off. A lot of people will do have, they'll do this outside and they'll just have like a table with screen on it and they'll just spray it in.

[00:23:22] The water will go through. That's another great solution. You don't have to deal with drainage and all that kind of. But for me, especially with the heat here in the summer. And you know, if it gets really hot and I have to wash vegetables and of course in the wintertime wet work outside is miserable. So keep being inside is handy.

[00:23:37] This is my solution for that. It's pretty inexpensive and is very versatile.

[00:23:46] You'll definitely need some refrigeration on your farm for a couple reasons. The biggest one is after you're done harvesting, washing, and packing your vegetables, you need a place to store them before you either. Go to your farmer's market or you're gonna be making your deliveries. And usually this is something that people don't think about a lot, because sometimes it can be a pretty big expense.

[00:24:05] The best thing I'd recommend is a walk-in cooler of some sort. So you can do that by either building sort of a false room and then insulating it. There's lots of videos online about it. I've never done it personally and using a cool bot and an air conditioner and the cool bot controls. The air conditioner allows you to keep it cool in there.

[00:24:21] That's a great option. Another one is if a restaurant. Closing, or you can sometimes find these deals on, uh, commercial walk-in fridges, where the air compressor is, or the compressor on the air conditioning unit has dye. You get a pretty good deal on it and then retrofit it with an, um, a cool bot, an air conditioner.

[00:24:37] That's another option. And Raleigh city farm. We had a insulated trailer that we used with a cool bot and air conditioner that worked great. I wasn't there for the build process, but it's something we had. And, but you could move around the farm or if you're moving from one farm to. There's a lot of options out there.

[00:24:50] What I've used is this small, uh, commercial walk-in cooler. And this is not really an ideal solution, but it's been working out for me. And like I said, with everything, I'll just show you what I've been using. So this here. I got it really cheap from some guy locally. I don't know. This thing is ancient, but it still runs.

[00:25:06] It's fine. And one thing about it is that I only turn it on usually one day a week, so I'll turn it on the day I'm harvesting. And then I deliver the next day. So I turn it off. So it only runs one day a week, unless I have stuff in here that needs to be cooled all the time. If I'm har constantly harvesting.

[00:25:19] You know, things like cucumbers or squash or something that need to be harvested, you know, every day or two, then I'll have it running, but most weeks I just have it off. And, uh, just turn on that one day. So really saving electricity, two things. This is good for, of course, after you're done washing and packing your veggies, you need the store in here, but also when you're coming off the field and you're doing all your harvesting.

[00:25:36] So for me, I don't have a crew here, so I do all my harvesting and then I wash. The nice thing is I can move all these shelves around and stuff. And also can put my harvest bins right in here. So when I'm harvesting, I'll bring everything off the field, put it in the fridge, have it start cooling down. And then when I'm done harvesting, I can transition over to washing.

[00:25:53] So again, this has been working for me. It gets crowded sometimes, uh, depending on how much I'm harvesting that week. But if, uh, you run outta room over and over again, think about getting more space, uh, think about how you can keep things in bins, because that really simplifies your life. When you're harvesting, you pull it right off, put it in the fridge, especially in the summertime when you're trying to get the field heat.

[00:26:11] Uh, if this farm got any bigger than this, I'd probably have to invest in another one of these or maybe another solution. But for now, this has been working. Just wanna show you what I have going on at the farm here.

[00:26:25] This is also a really cool piece of equipment in the wash pack station. This is just a wire rack on wheels, and this is what I used to use for my grow lights and doing micro greens and starts in here before I had a nursery. And it doesn't have to be this size. This one is a two foot by four foot wide. Uh, I kind of think the bigger, the better, but the best thing is that it's on wheels and it has a lot of different, um, shelves on it, which is fantastic.

[00:26:47] So what I use this for is generally after I wash my root vegetables and they put 'em on the drawing screen for a few minutes, they'll go on here to continue drying while I wash my greens. And so it just gives me more time for them to dry out and then I can pack off of it pretty easily. So I'll just lay out.

[00:27:04] Or beets on here and kinda let them dry. If you are a little bit more in a hurry. I think one cool thing would be put a couple fans on the top here to try to blow some air through, give you just extended drying space, uh, as you're doing that. But this is fantastic. Gives you a lot of flexibility and I wanna make one other point here is that if you are your wash pack station is you have a poured floor, cement floor or something like that.

[00:27:23] Anything on wheels is great, cuz you can move things around, especially at different times of the year when you're harvesting different kinds of vegetables, give you some flexibility. This, something like this. Uh, I, I, if I had a bigger wash station, I probably have a bunch of these they're super, super handy.

[00:27:36] Well, hopefully this gave you some good ideas. If you're looking to build a new wash station or maybe improve your efficiencies and workflow in your current wash station, if you have any questions, there'll be a live stream on Monday at 3:00 PM Eastern. And if you're curious about how this all works, the next module module 19, which is the last module of the course will be all about harvesting, washing, packing, and selling

[00:27:56] Diego Footer: there you have it sat hill farm course module 18. If you wanna watch Josh's presentation of this module or read additional resources related to this module and all the other modules, please visit paper Or use the link below that's all for this one. Thanks for listening until next time. Be nice. Be thankful and do the work.


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