The goal of good harvesting is to maximize your crop yield and minimize any crop losses & quality deterioration.

*Tips & Pics: Steve Albert @  


Swiss chard harvest


  • Harvest Swiss chard as close to mealtime as possible for the best flavor.
  • Cut chard with garden scissors or serrated bread knife.
  • Cut chard leaf by leaf—cut the outer leaves first allowing the inner leaves to grow larger–or cut away the whole plant one inch (2.5 cm) above the soil. Either way, the plant will keep producing new leaves.
  • Soil often sticks to the ruffled leaves of chard. To clean leaves fill a sink with lukewarm water and swish the leaves around then lift the leaves and set them in a colander to drain; repeat this process if soil remains. Air dry or pat leaves dry with a cloth or paper towel before storing.
  • Cut out the midrib of larger leaves before serving greens raw or cooked. Large leaves are best chopped and cooked down like spinach, or used in casseroles, soups, and pasta.


kale in garden


  • Kale is ready for harvest as soon as the leaves are large enough to eat.
  • Cut kale leaves as needed (called cut-and-come-again) new leaves will grow from the center of the plant.
  • Cut kale leaves one-by-one as needed with garden scissors or knife or cut away the whole head. If you cut kale leaves as needed (called cut-and-come-again) new leaves will grow from the center of the plant.
  • After harvesting kale, wash the leaves thoroughly to remove any soil that may be clinging to the leaves.
  • Toss it with Pasta. Kale and pasta go together beautifully
  • Serve it in a Salad. Chop it up and toss it in with other salad veggies
  • Add Kale to Scrambled Eggs
  • Make Kale Chips


Lettuce harvest


  • Harvest lettuce when the leaves have elongated, formed midribs, and overlapped to form a fairly tight head–about 6 to 8 inches tall.
  • Harvest whole heads or individual leaves with a sharp knife or garden pruner.
  • If you don’t want to cut the whole plant at once then snip or break away older leaves—whatever size—from the outside allowing younger leaves at the center (called the central bud) to continue growing for later use. This type of harvest is called “cut-and-come-again.”
  • Serve it in a Salad. Chop it up and toss it in with other salad veggies
  • Lettuce Wraps. Use the larger leaves to wrap around veggies, protein, and condiments like a taco



  • Flat-leaf parsley—also called Italian parsley–has flat green leaves that resemble celery leaves on stalks 18 to 24 inches (45-60 cm) tall. Flat-leaf parsley has a more pungent and more persistent taste than curly parsley. It is the tastiest parsley for cooking.
  • Select parsley that is crisp and green with a fresh, clean aroma. Avoid sprigs that are yellow, brown, or wilted.
  • Parsley has a clean, fresh, peppery flavor that makes it a good match for all savory dishes.
  • Add chopped parsley to sliced tomatoes and toss with a vinaigrette. Add chopped parsley to scrambled eggs or an omelet.
  • Add chopped parsley with butter or olive oil to make a sauce for boiled new potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.
  • Add chopped parsley to soups, stews, roasts, fish, poultry, stuffings, butters, and vinegars.


Cherry tomatoes in pots


  • Harvest a tomato before its skin loses its waxy smoothness.
  • Tomato flavor becomes more complex as the fruit ripens.  Tomatoes ripen from the inside out.
  • Green tomatoes that have reached three-fourths of their mature size can ripen off the vine. Place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana at room temperature out of direct sunlight; ethylene gas given off by the fruit will speed tomato ripening.
  • If temperatures turn hot for an extended period, tomatoes on the vine will turn a yellowish-orange color and not be flavorful; in very hot regions, it is better to harvest tomatoes at the pink stage and ripen them at cooler temperatures indoors.
  • In the fall when a frost or a freeze threatens, nearly mature green tomatoes can be picked and wrapped individually in newspaper and stored at room temperature in the dark until they ripen.
  • Harvest tomatoes by cutting them from the vine with a garden pruner or sharp knife. Ripe tomatoes will often come off the vine with a simple twist.
  • Toss tomatoes in a salad with mixed greens and dressing ( ie. olive oil, balsamic, parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Lightly cook tomatoes in pan with seasoning to make a fresh tomato sauce. Pour over cooked pasta.
  • Slice and place in between toasted bread with mayo, lettuce, and seasoning.


*Tips & Pics: Steve Albert @