Leafy green vegetables include items such as spinach, lettuce, arugula, cabbage and radicchio.
Harvesting practices should cause as little mechanical damage as possible to produce. Gentle digging, picking and handling will help reduce crop losses.
Manually harvesting should minimize damage and waste. Growers should harvest with care, by snapping, cutting or pulling the vegetable from the plant in the least damaging manner. The tips of knives should be rounded to minimize inadvertent gouges and excess damage to perennial plants. Knives and clippers should always be well sharpened. All tools should be sanitized regularly, especially when moving from one type of plant to another.
If a small amount of leafy vegetables are being harvested for home use or for sale at a nearby roadside or farmers' market, a small tub of cold water can be useful for cooling the produce. The tub can be brought directly to the field and used by the picker as a field container. Clean water should be used with each lot of produce. Chilling leafy vegetables by using cold water at harvest will help maintain quality and prevent wilting.