That’s easy. You grow the lettuce, pick the lettuce, wash and dry the lettuce, toss it in a bowl with some other fresh vegetables and some dressing and you’ve got a fantastic meal that tastes great.
And don’t let anyone put you off by saying “it’s good for you”! Well...that might be the truth, but I love it anyway!
The Houston's Farm Salad Story
We’re a family business. Our farm is set in the idyllic Coal River Valley, in southern Tasmania. We started growing whole lettuce in the early 1990’s with our first production consisting of just 6 boxes of whole head iceberg, complete with fresh mud from the fields.
We soon learnt to listen and respond to what our customers wanted, and what they didn’t want. And they didn’t want dirt with their lettuce. So we experimented with ways of washing and drying it. I know I said it was simple, but it’s quite a science to do it on a large scale.
We’ve learnt so much since then about what it takes to produce a fresh, quality, ready to eat baby salad leaf that bagged and ready to eat. That’s what our customers asked for, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.
What’s the most important ingredient for growing quality lettuce and herbs?
Hmm... the most important ingredient. Where do I start? It helps to have a great location. Here in southern Tasmania, we’re blessed with a cool temperate climate that means we can pretty much grow lettuce all year round. We have a reliable water supply and fertile soil. And access to quality seeds and seedlings, and expert advice that can be called on.
But I’d have to say the most important ingredient is “passion”. You’ve got to have a passion for quality. And you need people working for you who have it too. It’s not a nine to five business. You’ve got to work with the elements and keep ahead of the weather forecast. Cut early when the weather’s about to turn bad, or cut late when there’s dew on the ground. You’ve got to look out for pests and disease that can attack the plants while they are growing. And finally, you've got to cut, wash, dry and transport fresh, delicious baby leaves to customers throughout Australia.