Packing the Truck
For Efficient CSA Delivery I’m Pete Kavakos, and I’m from Stoneledge
Farm in South Cairo, Green County, NY. We’ve been doing CSA for 17, 18 years, somewhere in there now.
This is how we pack and deliver our produce. We do everything in crates and they’re labeled
with an individual color for each individual site. This is one of our charts. We have these all around where we pack and wash everything, really just broken down into our different
delivery days, different numbers for that day. Each location has its own color.
Those are the tags we put on the crates or boxes or whatever is gonna go to that site.
They get put in the cooler, in their spot with their tags and hopefully with the right
number. That’s when the sheets come in to make sure we have the right numbers. It’s
just an easier way to kind of see exactly what needs to be packed. We write down how
many crates that are packed and then when we put it in the cooler, where there’s another
check sheet to make sure that it’s the correct amount. Then we go over that when we’re all
done and everything is in the cooler for that individual day. We write it down neatly and
then when we’re ready to load the truck we have a sheet right there that’s been checked
over 2 or 3 times. And we know exactly how many crates need to be where. Checkerboard
tag is for White Plains, we keep it the same every year so there’s no confusion. Number
of full vegetable shares at that location, number of fruit shares for that location,
name of the location, and the day. There’s no question on how many shares there are for
that site or what color the tag is cause it does take a while to remember them all. You
don’t want to go by memory alone cause it’ll probably be off. So this helps to avoid any
problems. We have around 7 or 8 stops a day, so we have it lined up so that the last stops
are in the back and the first stops are in the front of the truck. When we pick and when
we pack everything is in order in accordance to when we load it on the truck and when we
deliver it. We try to pack the crates as tight as we can and then when we put them in the
truck we keep the pile as tight as we can also and cover it with insulated blankets
and kind of make a nice cold cube of it. The less air moving around in there, the better.
We bring it directly from the cooler onto the truck, pack it in tight and then cover
it up. When we take it out, even later this afternoon it’ll still be just as cold pretty
much as when they left the cooler this morning. We carry everything, once we get the crates
down to the site, we just have handcarts to make the pile, carry the pile. And on the
truck we use bars and make sure the piles tight, for bouncing around through city streets
and everywhere else, you don’t want produce flying all over the back of the truck. And
the blankets help to hold everything down and then tie it in with the bars. We’re confident
everyday that we have the right amount of stuff on the truck. We have great people packing,
been doing it for years now, it’s an important job, extremely important. You can grow it
as nice as you want, make it look as nice as you want, but if you don’t have the right
amount of stuff on the truck than none of that really matters.