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Getting Close

January 16th, 2017

Those spicy microgreens I seeded last week are just about to the stage where I can start harvesting them. I think I can seed them a little more thickly next time. The seeds are supposed to be around 1/4″ apart in the flat. They are quite spicy, I plucked one little seedling from the flat as I watered them and it provided a nice punch of flavor!
spicy microgreens 1
spicy microgreens 2
You’re supposed to harvest them when they get their first set of true leaves, mine are just getting their first true leaf. Technically they are ready to harvest today through Thursday, which is the 10-15 days stated that it takes. I’m going to wait until Thurs, if my office was warmer, they would probably be larger now. I’ll let them get about twice this big, which will provide us with 4-6 meals from my two flats of greens. I’ll definitely be getting a few more flats going this week.

Is anything in season in your area?

Lotsa Lettuce

March 16th, 2015

I’m a sucker for lettuce seeds. When I read through the descriptions and see the beautiful images in the seed catalogs I go a little overboard. I do like a lot of variety in my salad bowl and find that five or six types of lettuce makes for a great salad.
Lettuce seedlings
I have found that lettuce seeds are often best to be purchased fresh each year. I used to keep them for a few years, but germination is so much faster and so many more seeds germinate when the seeds are really fresh. Now all of my leftover seed from the year gets thrown into planters in the fall that get overwintered in the basement. Then I have a nice crop of mesclun for salads in the early winter months.
lettuce 1
On Saturday I started a flat of lettuces & endive, there are 15 varieties in all that were started this go around. There are also three other varieties in planters in the basement…..and I have another 15 that are later season varieties that will replace these when the weather warms up a bit. Then I have another 10-15 varieties that will be grown in the fall/winter. Butterheads are my favorite types of lettuce, with romaine coming in a close second. Leaf lettuce are probably my least favorite. I like a lot of crunch and texture in my lettuce. Endive and other bitter greens are also always in my salad bowl, nothing rounds out sweet greens like a bit a bitterness!

What’s your favorite kind of lettuce to grow?

Gardening Goals

October 8th, 2014

I read a lot of books about gardening, most of my reading on the topic happens in the winter. Last year I purchased Salad Leaves For All Seasons: Organic Growing from Pot to Plot and read through it. I recently pulled it off my bookshelf to read again. This spring I decided that growing greens throughout the year was going to be my gardening goal.
Roxy Lettuce 1
This book is a fantastic guide for this process, with loads of information and recommendations. Of course I’ll need a winter structure of some sort, I designed a low tunnel/greenhouse/coldframe made with old sliding glass doors that we have collected. Eventually I’ll have a proper greenhouse, but that won’t happen for quite a while. Low tunnels are OK, but I find that they freeze solid to the ground and harvesting in the dead of winter is pretty much impossible.
covered_hoop_house
My winter will be spend reading and researching, dreaming and planning, and developing a plan to eat greens from my garden 24 months out of the year. I’ll save more money if I grow greens than if I grow my own broccoli or peppers, so I’ll be allocating prime garden space to achieve my goal.

What gardening goals do you have for next season? 

Garden Harvests

April 10th, 2010

I forgot to mention a few weeks ago when I harvested my first salad from the garden. My spinach that I tried to overwinter didn’t make it so I wasn’t harvesting in February like I was last year. Last year my first harvest was in February, this year it was over a month later on March 17.

I harvested a salad of mache (corn salad), dandelion greens and garlic mustard. The funny thing is that I didn’t plant any of these. The mache seeded itself from a few plants that went to seed last spring. It’s growing around the edges of the raised beds and in the walkways around the raised beds. It overwintered without any protection whatsoever in the garden.

The garlic mustard is an invasive weed that we have lots of, good thing it’s edible! And dandelions, well we all have those, might as well eat them, they’re super healthy. We really loves salads, so we’ve been enjoying a few each week thanks to all of our “wild” plants. There’s nothing better than eating things you didn’t plant!

One of the things I really want to work on this year is winter gardening. I am currently reading Eliot Coleman’s newest book The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses. I’m hoping to use some of his techniques and have a nice harvest of greens throughout the winter.

Are you harvesting anything yet? Do you practice any cold weather techniques?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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