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A Winter Favorite

March 13th, 2017

In the winter we eat vegetable from the freezer, but I still crave lettuce and greens. My favorite winter salad combines stored root vegetables, nuts, and greens. Some of the lettuce I grow under lights, the rest I get at the store.

This is my all-time favorite winter salad consists of greens topped with radicchio, celery, dulse, beets, toasted walnuts, Bulgarian sheep milk feta, and dried cranberries topped with a mustard maple vinaigrette. I can eat this salad every day and I have to admit that sometimes I do and never tire of it. It’s even better when accompanied by a new book on my Kindle.

What’s your favorite salad combination at the moment?

Homegrown Goodness

February 23rd, 2016

Even though the garden is still sleeping, I’m harvesting greens for my salad. It’s not a huge amount, maybe 25% of the greens we currently eat, but it’s something. All these little leafs come from a few containers I have under grow lights and the thinnings from a few seedlings of greens.
lettuce
It’s especially nice that the greens I’m adding to store bought lettuce are radicchio leaves, so the little bitterness they carry helps round out the sweeter leaves.

What is your typical first harvest from the garden?

Planting Frenzy

April 29th, 2015

I spent a few minutes on Sunday and an hour yesterday planting around 250 lettuce seedlings in the garden. That’s a lot of lettuce, but amazingly it will all be eaten. We will eat most of it, the remainder will be given to neighbors and friends. I might have even planted enough to take a basket each week to my local soup kitchen. Now that these seedlings are planted I’ll be starting flats of heat tolerant lettuces for summer salads.
File Apr 28, 9 30 26 PM
Some readers ask if it’s worth taking the time to start lettuce seedlings indoor, I think it is and will always do it. These seedlings will be big enough for me to start harvesting outer leaves in only two weeks. The seeds that I direct seeded in the garden are just beginning to germinate. Seeding flats gives me a 3 week jump on the growing season. Some of the containers I seeded at the same time are ready to be harvested. I’m so happy it’s salad season and could easily eat it three times a day (and often do).

Do you plant large quantities of any vegetables?

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? 

The Bounty Begins

June 7th, 2014

I love salad season.  After a long winter of eating lots of root vegetables, salads really make my palate happy.  Around mid-February I start to crave leafy greens but usually refuse to buy salad that’s not locally grown or grown in my own garden.  Hopefully I’ll have a greenhouse someday to allow for a few green salads all winter long, until then winter means a famine of salad.
garden harvest
I’m extremely thankful that every evening I can head out to the garden to harvest a bowl full of various greens for our dinner. This year my focus was on red leaved salads since they contain more nutrients than green (for more information on healthier varieties of vegetables read Eating on the Wild Side.) There are also tiny French Breakfast Radishes to eat, I actually don’t like radishes, but I grow some each year.
redfish
Last night we also enjoyed Acadian Redfish as our maine course. I was reading an article about how this fish isn’t sold much because it’s considered “lobster bait” or a lesser species. Fisherman don’t make much on it. Our local fishermans co-op featured it and I decided to give it a try. Buying it helps the local fishing industry and it helps lessen the need for other popular fish. Here’s an interesting article from The Portland Press Herald about encouraging people to eat more Redfish.

What are you harvesting from your garden this week?

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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!

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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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