22 December 2008

Growing Organic Winter Greens

Some of you may remember when I posted about putting in a new raised bed just outside our front door for our winter garden (it was back in October). Well, today I realized that I hadn't posted any updates about it and thought it was high time I did.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well all the seeds have done. I'm usually not very good at growing stuff from seed, but this time I did something right. Tah-dah!

I do the "cut-and-come-again" method of harvesting lettuce so this 4'x8' raised planter has been providing us with WONDERFUL salad greens for about a month. And it's still going strong! It's great to have Hubby say, "I'm making chinese chicken salad. Can you go harvest some lettuce?" And I walk right out the front door with the salad spinner bowl in hand, pick the greens I want, and bring them back inside to be prepped by Hubby.

Don't let all this greenery fool you into thinking that it's warm here, because it isn't. There's a daytime chill in the air and our overnight temps often dip below freezing. Lettuce and other winter greens love this kind of weather. They produce buttery tasting leaves that simply melt in your mouth.

Intermingled among the rows of lettuce are other winter veggies such as broccoli, scallions, parsley, and snap peas. I also planted a row of bread seed poppies that are doing very well and getting big enough that they will hopefully bloom soon. Once they've gone to seed, we'll harvest the poppy seeds for garnishing bread and other things.

I think the most exciting thing about this whole endeavor (other than the fact that the seeds grew), is that I've been able to grow everything without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, or snail/slug bait. The only deterrent I've used is some metal fencing material I had. It has kept the neighborhood kitties and other critters out of the soil.

I really don't know exactly how many varieties of lettuce are growing right now. There must be at least 7-8 different ones. There were some seed packets that were mixes of winter greens, so it's hard to say. Regardless, all of them are yummy in their wholesome freshness. I wish I could share some with each of you!

1 comment:

Pumpkin said...

You never fail to make me jealous of your beautiful garden! Your lettuces are so lovely and cute.

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