Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Salads-R-Us


A month ago, I opened up my tiny greenhouse that had not been heated since early February. Lo and behold! The seeds I had planted in January and abandoned in February, were thriving. Lettuce, onions, and a forest of chickweed volunteers. I built a large salad and planted more seeds. As I mentioned in an earlier post, chickweed cut fine with scissors adds an amazingly wonderful taste and texture to salads.

Now there are collards, spinach and new lettuce coming up from my recently planted seeds. In three weeks, I will peel the plastic off the green house and replant. By then, the alley foraging should be getting off to a great start. Between the greenhouse, garden and alleys, I get to fill up on fresh greens for free.

For me, there is something so incredibly satisfying about the ease of growing things when all you have to do is add water. Oh sure, there are a few bugs munching the tender lettuce. But, unless they are hogging the leaf, it doesn't seem to hurt the taste or aesthetics. I like to think of it as sharing.

The steamy ambiance of a greenhouse on a blustery spring day when the wind cuts you like a knife is sublime. A great place to hide out, meditate or dream.

Last fall, I hung a piece of 2x4 on my fence with holes for the PVC pipe ribs , attached some uprights, threw plastic over it and called it a greenhouse. Oh yes, I added a little door (it's behind the tree).

It is an amazingly simple and affordable home project for around $30, counting the seed. A little $30 ceramic heater keeps it warm through the brutal cold. I call it "going to Florida" when I open that door in an icy gale and tuck myself inside for a spell. It somehow makes winter seem more optional, being able to take a break from it. And the salads, oh how they melt in your mouth and lift your winter weary spirits.

5 comments:

claud said...

Is that REALLY a picture of your lettuces??? Your CURRENT lettuces, of which you speak???

I love your "sharing" idea. I do that with spiders in our house -- I love those guys.

funforager said...

No, alas, that is what they want to be when they grow up. To avoid confusion I will schedule a greenhouse photo shoot and switch out the photos. Thanks for the feedback.

Dancer said...

I must get over soon to see your new growings. Still thinking about putting up my own little piece of Florida before next winter. It was a long one this year! Thanks, alley grazer.

Anonymous said...

Guess I must come "home" for the Jewel's "grown fresh & picked today". Makes me hungry. Keep growing -- you do it well!! Not just refering to your gardening by the way. Love lots, BigSkyDreamer
- Walk in truth - Walk in beauty -

jennifergg said...

I am so happy for the foraging! I am dying for something green; I picked baby dandelion greens for the kids and me and tossed them with lemon and olive oil, then you know this! It started raining and turned cold again. Meh. I think I need a greenhouse...