Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby Salad Greens vs. Heads of Lettuce

Plants under a light; cat outside
In winter the days are so short here that little grows.  Eliot Coleman, well known organic grower and author, calls this the Persephone period.  This name comes from Persephone, the daughter of Demeter the harvest goddess, who must return to Hades and the underworld each winter.  During her absence and her mother's  sadness plants do not grow.  During this time of short days and no plant growth, Coleman tries to maintain full grown plants using greenhouse and row covers for winter harvest.

Winter greens
Our goal is to provide vegetables all year.  This comes from two things: we eat food from our garden all year and our CSA members told us how much they hate going to the grocery store after a season of our produce.  So, we began winter shares with stored crops like onions, and potatoes and beets and more

Greens before trimming
Last year Ken began experimenting with micro greens and salad greens.  A bag of greens in winter in is a real treat.  We work with our limited window space and cut the greens we have each month.  

Pea shoots

Often people ask why we don't do baby greens all year.  That is very easy to answer.  Seed costs.  Labor. Efficiency.

Greens after trimming

Imagine planting a seed and clipping it with a scissors for a forkful of leaves. 

Lettuce in late April

Imagine planting a seed, transplanting a seed, cultivating once or twice and getting a full head of lettuce or endive or a Chinese cabbage.  

Which would you do?


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