Thursday, 10 May 2012

Salads - ends and beginnings

We are just about to use up the last of the over-wintered lettuces - which turned out to be excellent. I'm very glad that I used my cloches to make use of the vacant ground at a time when I had little else growing.


Here's one "in action" as it were...


I have also picked what I could from the re-sprouting chicory roots. Not a big harvest, but a welcome bonus which involved no effort at all!






I'm harvesting the Californian Mix baby leaf salad now - the one grown in one of those wooden wine-boxes. The quality of the leaves is very good - almost no insect damage at all. This is probably because the box has spent most of its time covered (in one of the mini-greenhouses) and well away from the main growing area. I have been less happy with the contents of the packet though. It seems to have been about 60% Red Russian kale and 30% Rocket, with the remaining 10% being one or two plants of spinach and beetroot. The latter two have been swamped by the faster-growing rocket and kale. This is why I often make my own mixes, using little bits of several packs. I have removed many of the larger kale leaves, to give the other things a chance to get a bit of light.


In the other wine-box the first radishes are beginning to swell. They have taken a lot longer than I expected, presumably because of the cold wet weather. I just hope this hasn't made them tough. Normally it is best to grow radishes in conditions that promote rapid growth - moist soil but lots of sunshine.


Elsewhere I have one of my black plastic storage-boxes devoted to Summer lettuces. I'm not sure yet whether I will use these as baby leaf salad or transplant them to get some big lettuces. It just depends on the space situation...



In order to secure a succession of salads I sowed some more seeds last weekend - one tray of mixed lettuces, and one tray of Rocket. I'll do this at intervals of about a month for the next 4 or 5 months.

To finish this post, I offer all you salad-lovers this: a simple but fresh salad based on soft, creamy goats' cheese, with lettuce, chard and pea-shoots from the garden...



I ate this with some wholemeal pitta bread, but in retrospect I wish I had had some of those Swedish-style crispbreads from Peter's Yard. They would have been perfect for the occasion.

By the way, the garnish on the cheese is not parsley, it is Chervil, grown from seeds sent to me all the way  from Australia by Diana of  Kebun Malay Kadazan Girls.  Thanks, Diana.

13 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful head of lettuce. I have some summer lettuce on the schedule to be planted, but I don't have any place in the garden for it. I just hope some things come out in time for it.

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  2. Your salads always look so appetising. You made great use of the vacant bed over winter, the over wintered lettuce looks fab.

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  3. I can't imagine a nicer meal. You've got so much to look forward to!

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  4. Everything looks lovely especially that salad. I have never actually eaten goats milk cheese. I will have to get some and try it.

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  5. Beautiful salad. Your lettuce head looked so perfect, too!

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  6. They do seem to have overdone the Kale in that mix haven't they? I sow my lettuce monthly too - seems to work well.

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  7. I am happy you like the chervil Mark. Lettuce just starting here since we have mild weather now. Our summer too hot for them to grow. I have to be honest, I grow veggies but I rarely attempt to eat them raw;-).

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  8. Your radishes look so cute with the very tiny pink bulb. Your salad looks yummy as well. I wonder how goat's cheese tastes like. I should try it soon.

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  9. Absolutely lovely Mark, I must try to grow some of that lettuce over winter...

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  10. What would we do without our mainstay lettuce - it is such an obliging salad crop. Long live lettuce.

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  11. Hi Mark - I'm going to try and grow some lettuce here through the Winter. Nights are cold so they'll need covering but the days are warm (20 degrees or so) ..... Will let you know how I get on!!! lol x

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  12. Your lettuce looks amazing! I am going to try and grow some salad mixes in the wine box as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

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