You can Grow Your Own Salad Bowl Garden for the best tasting salads and know it contains food that has not been sprayed with deadly poisions,and is fresh so it contains the nutrients that are lost when the vengetable have been harvested weeks eariler. There really is so much available that you are only limited by desire and space. If you make it a fun project that will help you in many ways. You may soon wonder why you ever bought produce from a grocery store that had been harvested before being fully ripe and shipped from other states and in a lot of cases from other countries weeks or even months eariler. Soon you will be able to get it fresh right on your windowsill or padio. Until your salad bowl garden is ready to harvest, shop at your local farmers’ markets. There you can get fresh produce, grown fresh in your area.
As a chef, when I shopped farmers markets for the Chefs Kitchen Table. I looked for farmers that had some of a few different fruits and vegetables. Not all perfectly sized and not all the soil removed as if they had been cleaned between the harvest and the time they got to you. The reason is that I also know there are some people that go to large produce companies on Fridays and purchase any produce that the produce company could not move during the week. This is referred to as “Stressed produce” because it has already started to lose it’s shelf life and is becoming over-ripe. They will remove the produce from boxes and place it on the table as if they were local farmers and sell it as “locally grown”. You can usually tell by looking around or behind their trucks to see if they have the commercial shipping cartons stacked up. Another way is if everything is one size. Apples and tomatoes do not all grow one size, but they are sold by size to grocery stores. Keep an eye out for the actual farmers with the gnarly carrots and uneven sized fruits and vegetables that do not look picture perfect. They are the ones you want to buy from.
Remember, You can grow just about any type of lettuce in your salad bowl garden. That being said, there are some varieties that lend themselves to ongoing growing and harvesting. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. The size of your bowl and how many bowls you want to have sitting around determine what type and how much lettuce you can grow. Or flip that around and figure out how much lettuce you want per week and then figure out how many bowls it will take to keep you from heading to the grocery store.
You want to keep it simple and start with one planting bowl. See how you like growing your own lettuce on your kitchen counter or your patio. If you find you’re eating the green leaves as fast as they can grow, consider adding another bowl or two.
Let’s go back to what you can grow in fairly small containers indoors. Loose leaf lettuce is often your best bet when you want to be able to continually harvest greens for your salads. You can pick up seedlings at your local garden center and plant a few different varieties in your bowl. Or pick up a few different packs of seeds, divide the bowl into sections and sprinkle seeds from each variety in a different area of the bowl. Not only will using different varieties make it look pretty, each plant grows at slightly different rates and has different nutrients, helping you make the most out of your salad bowl.
Of course, you’re not limited to just loose leaf lettuce. You can also grow spinach, green onions and various herbs in containers inside. Mix and match them in your bowls, or set up separate little containers to grow your favorite salad herbs in. If you have enough room, you can even grow some radishes to cut up and add to your salad.
Start with a few different varieties of loose leaf lettuce like oak leaf, butter oak, red sails, or the aptly named red salad bowl. Romaine lettuces also work well and will regrow after you cut the leaves. If you like a slightly peppery taste, don’t forget about arugula.
Mix and match varieties until you find a combination that grows well for you and you like to eat. Water your plants, fertilize occasionally with an organic fertilizer and refresh the soil every few months. If you harvest and replant on an ongoing basis, you may never run out of fresh lettuce for your kitchen table.
In future articles, we will cover a few of the herbs and other items that lend themselves to your Salad Bowl Garden. And then, we will share a few salad recipes that might springboard some new ideas for salads that we have not covered. So start watching for containers that you can use for growing your salad bowl garden. If you like you can buy garden planting containers that are all one size and one color. I find it much more fun to shop Goodwill or other thrift shops for one of a kind bowls and containers. A little spray paint or some colored foil with make plain containers look special…and it adds to the fun.
Fresh salad is a large part of a keto or paleo lifestyle and growing your own foods is a great choice for overall good health. Show yourself some love by eating only the healthiest foods available.
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