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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reaping the Rewards

by Chiot's Run

If you've been reading here for a while you've heard me talk about my experimentation with winter gardening. This past winter I covered 3 of my hoop houses in the back garden with greenhouse plastic. They were filled with all sorts of greens, onions, leeks, and celery. I've been checking on them all winter, just waiting for the chance to harvest my first salad. Eating the first salad from the garden in the spring is kind of like kicking off the season. Once your body tastes the fresh healthy greens it starts to crave green in earnest.

The First Harvest

Last week I finally enjoyed a salad of greens that I planted last fall. If I had planted the seeds in the spring this year, I'd still have at least another month until I could harvest anything. Truth be told, I could have harvested a salad a few weeks ago, but I've been too busy and it's been to rainy to get out into the garden.

First Harvest of 2011

There's nothing quite like the first salad of spring. It's amazing how your body craves what it needs. I harvested spinach from the garden that contains: vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and many more. In addition to homegrown spinach, I also harvested some bitter cress and dandelion greens. These are also full of health benefits including tons of vitamins and they are said to have detoxing benefits for your body. Just what we need after a winter of being cooped up in the house eating too many baked goods.

First Harvest of 2011

Not only is it healthy for the body to grow some of your own food it's healthy for the soul as well. There's something extremely satisfying about producing some of your own food and foraging for some of it in the wild. Perhaps it harkens back to our hunter gather nature.

What are you harvesting from your garden right now?


The Professor's Wife said...

Not much - just herbs and some green onions!

David said...

Susy, nope nothing here yet. It will be at least another month before a radish or a lettuce leaf will be harvested. I'll be busy working on the garden expansion so when the weather warms up I can get the extra space planted. I'm growing two more raised beds of produce to supply my food storage area and to give away to the neighbors. It's going to be a good year for sure.

Have a great winter salad day.

Alyson said...

We planted garlic as our winter crop but it still won't be ready for a little bit. We are finishing building our greenhouse right now, so maybe next fall we can plant a few more winter some yummy greens.

Your post made me want to go eat some spinach or kale!

Thank you!

-Alyson @

Heather Woollove said...

Boy, greens grown in the Winter seems to be 'in the ether' lately!
Just yesterday, NPR did a story about a farmer like you.
If you're interested, here's the link:
Old-Time Methods Yield Spring Greens All Winter

City Sister said...

I have a few more weeks until the spinach is up, but I have fresh herbs to gather and lots starting to come up!

~Courtney~ said...

Missed the winter garden opportunity- but just got the seeds to put in the spring garden! Enjoy your salad :]

Anonymous said...

kale, Swiss chard.
Sad to say, we're moving within the next 2 months and so very little gardening is on the agenda. Frustrating.

Hopewell said...

That salad is the most delicious thing I've seen in weeks! Makes me want to run home and start seeds!

Anonymous said...

Eating spinach and walking onions here in Wisconsin.

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

Our winter greens didn't work out as planned so we're not harvesting much - but the wild greens are appearing steadily around here so we're doing bits of foraging. Lots of wild garlic (Ramsons), bittercress, chickweed and wild sorrel for the taking!