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Killer Salad

 
pioneer
Posts: 215
Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
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We moved to a Northwest Arkansas homestead a couple years ago.  We have been building it up and expandng our gardens each year.   Last year in addition to the raised beds, I had several rolling planters with a variety of vegetable plants in them.

Well last winter, I decided to make our garage/ workshop useful by insulating it.  So now for a reasonable cost, I can maintain the temps above freezing which is very conducive to woodworking and keeping things from freezing.  Well for months now, I have been rolling plants out in the morning and back in in the evening.  The past couple months it has been to keep them from freezing but for a good many months prior, it was to keep the deer from chowing down well after dark on my veggies.  (In spite of me feeding them a 50lb bag of corn every 3 to 4 days.)

This has been a labor of love which finally has started to pay off.  First my cauliflower plants which are now no lie about 18" tall produced cauliflower heads.  They never started to head up when they should have because they got started a bit late last spring and it was too hot here for them to head up.  Well we had fresh cauliflower from our garden on Monday, but today was the icing on the cake.  I picked 2 small carrots and 1 medium sized purple carrot, a few bunching onions, some lettuce, two different varieties of Swiss chard, Russian kale, some cabbage, and a few pieces of raw cauliflower.  We also added a couple non-"fresh from the garden ingredients".  The result was magnificent.  I can not remember having a salad with such incredible flavors in years.  The combination of intense flavors was well... intense.  You just can't buy vegetables like these.  

Our neighbors think I am crazy for all the effort that I put into the gardens.  They tell us this is why there is Wal-Mart you can just go and buy your food.  They can't seem to get through their heads that what they buy at Wal-Mart is NOT FOOD.

I will step down from my soap box, and end on a positive note thanking our Creator for the Blessing of fresh vegetables.  I can't wait for the first spring harvest of my greatly expanded garden and first true late winner early spring harvest.

I will post some photos tomorrow so you can all see my labor of love rolling garden.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: Virginia
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That is so encouraging to hear!

I have been starting to come up with parts of ideas for trying to grow more next winter.  Right now I have a container of beet greens and a small tray of baby lettuce in the one window with good sun.  Cant wait to see your set up!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3124
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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So why are you feeding the deer? If you feed them, they will not only come, they will breed.

Not a bad idea if you're training the hoof rats to wander lazily into shooting range. I love me some venison (my recent favourite was venison lasagna).

If it is easy for you to roll your planters indoors, good on you. Great solution, and good function-stacking.

If you want to do more but don't want to push around more wheelie planters, maybe you could look into cold frames for your more winter-tolerant kale and such.

Good job, though. The salad sounds delicious.

-CK
 
Ralph Kettell
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Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
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Chris Kott wrote:Hi Chris,

So why are you feeding the deer? If you feed them, they will not only come, they will breed.

- Yes and aren't the little ones soooo cute with their white spots!

Not a bad idea if you're training the hoof rats to wander lazily into shooting range. I love me some venison (my recent favourite was venison lasagna).

- If we get into a SHTF situation we might have to do that.

If it is easy for you to roll your planters indoors, good on you. Great solution, and good function-stacking.

- Not so easy, but manageable

If you want to do more but don't want to push around more wheelie planters, maybe you could look into cold frames for your more winter-tolerant kale and such.

- When I post photos of the rolling vegetables, I will also post photos of my cold frame.  It is almost complete as is my rocket oven and a few other things waiting to be finished.  unfortunately the wife has hijacked my work time with honey do projects.  Currently finishing up sub-flooring and shoe molding installation associated with new floors she is installing and  on top of that now replacing the crudy old doors with new inset panel doors.  

Good job, though. The salad sounds delicious.

- It was, thanks!

-CK

Sincerely,

RK

I have two kids that are CKs  ;-)

 
Ralph Kettell
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Hi All,

So here finally are the promised photos.  I have to apologize in advance because due to weather the photos had to be taken inside and the colors are off and the pic quality not as good as if it was done in proper lighting.

All of these plants are stragglers that did not perform so well in the heat of the summer or never made it into a proper spot in the garden due to space restrictions.  I am not complaining or making excuses simply explaining where they came from.  The fruit is not as large as it might have been due to limited sunlight and other environmental limitiations, but I am so happy to have them when otherwise I would have nothing truly fresh and known to be organic.  I do NOT believe the lies that the grocery stores tell, sorry.

Start off with a pot of volunteer leeks and dill.  The leeks are native and wild and somehow made it into the pot without human intervention.  The dill is from a plant that went to seed in the late summer.  I am going to let the leeks go to seed and plant the gazillion seeds everywhere around our home.  They are native, the deer don't bother them, yeah! and they grow here by themselves.  BTW the dill looked much healthier a few weeks ago before it accidentally got left out in too cold weather, but happily they have survived despite the mishap.

The next photo is my experiments with wicking containers (home made) for carrots and bunching onions and badly bolting lettuce.  The carrots have tasted delicious but never got very large.  The experiment will be modified next go around.  It may simply have been due to overcrowding.  Guilty as charged.  The o[img]nions likewise were probably not thinned enough but I have been thinning them as I use them so we will see what happens to them as the winter progresses and they start to get more light. When I complete my coldframe/greenhouse in the next few weeks we will see if the increased light makes a measurable difference.  The lettuce bolting is a funny story which I will share with a later photo of non-bolting lettuce of the same seed lot.

The third photo shows my Swiss chards many of which produced all summer and continue to do so.  The funny thing is that the container they are in had broccoli that went to seed and then got demolished by some kind of worms.  I transplanted a so-so red swiss chard in the middle and put it in the relative shade of my covered walkway.  It immediately took off and started producing more than the rest of the entire crop in another container.  OK I see it was too hot and you wanted a wee bit more shade.  Cool!  I later added some yellow and green plants to it and transplanted some red ones from another container late in the fall.  They are doing nicely considering the low light that they receive.

The fourth photo is a container of mostly Russian kale that has been and continues to be prolific.  The plants took a bit of a breather at the end of the season, but now that they have acclimated to the new routine, they are producing nicely albeit with smaller, but still very tasty leaves.

The fifth photo is a bunch of broccoli plants that are begging to produce.  I don't know how big the heads will get with the limited sun but as I stated earlier this is a bit of a long term experiment.  The sixth photo is another container of broccoli, but with slightly smaller plants in it.

The seventh and eight photos are of my very tall cauliflower plants.  The heads are smaller than you would like and hope for but given the lighting they have gotten not unexpected.  From two of the plants we got a meal with a side of cauliflower and a couple of salads worth of cauliflower sprinkles.  I am hoping that the way I have harvested it I will continue to get a bit of additional fruit before I let them go to seed.  Also in the planter with the cauliflower, you can sort of see a lettuce plant behind the kale plant.  It is from the same volunteer seed that all the lettuce has come from.  It however was left for a good amount of time growing in the crushed rock of my driveway where it sprouted.  There is some nutrient in the crushed rock that keeps the lettuce from bolting or it likes to be tortured in the cold but surrounded by the driveway rocks that held just enough heat to enable it to survive several way below freezing days.  Anyway it is my healthiest lettuce plant at the moment.  I am going to experiment with adding some crushed rock to my potting soil especially on the plants that bolt so quickly like lettuce and arugala.

The ninth photos are again more driveway lettuce one bolting and one not and a couple of very young cabbage plants both in a self wicking repurposed container.  ;-)

The last two photos are of my rolling nursery.  It has a remnant of plants that never made it into a garden but are holding on.  The cabbage and other plants provide nice green additions to salads.  They refuse to die.  I will ultimately let them go to seed and keep it for reuse later this year.   I have a flat with a few chives in it, an egg crate with many plants desperately hoping to get transplanted (when I find time),  a small plastic flat with like 40 garlic plants waiting for a bed to be prepared for them,  A blackberry bush that is going to get planted when the weather warms a bit more, and a flat of miscellaneous herbs and etc.  one small comfrey plant, a thriving parsley, some dill and a chive that are hanging in there and that about sums it up.  For those who made it this far through my litany, thank you and kudos for your tenacity.

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Volunteer leeks and dill
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Carrots (orange and purple), bunching onions and badly bolting lettuce
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Red, yellow, and green Swiss chard and a lone onion
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Mostly Russian kale and misc
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Broccoli plants
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More broccoli plants
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unharvested Cauliflower head
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Tall aging cauliflower and non-bolting lettuce and misc
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Wicking container of lettuce (one bolting) and neo-natal cabbage plants
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Rolling nursery w/a variety of herbs and garlic starts
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More rolling nursery showing baby greens and blackeberry bush along for the ride
 
gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Chris Kott wrote:

my recent favourite was venison lasagna.

If yo like Ven Lasgana, you should try Venison Enchiladas - they are seriously awesome and both freeze and re-heat well.
 
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