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John Saltveit
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Hi Lane,
Do you have any ideas for green vegetables in mild climates? It is winter here in Portland, OR (March 10th), and we have been harvesting leeks for many weeks. I also have been harvesting shotweed, which is a type of cress that is a common weed, super abundant, delicious, and among the healthiest things you can ever eat. Dandelions are also on my current plate. We have also been eating parsley for quite awhile. Any ideas?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
Lane Morgan
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I'm 150 miles north of you and our season is a bit shorter, but usually not colder from what I see of Portland friends' gardens. Usually in winter I can harvest kale, leeks, corn salad (mache), beet greens from the big super hardy sugar beet types, raddichhio, sometimes chard, parsley, salsify or scorzonera greens, and my new fave, shimonita onions which are a sort of scallion leek combo and seem to be bombproof. If I had a bigger cold-frame I would have lettuce and spinach all winter; the September plantings are going strong now and we started having salads a couple of weeks ago.

This winter has been tough on my greens though--dryish, warmish weather that made the plants too optimistic, followed by a couple of several-day windy dry cold snaps (by Bellingham standards, below 20F is a cold snap) that blew away mulch and froze the soil hard. I lost most of the greens, with the exception of the leeks, onions and kale and a couple of raddicchio. Then it rained and rained and rained. This time last year my peas and arugula and spring favas were planted and the arugula was up and growing. This year it's still too soggy, even in the raised beds.
 
Jason Alexander
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Hi. I'm, new to permies.com but have been a long time lurker and permaculture enthusiast (sort of.. i like the ideas but not the trademarked permaculture name, and the scarcity of sites that can generate an income using the ideas, without selling permaculture workshops. Besides, nothing is permanent lol)

Anyway, have you ever grown or eaten lamb's lettuce (Valerianella locusta)? Check it out on wikipedia...

I live in Switzerland. It is a common salad green here( also in Germany, maybe in Austria, etc.), and it's delicious. Dark green, nutty flavor, crisp texture.

Best of all, it's extremely cold hardy. As in, you can harvest it from under the snow.

I studied ecological horticulture in CA, have had plenty of exposure to permaculture in many different coountries, but had never even heard of this plant until I moved here and it appeared on my salad plate.

If anyone's interested but can't find seed for whatever rerason, send me a message and i'll send you some (sorr, you pay for the pack of seed and postage - at actual cost. no profit on my part, just want to get this great underutlized plant out there!)

cheers,

j
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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Thank you Jason! I'll search around, see what I can find on lamb's lettuce. We have a sort of odd lettuce we grow. Met a woman from Arkansas in a gardening chat room, she sent the seed, oh 3 years ago, I think. Winter Lettuce, is what she calls it. Nice dark green to crimson at the edges of the bigger leaves, beautiful stuff, really. Survives in the cold frame, even last winter with the 8 below temperatures...
 
John Saltveit
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Hi Jason,
I agree. Lamb's lettuce is a great plant. I have been growing it for years. I think I only actually bought the seeds once and it kept reseeding ever since! It's not very big, but it's soft and good tasting.
John S
PDX OR
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