Patio To Plate

March, 2017
By
Dina Watson
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I’ve been wanting to grow salad for a while and took the leap of faith October 2016 when for the first time I planted Mesclun - Spicy Mix. After some research I decided to use compost soil so it could withstand the cold snap and reduce my need to water it regularly.  I saved my vegetable and fruit scraps and mixed it into some soil along with egg shells and ink-free brown paper bags.  

Last year, a few of my garden experiments never came to fruition, regardless of how much research or care I put into it.  So I was ecstatic when I saw the seedlings appear within a week and by December they were ready to consume.  We enjoyed its crispness and faint bitter notes in a salad with our Christmas lunch and were even more surprised when they grew back by February 2017.  

I am amazed at their heartiness; their ability to grow in a partially sunny environment and survive cold snaps as well as the unpredictable weather pattern that we experienced this Fall/Winter in New Orleans.

Here are some tips to recreate your own patio to plate salad experience :-

  1. Break down your kitchen scraps in a blender before you combine it with soil and brown matter (leaves that fall on my patio from neighboring trees and brown paper grocery bags)
  2. Space the seedlings with enough distance allowing them to grow out. Remove those that look limp.
  3. Stagger the planting days so you can have a steady supply
  4. Once a month, gently water the seedlings with an Epsom salt solution
  5. Cut leaves 2 inches away from the base so it can grow back

 

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