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THE FRONT BURNER

This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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From the garden

It’s been more than a week since we’ve grocery shopped in my house. That can often mean dull meals made of things that come from cans, with very little in the fresh greens department. Right now, though, I’m getting my money’s worth out of a little $1.25 seed packet I bought a few months ago.

I’m no green thumb, and I’ve learned over the years that I can plant mesclun mix in the same way year after year and get varying results, based on the weather, my attentiveness to the garden or the appetites of backyard bunnies. This is a good year, though, and that little seed packet has put many a salad on our table.

Green salads with fresh lettuce really don’t need much added to them. The lettuce has much more flavor than the greens I pay $3 and up for in plastic packages at the supermarket. I just make a quick vinaigrette of mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, am careful not to overdress the leaves, and we’re in business.

Lettuce is an early season garden crop. I try my best to keep my little plants from bolting and going to seed, and to keep them growing as hot, dry Virginia summer descends on them, but as we get closer to July, they inevitably stop producing tender, good-tasting leaves. By that time, though, my attention turns to the tomato plants.

I am not a productive enough gardener to feed my family solely with what I grow, but by keeping us stocked with fresh stuff in between shopping trips, I’m able to reap a small amount of satisfaction from my time playing in the dirt.

What are you enjoying from your home gardens right now?

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/frontburner/2011/06/07/664/

  • craigs

    I’ve finished pulling all of my onions early which gave me a steady supply of spring onions for a few weeks. I’ll probably be pulling red potatoes this weekend, so that will be on the menu soon. My lettuce, romaine and red leaf, is about done. Nothing else is ready, other than some of the herbs which are always great to have access to.

    Now if I can figure out how to stop whatever nocturnal critter it is that keeps getting past my barriers to root up my tomato and zucchini plants, I should be picking some of those in a couple of weeks.

  • Rachel D

    We’ve got lots of lettuce, as well as strawberries and tons of herbs. I found with lettuce, start more once the first batch starts coming up strong. Then you have lettuce all summer. It also helps to grow it in a pot so that you can move it into the shade on the really warm days.

    I’m getting excited for the tomatoes, blueberries and all the hot peppers.