Friday, February 4, 2011

Actual Garden Salad

I truly love growing food at home. I get to choose to grow weird stuff I couldn't find at the store (many of the best tasting fruits and veggies are delicate so they don't ship well, or quickly go downhill after they're picked), I get to triumphantly watch seeds sprout, and I can run outside and collect ingredients for a meal, working with what's ready to eat- nothing could be fresher or more delicious.

I planted a patch of 25 "Berri Basket" everbearing strawberry plants (one of the few things that I was too impatient to plant from seed and is not an heirloom variety) in one of my 3' x 3' raised beds last spring and they really do produce throughout the year thanks to the gorgeous weather we enjoy in San Diego.

Berri Basket Everbearing Strawberry

The lettuces that I grow are a colorful heirloom mix from Seed Savers Exchange, and I sprinkle down a bit of extra butter lettuce because I love it. Lettuce is easy to grow and I sow it in succession, sprinkling a quadrant of the bed every two weeks, to ensure that I don't have too much lettuce all at once. I find it's best to pick it early here, before it gets mature and tough from any hot days.

Seed Savers Exchange Lettuce Mixture

The strawberries are amazing sliced in half and tossed with a little balsamic vinegar and cracked black pepper and besides being great on a salad, are wonderful on ice cream too. (yes, with the pepper!) My go to vinaigrette involves extra virgin olive oil, a splash of sherry vinegar, a tiny dab of dijon, some salt and a dash of Sunny Paris seasoning from Penzey's.

Actual Garden Salad, the berries were still warm from the sun


  1. any tips for strawberries? i live in SD and tried two years and never got a single berry.....

  2. Rowdy Style-
    When mine slow down its my cue to feed them with a basic fruit & veggie fertilizer. I really try to put it down between the plants, so it doesn't overdo it and just seeps into the soil a little at a time between watering. If you've tried that, they definitely need full sun, good drainage (hard to come by in SD, eh?) and plenty of water. When it's hot mine get water every day.
    Good luck to you!