On seeing the sun

Christmas brought some sun for us, which, quite frankly, was all I really wanted.  (N.b.:  anyone who says she doesn’t want anything for the holidays will not be satisfied with nothing.)  Sun here of course means salad.

img_9206Young arugula.  The wider-leaved varieties are the ones that do well in the greenhouse.  Avoid the yellow-flowered, skinny-leaved sylvetta forms, which don’t do as well (and also self-seed like mad).

I was able to have a harvest of lettuces!  Lettuces and a few other things, like onion greens, sorrel, radicchio and carrots.  The one rockstar in the greenhouses is arugula.  It will always grow, and still be edible.  The pimpled, bubbly surface of the tops of the arugula and (below) lettuce leaves is their defense to the cold.  This has something to do with extending surface area and spreading out the cell walls, but in plain English to me it means “you can eat your lettuces in the winter.”

img_9207Baby Grand Rapids and Red Sails lettuces, ready for a bit of a trim

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4 responses to “On seeing the sun

  1. JEALOUS!!! I envy you your lettuces on the holiday (or any time) – I’ve seen some here at the winter markets but they are beyond belief expensive 😦 As I don’t have a greenhouse, I’m just waiting until spring… do you know if they can be grown indoors with a grow light?

  2. Oh, I see. They insulate themselves with those bumps. They’re like Polar Fleece!

    We had a really good salad of chicory yesterday. With pear vinegar.

  3. Do you do anything special to keep rodents out of your greenhouse? We go raided early this year, wiping out all my wifes greens and starts. We get hit everyyear, but this year was especially bad and early. We used to keep chickens in the garden around the greenhouse and I think that helped keep the rodents at bay. This year, we didn’t move the chickens into the garden at the end of the growing season and we got bit bad.

    -mmp

  4. Mangochild, you can always try growing them indoors under a light. They like it a bit cooler than the average house, though. But I don’t see why you can’t try!

    CC, that sounds YUM. I am a chickory fool so that sounds just divine. And of course the pear vinegar…

    MMP, I saw your damage: that looks too big to be voles!! Have you seen signs of anything larger around the homestead? If you can find their entry holes, I would set sticky traps AND regular mousetraps and continually move them. I had problems with one (just one) vole and I trapped him with a mousetrap. Later in the season some gophers (ground squirrels) were getting in and the mousetraps and the cat worked for them: I baited the traps with one sunflower seed: they’d pull and get whacked. Yuck. Eliot Coleman shows a vole trap for his low hoophouses in this link.

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