“May I Have More Salad, Please?”

mustard harvest

Harvesting some mustard out of a mixed greens bed –Photo by Adrienne Klopf

Something strange and unusual is happening in the outdoor classroom these days.  Students can be overhead saying crazy things like, “I want to wash the dishes!,” “let me pick up the trash,” and “can I have more salad, please?”  Some students were even reported to ask for 3rd servings of the leafy greens.  While this might just be a parent’s dream, there does appear to be a steady harvest of greens leaving the garden beds so something is up.  Don’t worry, we’re planting more!

Succession planting allows us to enjoy fresh greens throughout the year.  If you plant new seeds every couple of weeks, you’ll never be caught by surprise with bolting or bitter-tasting lettuce.

IMG_1588

Classes and lunchtime gardeners have been chowing down on salad every day the past couple of weeks and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing.  We’re looking to get at least 3 servings of vegetables every day.  That’s 2 cups of salad per serving, folks!  Students found the sweet secret to making salad extra scrumptious: San Francisco honey!

Our favorite simple salad dressings:

Vinaigrette
3 parts olive oil
1 (ok, maybe 1.5) parts honey
1 part balsamic vinegar
Lemon, pepper, and salt to taste
We like to add chopped mint leaves to the mix sometimes too!

Miso Salad Dressing
2 tbsp miso paste (any color is fine! I like to use red)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp sugar
Optional: Garlic, ginger, mustard

For other fun dressings to try, look over these 50 recipes for homemade dressings!

Fava bean leaves

Students find some fava bean leaves to add to the salad –Photo by Adrienne Klopf

Looking to grow your own salad?  We love the taste of:
Fava bean greens–They grow well in the our climate and add nitrogen to the soil!
Arugula–Easy to start from seed and adds a spicy, peppery flavor (compare to store-bought and you’ll taste the difference!)
Mustard greens–Baby greens that taste like wasabi according to the young gardeners
Nasturtium flowers–Adds color and spice to our greens…while nasturtiums grow well here and are easy to maintain, be careful with this plant as it can take over an area!
Purple turnips–Easy to grow, creamy texture, and zangy bite
Spinach and lettuce–Plant them in a partially shaded area as we move into warmer weather

When you harvest your greens, take 20% or less of the leaves and remove outer leaves.  This will allow the plant to recover and produce more leaves for consumption!

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