Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gardening Goal: Lettuce Self Sufficiency


I have a garden goal for this year. It formed in my mind on my first real gardening weekend this spring. I want to grow all of my family's lettuce, starting this spring, and hopefully lasting year round. All of it. I do not want to buy anymore lettuce ever. The more I think about it, the more feasible and exciting it seems. I admit that my level of excitement about home grown lettuce is perhaps greater than the average person's. This is the kind of stuff that I get really worked up about. 

Lettuce Sprouts, Parsley, Cabbages

I am hoping that by taking over an entire crop, I can actually make a small difference to the way we buy food in our house. Usually we grow a little of this and that in our vegetable garden. We end up with a few peas, a couple of asparagus spears, the odd tomato, and a lot of lettuce in the summer. Most of the stuff we grow doesn't really change the way we buy groceries because we can't grow enough of anything. We grow all the lettuce we need in the summer without trying too hard. I want to really extend that lettuce growing season as far as I can into the winter outside and then grow mostly indoors for the short part of the winter when we get freezing temperatures. My family eats a lot of salads, so it makes sense for us to provide ourselves with a very local, organic, inexpensive alternative to the bags of greens shipped from all around. I am hoping to save money in the long run, since seeds for greens are so cheap. We will also save plastic packaging and a lot of food miles, as we often buy organic lettuce from California. 

Sprouts in Cold Frame