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I can grow my own salad indoors. - Frances Bea
I can grow my own salad indoors.

I can grow my own salad indoors. That was the point of this experiment. I've been growing sprouts like alfalfa, clover, broccoli, radish and different beans, but all of these are quick growing, hydroponic, and are still mostly stem when I harvest them. This means that they are more white than green and not really able to serve as the basis of a green salad in the place of lettuce.

Winter is on its way, and once it arrives we wont have another head of lettuce before spring that hasn't been transported well over two thousand miles. I want to be able to indulge only moderately in the famous "3000 mile salad", and still eat fresh green things throughout the winter.

Buckwheat "lettuce" is a very young plant, but cannot be grown fully hydroponically because it needs to grow too long to stand up straight without something soil-like to hold onto. My own buckwheat started to fall significantly before I harvested it and I think that is because I used a little less soil than I should have. I left my 1/4 cup measure in one of the photos to show the comparison between the volume of the seed I started with and the volume of the plant I grew. I think it could have been grown much more densely, so I will continue to experiment. We've had a couple of serious frosts already, so I want to move this from experiment to production operation in minimal time.

The actual salad that I show in the last picture has some of the other sprout types on top of the buckwheat "lettuce". The radish sprouts taste just like radishes. The broccoli sprouts taste (to me) more like cabbage. There are also fenugreek sprouts in the photo. With a variety of sprouts I can grow interesting salads indoors throughout the winter (I hope), but they're still texturally a bit uninteresting. With a little bit of carrot saved from the fall, or cucumber imported during the winter, and some interesting dressing, no one need ever feel deprived.

I can grow my own salad... indoors... in the winter. That was the point of this experiment. The experiment was successful. Fall is definitely here. I don't claim to be prepared for nuclear winter or anything, but I think I'm ready to serve fresh vegetables during the winter we actually expect.

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