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March 11, 2009 - Kathie Evanoff
This time next month, I might be eating fresh lettuce from the raised bed my husband just put inside the greenhouse.
Right now, it simply needs filled with soil and we are debating the best and easiest way to get that accomplished. My thoughts include wheelbarrowing garden soil to fill about half the bed and then filling the rest with compost and peat. The ground is too wet right now to bring a truck into the yard and I’m not even 100 percent sure about the wheelbarrow. This just might be a job for the weekend and I’ll be sure to get photos along the way.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about building cold and hot frames so that lettuce and other spring vegetables can be easily grown even in this erratic weather. The advantage of having a greenhouse is the ability to grow things year-round, but when the heating bill reaches astronomical proportions, the greenhouse heater goes off and we learn to appreciate the ability to collect heat from the sun.
Years ago I interviewed a man for the paper who claimed to only eat fresh, raw vegetables. He may have been an advocate of the raw food diet before it became trendy, and I suspect he cooked a few things here and there, as he did have a stove and there were pots and pans in his dish drainer. But I was most impressed with the makeshift cold frame near the foundation of the house just to the side of the kitchen door. There he told me he grew spinach, lettuce and all manners of cool weather greens well into the winter.
“I can pick Swiss chard and spinach in January,” I remember him saying. The day I was there, there was snow on the ground and the cold frames were empty. He told me he was preparing to plant for early spring greens. I often wonder how it went.
I was surprised last night when I realized that I completely skipped breakfast yesterday morning. How did that happen? I seldom skip breakfast, but I honestly never gave it a thought until later in the day when I tried to remember what it was I ate. This morning; however, I made sure to get my morning sustenance. I made one egg with toast, a banana and tea. Later for lunch, I had a chef’s salad with a packet of Italian dressing. I’ve seen people ask for two and even three dressing packets, but I don’t like my lettuce floating in dressing, so one was enough for me. I took off all but one slice of cheese, ham and turkey and discarded the cucumbers. They aren’t my favorite, although I love growing them in the garden for everyone else.
My husband called just as I was bringing my lunch up to the newsroom to tell me about a recipe he found that included zucchini and other vegetables over linguini. I reminded him I have a spaghetti squash that needs using, and suggested he use that instead of the pasta. I don’t know what he’ll make for himself for dinner, but I’m looking forward to mine.
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Raised bed in the greenhouse waiting for soil and seeds.