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How to Grow Your Own Indoor Winter Salad Garden, Plus a Secret Discovery!

I am using 4 GE Plant and Aquarium 48 inch florescent tubes that are 40 watts each of energy. They are in one old 4 tube holder bought at a garage sale. The plug was wired in so I could plug it in a power bar and not have to install it wired into the ceiling. So my set up is like using four 40 watt bulbs. The holder for the grow lights is rested on its end against a wall corner on a large plastic bin , and it has a plug in wired in so I can turn it on and off easily with a power bar. The room is sunny. I use the lights a few hours a day morning and evening. See my account for a PICTURE of a small window box or kitchen counter top garden.

My garden consists of some short window boxes on tables. They cost $2 each at the Dollar Store. In those boxes I have cherry tomato plants, a cucumber plant, lettuce, beet tops, garlic, green onions, celery, parsley, spinach, dill.

Oregano, rosemary, mint grow in pots and grow like bushes all year. You can share with others by taking some clippings off the vines and rooting them in water. Now here is my discovery! It might not be new.

How To grow Beautiful Lettuce, Celery, Beet Tops, etc FAST
Buy some heads of green leaf lettuce and red lettuce and or romaine at the grocery store. Wash them and just take all the outer leaves to use for now. Wash the small tight inner hearts of the lettuce and set the root on top of some soil. Water the soil. The lettuce will start to grow fast and will stay crisp. Use the outer leaves as needed.

Buy some celery. Cut the bottom off the celery about 1/4 inch of it. Use the stalks as usual. Place the bottom you cut off on top of moist soil. In a few days the celery will begin to grow again and in a few weeks it will have a root. Take stalks off as needed and leave growing. Do the same with beet tops and carrot tops. You can also place an entire garlic bought at the store on top of soil. It will grow roots in a few days and green garlic tops for soup and salad. Use as needed and keep growing. Do not bury any of these roots or tops under the soil, just on top with a little soil around the lettuce bottoms to hold upright.

I make these winter gardens as gifts for my family. They can sit on your kitchen counter under your top cupboard with a small florescent grow light attached to the bottom of the upper cupboard. This is all the light they need. Every upper kitchen cupboard can grow a garden in a window box set at the back of the counter.

You can try for a cold frame made of old windows on the south side of the house. Lettuce and parsley will even grow in snow.

Need heat? Use solar heaters you can make yourself. You can look around You Tube for ideas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u7mstBFbrE&feature=related

If you have any new ideas I would love to hear about them!



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Macaroni salad

What kind of seeds do you recommend for that?

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

Why, YANKEE bean seeds, of course!

Yankee doodle went to town riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.

For planting tips: http://www.almanac.com/plant/beans
P.S. Yankee beans also go by the name navy beans, Boston beans, and pea beans.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

What?

You. C'mere. You see that winky emoticon up there? That means I'm joking. Know how else you can tell?

(his face stretches back to reveal row after row of gleaming incisors)

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Your salad sounds wonderful!

Yes, seeds and sprouts also work; great idea!

Great post. I'm going to try it.

I don't know why I haven't done something like this before now, especially growing herbs. Thanks for the push. I'm especially intrigued by your lettuce "trick." I'm going to try it with radicchio and endive ~ which I stopped buying ages ago. Now this will be a trick, though... reclaiming the spot in front of the sunny window from my cat. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I am going to try the endive and some others as well.

You can plant them fairly close together, because you will be removing the outer leaves all the time. I try everything. Just placed the bottom of a big yellow onion on the soil.

Maybe you can help the dear cat find another place that he will like! Just lost our beautiful 21 years old cat. Healthy til the end. Caught a mouse a few days before he laid down in his basket and left that night.

Good luck with the window sill garden. It is fun and you get fast results!

I'm so sorry

to hear about your kitty. But happy to hear he lived a long, healthy, and feisty life. I'll try to convince my own cat to give up his afternoon spot, but it's going to be tough! He's just like this cat ~ that expression on his face. Ah-h! https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSnMyeH...

You have created a wonderful thread here ~ uplifting, practical, and fun! Thanks!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Such a darling cat you have! (from the picture)

We fed Charlie wet food all his life and table scraps. Dry food was a treat now and then. Maybe he lived as long as he was supposed to live.

I am enjoying this thread too! Click on my account to see a picture of a small winter garden in a window box. You need lots of lettuce plants if you are taking a few leaves at a time from each plant. Planted endive and romaine today.

It was the same expression

as that tabby cat when my own cat goes to the window for his daily sun bath. Truly, it's his daily afternoon ritual. But here's more of what he looks like. https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_vWBu... Google has lots of red cat images, but mine has these same paws that he bends ~ and uses ~ as if they were hands. I loved what you said about your cat's longevity. It reminded me of this story that someone sent me a while back. (I'm sorry that there was no author listed.) It concerns dogs, but based on my experience, it no less pertains to cats:

A Dog's Purpose

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued,

''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

--------------

I checked out your account. How refreshing that window box looks! At the moment we're still without heat or electricity from the hurricane and have basically been housebound because of the gas shortage that's only just now over in my area. Hopefully power will be restored by next weekend and life will go back to normal. I can't wait to get started on this project. Let me ask you a couple questions: 1) Do you just water the plants or also fertilize them? 2) Does it matter if it's incandescent lighting?

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Thank you for the lovely pictures of the cat and the story of

the wolf hound. We also had a wolf hound that died at 8 years and that is about average. The boy showed great wisdom.

Sorry to hear you are still without power and heat! We have also been that way four days in the winter a number of years back. Fortunately have a wood stove so at least we had heat and melted snow for water. Hope you are restored to power SOON!

In regard to the soil. I mix layers of manure in with the soil and some vermiculite and perlite to hold moisture and break up the soil. After that I just keep the soil moist but not wringing wet. I also mist the plants now and then with a spray bottle. You will so enjoy this little project. The plants look better than they ever did in the store; vibrant color just like the picture shows. It is wonderful to watch them grow, because they start out as big plants! There is no waiting for a seed to grow. I am still amazed at having tried this and seeing it work. Just had to share it.

This a very fun

post!

It is fun!

Love experimenting and watching plants grow. Always looking for new ideas!

OK well that was the guts of the e-book

that me and like a dozen other people have been toying with...

A really big "secret" here that is even so easy that almost truly anybody can do it is sprouts. They are kind of a bonanza for the post-economy lifestyle. And this is something you can do with whole foods and no other.

Buy wheat flour and you can make bread. Buy wheat berries and you can sprout them or grind them into flour. Aflafa seeds keep well, sprout well and you can sew them to enrichen your soil.

It all starts tying together. I hope you'll keep an eye out for my book about long term food storage for the poor man because it applies to all. It just happens that the closer you get back to nature, the easier it is for all people including the poor to apply it.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Thanks!

Yep I do sprouts as well. The idea about the wheat berries and grind into flour is great. Sprouts are a fantastic source of nutrition!

Here is another tip. If you do not want to put the end of your lettuce bought at the store in the soil, you can keep it for weeks in the fridge just by putting the end in a bowl of water. It never goes bad and might even grow in the fridge. I used to do this for lettuce and just use the outer leaves. Cover lightly with the bag you brought it home in from the store. Let some air around it but not too much.

YES I will watch for your book!

Advance copies are going out....

The advance copies are for proof readers and they don't have the illustrations (mainly cause I haven't drawn them yet, the drawings I have are old and tattered and won't scan well so I have to re-draw them on a modern computer graphics tablet device on order) but it would be neat to get your feedback before the whole thing is totally set in stone.

It's 50 pages, it's packed with science but I hope it gets read like a book, cover to cover. Reading it and understanding it you will have broad competency on the subject as well as the capability to create and innovate without disaster.

Shoot an email to info (at) longtermstoragefood (dot) com, identify yourself and who knows where this one goes?

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Thanks!

Will get to it soon.

Yay! Thanks for this post!

Yay! Thanks for this post! I've been wanting to use more fresh raw veggies but they cost an arm and a leg where I live. Maybe this would work for me.

It will work!

I am also cold north, and remote. I look for every way to be self sustaining. That is my motivation! You can experiment with other veggies. I am trying new ones all the time. Just put the 1/4 inch off the bottom of a yellow onion on top of soil and will see what happens.

I just pulled

some gorgeous purple globe turnips from my outdoor garden. Gonna roast 'em in the oven with a little olive oil, s&p. Yum.

Your post sounds very cool...will definately try...lots and lots of sunshine in my kitchen area...perhaps I can forgo the lights? Worth a try. Thanks.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Lettuce does not need a lot of light! Nor does parsely.

Maybe the sunshine will do it. If not an 18 inch florescent tube is easy to install, and uses low energy. The turnip recipe sounds wonderful!

Can we get specifics? Like hardware used?

Pics? Youtube video?

I've been looking for the most energy efficient led grow light or florescent for an offgrid limited electricity situation.

I have a fluorescent light now but it doesn't seem to work that great and I have to leave it on longer so that the plants get enough light to grow, comparatively.

Since this is an offgrid solution for me, I need something that's not going to use half of my electric allowance for each day.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Wish I could advise more!

I am using 4 GE Plant and Aquarium 48 inch florescent tubes that are 40 watts each of energy. They are in one old 4 tube holder bought at a garage sale. The plug was wired in so I could plug it in a power bar and not have to install it wired into the ceiling. So my set up is like using four 40 watt bulbs. I do not use much hydro either but I am on the grid, reluctantly. Our total monthly bill for ALL our utilities is $150.

Now you can get the little florescent tubes; I do not know their watts. I know people who use these bulbs to grow a garden in the crawlspace under their house! cabbages, lettuce, green onions... but I am betting that is high energy.

You can try for a cold frame made of old windows on the south side of the house. Lettuce and parsley will even grow in snow.

Need heat? Use solar heaters you can make yourself. You can look around You Tube for ideas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u7mstBFbrE&feature=related

Okay, thanks. You're doing something similar

to what I'm doing for lights, well probably closer to your friends. I use two 14 watt fluorescent. I get a little growth if I keep them close to the plant but 28 watts @ 14 hours is 392 total watts used per day out of 1500 total watts available per day.

I suppose since I won't need my freezer during the winter, I can take power from that. It doesn't cover a big enough area to provide greens for me and my rabbits during winter months.. Looks like I'll be planting hay for the winter to store for them along with greens and I'll have to plant enough veggies during summer for the freezer to last me the winter.

Thanks.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Sprouts may be another option?

Sounds like you need lots of greens. It takes a long time to grow lettuce to full size from seed. That is why I use plants from the store and set them on the soil. They thrive and grow fast. Maybe the outdoor cold frame in the south sun might work better for you? The homemade solar heaters are becoming popular. For now I burn wood, but I am looking into the solar heater.

There isn't really a lot of sun during winter in Alaska.

Buying from stores is out because the property is on accessible by bush plane.

Sprouts I do and they work, it's just that I need to plant everyday so I can get a cake everyday for them. That's six to nine trays under the light at any given time.

I do plan on using raised beds and a greenhouse during the winter to extend the growing season for as long as possible.

just really looking for the best light with the lowest wattage used for my money. I've seen tests comparisons for varying grow lights and LED seems to be the best depending on the brand but there's so much hype in products. Who knows if you're getting an honest review.

Edit: How long can you pick from these plants and how much would you say you can get per plant per day without hurting it?

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

I cannot answer for how long the plants will last.

If you are feeding people and rabbits it might go fast. All you can do is experiment. As long as you leave a few leaves on the plant it will keep growing. I am only feeding a few people.

I am vegetarian and that actually makes eating more simple. Lots of food growing even in the wild.

The green house sounds like a good plan. But there is still the depths of winter to deal with. Hope you post about your results and ideas.