Turn Over a New Leaf: Grow Your Own Salad

June 19, 2009 by

red-lettuce

Watch your salad practically grow itself. There are a number of products available that make growing your own salad greens and other vegetables a cinch. The 3-pod and 6-pod AeroGardens have an aerator to directly oxygenate the water, and their seed pods are about 3 1/4 inches long so that they reach down into the water in the bowl, allowing them to draw water up through the grow sponge into the roots of the young plants.

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The 7-pod AeroGardens add oxygen to the water by circulating the water up through the grow deck and over the seed pods and plant roots. Because the pump is circulating water up and over through the grow sponges, the pods do not have to reach down into the water in the bowl. See how this works:

Amber’s Garden brings you seven varieties of hardy seed mats with high germination rates pre-packaged so all you need to do is plant, harvest, and serve. For $29.99, the 6 foot x 14 inch “Salad Garden” contains everything you need to grow a salad garden of radishes, snow peas, carrots, tomatoes, and spring mix lettuce.  The mats can be cut between vegetables and planted in containers. Also available are a Salsa, Herb, Sunflower, and Gourd Garden, as well as a Pumpkin Patch and Summer Crop.

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When your veggies have sprouted, why not get yourself a beautiful harvest basket in which to gather your greens and carry them off to the kitchen:

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Brown and green harvest baskets from Amber’s Garden, available in three sizes, from $9.99-12.50

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Bushel baskets from Shipley Baskets

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Two-tone basket from Lucky Clover Trading

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Decorative baskets from Michigan basket weaver, Andrea Herman, at Baskets by Andrea

How to Store Lettuce (courtesy of eHow.com)
Lettuce contains antioxidants, two of which are B-carotene and lutein. Because lettuce contains B-carotene, eating it may protect from free radical damage that contributes to illness. Some experts believe the consumption of foods containing lutein contributes to healthier eyes. Since lettuce possesses such important protective qualities, we might as well protect our lettuce by storing it properly. The steps below will inform you on how to store lettuce in your refrigerator.

1. Separate lettuce leaves from the head of the lettuce. Place in a colander.
2. Place colander of lettuce leaves under cold running water, allowing them to rinse thoroughly.
3. Lay the leaves down on paper towels and leave them to dry.
4. Place lettuce leaves in large sealable plastic bags. Store the bags in the crisper section of refrigerator.

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