‘Cut and come again’ salads are worth the effort

November 30, 2011

Now I know why oriental salad leaves are so expensive in the supermarkets!

We’re cultivating an assortment of indoor-grown oriental and other baby leaves in our first polytunnel.

These “cut and come again” crops should last us until early spring (with a gap when they stop for a rest in the short, dull days of mid-winter).

There’s quite a variety – spicy red mustard, mizuna and mibunapak choicurly endive, baby chard, parsley (“French” flat as well as curly-leaved) and mixed lettuce.

But it takes two or more people around two hours every Friday morning to pick enough leaves for the 35 or more weekly vegetable boxes. It requires nimble fingers and is incredibly labour intensive.

There’s one big mitigating factor about all this for the volunteer pickers. Salad leaf picking is guaranteed warm, dry work which is also out of the wind.

Arguably much more satisfactory than parsnip, leek or carrot lifting which are cold, wet and muddy jobs.

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