It’s not exactly fast food. It could take most of the summer to get your salad (which seems to be roughly the speed of most pizza places) but it is well worth the wait. With only the most rudimentary of tools, a little space in the back yards, and some elbow grease, anybody can have a truly fresh salad.
Gardening is a rewarding hobby. Flower growers can see the beauty of their labors all summer long. The vegetable growers also get a great reward. They can hear the fresh crunch of home-grown lettuce and taste the mouth-watering tomato that just came off the vine minutes before you tasted it.
A gardener can grow his own salad, making it as simple or complicated as he would like. As with any salad the first thing he starts with is the lettuce. Any true vegetable aficionado will tell you that there is no such thing as lettuce. The leafy salad staple comes in a variety of tastes, shapes, sizes, and colors. Gardeners can grow iceberg lettuce (the normal kind you find in the grocery store), butterhead, romaine, or countless other lettuces. The produce section of the supermarket generally doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the types of lettuces out there. It’s best just to check what grows in your area and plant whatever looks good.
Next on the salad is the tomato – the ripe, red wedges add visual appeal as well as deep flavor. Tomatoes tend to be robust plants and can grow in a variety of climates. Its best to stake them to make sure that the tomatoes do not touch the ground. This can be anything from a simple wooden stake to an elaborate metal cage. Keep an eye on them, though. They’ll sprout up and ripen seemingly overnight. Pick them when they are plump and red, slice them into sections, and enjoy!
To add some extra color to the salad, not to mention some Vitamin A for good eyesight, shave some fresh carrots over the salad, or chop them into round pieces. The carrot is another hearty vegetable. Unlike the tomato, the carrot grows into the ground, thus it grows better in loose soil. When you are ready to make your fresh salad, simply go to the ground and pull out any carrot bigger than your finger. Slice it up and you are ready to eat!
One of the last things to add to a fresh grown salad is a few cucumber slices. Cucumbers are fast-growing plants – most varieties are ready to pick in 2 months. When you are ready for your salad, go to the garden and pull one of these off the vine, clean it, slice it and eat it.
A simple hobby is turned into a delicious salad – with its crisp greens, ripe tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and brisk cucumbers. And they eat their fresh home-grown salads, gardeners can definitely enjoy the fruits … er … vegetables of their labors.