The makings of a spring salad: arugula, baby claytonia, baby beet greens and cress.



Vates kale

It’s May 18 and we just harvested the first crops from our front-yard garden. Home-grown salad tonight!

Here’s what we harvested:

Arugula: The crop is fully mature, so we’ll harvest the whole block. We’ll replant with a compact type of eggplant called Little Finger, which has been growing under lights. When the eggplants are harvested at the end of the summer, we’ll squeeze in a second crop of arugula.

Cress: Wrinkly, ruffled leaves have a surprising peppery bite. A good addition to salads or tucked into sandwiches. Looks like we’ll be able to harvest continuously for a few more weeks.

Claytonia: The taste is mild and a bit sweet. Still at “baby” stage, claytonia will mature to have rounded leaves and small white flowers.

Beet greens: The variety is called Bull’s Blood, and the leaves are beet red, as expected. We’re growing this for greens, harvested by the leaf, allowing the plant to keep producing. We are also growing another type of beet, Early Wonder, which will be left to mature into beets.

Kale: This grows alone in a 14″ diameter pot — plenty of space for this compact variety, which is called Vates. By harvesting the outer leaves, the inner leaves can be left to grow. With luck, we’ll be able to harvest tender kale all summer.

For more detail, see the plans for our front-yard garden, which is meant to be edible and ornamental.

David gardens in northwestern Vermont.