I work, I go to school, I make time to see my family and to exercise–these are my priorities, and sometimes it means something has to give. Usually that means that I don’t have time to grocery shop as often as I’d like to.
Sure, I stock up at the beginning of the week, because that’s the nice and efficient way to make sure you’ve got food for the week. But it means that I eat more processed and packaged and frozen foods than I really want to be eating. More importantly, I don’t eat as many fresh vegetables as I’d like. I’ve tried to buy enough arugula to last me for a week, but in between my schedule changes and the dinners I didn’t have time to cook and the basic shelf life of arugula, you don’t want to hear about the mess in my crisper drawer, come Friday.
So you know I get a little tired of the “will this last long enough for me to eat” game. Plus the amount of food that can go to waste sometimes is frustrating. It can be a small but real and steady drain on my budget. Which is why I got so excited when I ran across this tidbit on CHOW, a site dedicated to the glorious things that good food can bring to your life.
It is, simply, a short video on how to grow your own salad in a box. You can grow just a handful of greens in a small garden container, and have enough to harvest for a dinner salad or sautéed greens every night. They grow back quickly—just keep watering regularly and you’ll have new leaves sprouting in no time. Plus you can choose a variety of flavors and colors to add variety and spice to your diet.
I had always thought of gardening as something difficult, time-consuming, taking a lot of talent and effort and know-how, but this video inspired me to take a quick poke around the web to see exactly what it would take to become a salad gardener. The answer is that just about anyone can do it, with a minimum of time and money invested. Here are just some of the pages I found with great advice and tips to get started.
- On Real Simple, a look at how easy it is to create a collection of greens in a variety of containers, inside or out.
- From Eating Well, some good tips on growing, harvesting and maintaining your crop.
- From the agricultural department of the University of Maryland, detailed instructions on creating a container for growing your greens, choosing the types of vegetables you want to grow, and caring for them, and more.
Leafy greens tend to thrive in cooler weather, so now is the time to start your garden, either inside or out. It’s a fast, easy, lovely way to take care of yourself and your family, save money, and eat just about as fresh and healthy as it’s possible to get.
Sara Nelson is the Social Media Guru for Stevens-Henager College, overseeing the college’s profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more. She is also a student in the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, and she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to good music, and eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.