Last of the winter salad (78 days to go…)

by Max Akroyd

This post is simply a retrospective tribute to some humble salad crops which have been significant contributors to our diet since New Year. Thanks to their existence within the weedy ranks of the polytunnel beds, the first three months of the calendar year aren’t such a fearsome prospect any more.

No one cares about lambs lettuce in July. But in February it’s a godsend. I’ve discovered a few others too, which I’d strongly recommend for sowing in October and cherishing as the Hungry Gap opens up.

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Miner’s lettuce, leaf chicory and various mustards…you couldn’t claim gourmet prizes for any of them (although Amsoi/Indian mustard is very nice indeed) – but that’s not the point. They are friendly, winter stalwarts. Like all good friends they are there when the going is tough.

After a hectic summer it’s tempting to forget about such things. But fiddling around with obscure salad seed as the days start to draw in ensures something green and healthy to eat at the start of spring – which isn’t a nettle!