Gardening Part 1

Well, I am in the throes of spring fever. I can’t settle down to one project. I want to get dirt under my fingernails. I want to take a road trip or paint my house or something. I need new clothes. I don’t want to wear socks.

Of course, as always, while I indulge myself in a bit of daydreaming of far-off places and bare feet on sandy shores, the realities of my everyday life do not have spring fever; they call me back from my daydreams with their insistent cries of must do, should do, don’t forget...

This year, though, I will combine the obligations of my existence with some down-and-dirty digging in soil. I am designing a new system to provide the restaurant with a secure supply of fresh micro greens.

While I enjoy almost every aspect of the Star immensely (ironing napkins maybe not so much), my greatest love is growing some of the produce we use in the summer. I grow tomatoes, hot peppers, herbs, zucchini and chard for our summer menu. This year Chef Joel wants micro greens.

So I was looking at the empty plastic strawberry packaging on my counter the other day, thinking this must be useful for more than just a one-time stand. I left it on the counter for a few days, waiting for inspiration. Meanwhile, I planned my micro-green product – shoots of radish, arugula, corn salad, beets, maybe parsley and other leafy herbs.

Then, all at once, inspiration struck! I can fill the strawberry container with potting soil, sow seeds, moisten, and close the cover for a little greenhouse. We can easily take the container to the restaurant so we can pick only what we need and everything will be really fresh.

Wait a minute! We have a room upstairs at the Star with a large south-facing window where a shelving unit would fit perfectly. We could grow micro greens all year long, and possibly cut down on the spring fever syndrome, not to mention extending the whole garden-to-table thing.

So this is my plan. While the weather allows, I will keep my plastic containers of micro greens in the greenhouse and garden. But when the cold winds blow and summer is merely a memory, I will move my gardening operation upstairs to that big south-facing window, so we have a fresh supply of greens all winter.

 I will need a lot of containers!  Hmmm...strawberries, anyone?