Spinach saves the day

Snowy weather and a cold flat has rather slowed the progress of the indoor salad garden this week. Rather than the fat crop of peashoots and cut-and-come-again salad leaves that I’d hoped for by this stage, I’ve found myself with a bunch of adolescent microgreens.

Week 6

I sampled a few lettuce seedlings, which have grown their first tiny pairs of true leaves. They do taste like a more intense lettuce, but they’re nothing special really, in my opinion. I’d much rather wait for them to reach the stage where they have juicy 4in leaves which taste marvellous and bulk up a salad no end.

So instead I’ve harvested some of my overwintered spinach. I’ve managed to nurse it through after I sowed it in the last week of August, keeping it in the sunniest part of my part-shaded balcony, next to the wall of our flat, which offers a little extra warmth. From late October, the spinach plants have been covered in their pots with a plastic bell cloche, and they have survived.

Wonderful, wonderful spinach. I love the thick, juicy, flavoursome young leaves raw, with a little honey and mustard dressing. And it was rather lovely to eat something larger than a postage stamp.

That’s the end of the spinach on the balcony, though. All that remains, plugging powerfully through the snow, are mature curly kale plants and baby chard, which I hope, come the warmer weather, will mature into big, fat colourful leaves to be cooked on a cold winter’s night.

This week I sowed

Komatsuna, peas, lettuce.

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