Liberated Salad (public domain document)

Thought I would pass on this essay I wrote after working on this
concept for a few years. I am from Eugene, OR, where winter gardening
is feasible. I learned from Bill Mollison: the only thing
you have when you die is what you have given away. 

(Public domain document: when appropriate, please credit 
Kathy Ging,, POB 11245  Eugene, OR, 97440 e-mail: kging@efn.org.)
A one hour a week organic oasis and urban victory for gardener *wanna 
bees* with no time, a pale green thumb and a littlespace, Liberated Salad 
is a flamboyant vegetable bouquet anyone can  grow. Liberated Salad is an 
excellent mini-garden for singles, busy homemakers, seniors, working 
folks and better-abled persons who will not buy a frig full of greens to 
make a couple salads a day, nor invest in a hundred different seed packs 
to plant a littlespace, yet love to eat fresh garden salads.   

Liberated Salad is a mixture of up to 100 greens and ruby reds grown in 
garden beds or boxes selectively harvested in modest amounts in a 3-8+ 
month growing season, needing minimum water, time and nutrients. In many 
years in some parts of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) the growing season can 
be 9+ months with no protective coverings.

Liberated Salad is twice liberated! It liberates you from the definition 
of a gardener whose hands are often dirty, brow sweaty and back sore. You 
liberate the salad defined as a bland pale lettuce and a lifeless square 
tomato to a balanced bed of nutritious greens and ruby reds.  

*Eat the outer leaves and let the inner grow.* Plants are not consumed in 
one picking as for commercial markets. Plants live longer, allowing 
abundant harvest of red, green and purple visual delights with zesty 
flavors, exuberant color and diverse shapes and sizes - round, scalloped, 
curled and ruffled leaves,  Some plants, like biennials, survive a couple 
years. Kales with thick contorted stalks can still produce tender leaves 
eaten raw or cooked. Some broccoli varieties can live for 5 years! 
Sometimes I plant all the same seeds in a row instead of the liberated 
salad mix. I will leave a couple hearty, attractive or unique plants when 
finally harvesting the row. Planting a new row around these mavericks and 
rogues relieves the monotony of all in a straight military row garden. 
Inter-cropping confuses pests.

The garden becomes a textured palette!  Plants  become more intriguing, 
enticing you to nurture them to more creative growth.  Gardening is more 
fun -  a child in a play room instead of a gardener doing hard labor. 
Because it is enjoyable, garden and gardener animate each other. Each 
year, every garden is unique with variations that plant spirits exhibit!

Mark these 3 - 4 *holidays* on a calendar as annual planting days: 
Valentine*s Day (Feb. 14), St. Patrick*s Day (March 17), and April Fool*s 
Day or Earth Day (April 1 or 22). Start seeds  indoors in February and 
move out usually in March depending on climactic zone. (Most of these, 
remember, are not frost sensitive plants like tomatoes, squash or 
peppers.)  I use flats or tofu containers with sterile soil, often adding 
a small amount of  screened compost, not usually sterilized. 

Seaweed spray like Maxi-crop (mixed l/4 - 1/2 teaspoon to 1 gal. water) 
can increase drought and frost resistance and control pests. I soak the 
newly planted flats with Maxi-crop and spray plants a couple times. Rock dust 
is also good for plants. 
Will permaculture wonderlands result? Two experiments I encourage you to 
do is to plant all hundred kinds of seeds in 2-3 beds; allow them to go 
to seed and regrow. Become familiar with your local zone: then start your 
own Liberated Salad mix by buying or saving a hundred kinds of seeds with 
a 30-215 day growing cycle, mixing them in a bowl, then packaging in l/2 
teaspoon amounts in small jewelry size zip lock bags. Ideally, one would  
separate the 100 seeds and put a few in each bag, so that every bag had a 
few of each 100 seeds. But this is  labor intensive. Consider inviting a 
few folks to help. Give the Liberated Salad seeds away, trade or sell 
them. Store in a capped jar in a cool dark dry location (desiccant packet 
in jar prevents moisture.) 
Winter gardens are even less work than spring and summer gardens, needing 
little water and weeding. In some years I eat for 7 - 8 months - until 
mid-April - from one planting September 1!

In the PNW one or more plantings can begin Aug. 1-31  and Sept. 1-15.   
Siberian Express winters can freeze much of the garden, but hardier 
edibles like chicory and kale can survive.  For instance, I have 
discovered safety nets by planting in micro-zones, i.e., on two or more 
sides of my house.  The frost zones apparently can skip beds under a 
certain tree or at a certain direction from a house.  Also, different 
height plants will survive frost better than others - more reason for 
successive plantings in late summer.
Noting recent climate vagaries, it is possible that we may experience 
more temperature extremes and will need to be as cunning as Odysseus in 
designing food strategies for limited urban growing spaces, sometimes 
limited water and busy schedules. We need time to share new  Liberated 
Salad varieties with friends via potlucks and computers, don't we?  Bill 
Mollison, Permaculture movement founder, reports that Eco-Net (Peace-Net) 
has a world-wide teleconference on permaculture;  (might it be a good 
forum for Liberated Salad info turfing?)  Keep a journal or  garden log 
of your discoveries.  I video my garden over several years.  

I rarely transplant a whole four inch row from seedling container to the 
garden at the same time. A *four inch row* can hold several dozen 
seedlings! Instead, I transplant about two-thirds of the plants in my 
container, (2/3 in.) so in case of weather or pest attack, some that 
remained in the pot have grown large enough to increase transplant 
survival rate.  Also, by leaving some in the container, succession 
planting allows continual harvest.

Transplanting the critters when they are very small is ok - I often 
transplant when only one set of leaves appears. My transplant rate is 
almost 100%. Also, in hot weather, the smaller the plant, the less  
likely it  is that it will wilt when transplanted unless damp-off is present.

Raised beds are preferable because the soil warms up earlier, is drier 
and can be worked earlier than water-logged PNW soils. Because a fair 
amount of compost is used in beds, the soil is rich and can be planted 
intensively. (In compost is the future wealth of America! I often 
exclaim.) For example, in a 3 or 4 by 10 foot space, 21 rows are planted 
3-4 inches apart. Imagine solid beds of food - for family, friends and elves.

The raised beds transplanted with starts germinated from seed on Aug. l 
and Sept. 1 produce bountiful food . Spacing the starts close together - 

3 - 4 in. apart - helps to prevent moisture loss and excessive weeding, a 
method known as *living mulch.* 
Growing Liberated Salad, take one giant step toward a more self-reliant 
healthy organic food future. Liberated Salad is one answer to world 
starvation. It conserves water, fertilizer, space, gas (no need to drive 
to buy food when homemade gomasio on a salad tastes better than popcorn!) 
Homemade gomasio is far superior to the store-bought variety.  The simple 
recipe: lightly roasted brown unhulled (preferably organic) sesame seeds 
in an ungreased skillet, add a sea  salt pinch, grind in a blender (or 
buy a shaker that grinds as you use it). Gomasio is delicious in  salads 
(I mean RAVE reviews), soups, stir fries, cereal, or as a snack. This 
salad may be the best in the world!

For salad seasonings: experiment with light dustings of kelp and dulse 
(deep charcoal and wine red  seaweeds), brewer's yeast, cayenne, algae, 
squirts of amino acids, olive, flax, hemp or other vegetable oil, soy 
sauce, umeboshi plum vinegar, fresh lemon or lime juice. Liberated Salad 
dressing is made with these and raw organic ground sesame and sunflower 
seeds, garlic, miso, a hit of Szechuan sauce and pomegranate molasses and 
a dozen herbs. Whole grain croutons add zest and crunchiness.    

A decade ago I would rarely eat or buy kale, cabbage, mustard, turnip 
greens. But since these succulent greens grow in my yard almost year 
round, I now  treasure them. I usually have something with which to 
create a meal.  Now I eat more according to what is in season and buy 
almost 100% organic food for items which I do not grow. I can afford to 
buy organic food if I don't waste food.  Organic food is nutritionally 
superior as DoctorUs Data Lab pioneer study by Bob Smith confirms. A 
state of the art spectrometer where 38 minerals in 8 crops were 
identified indicated that organically grown foods are 200-250% higher 
than conventional foods for 38 minerals tested - potassium, etc. The 
Journal of Applied Nutrition quickly accepted and printed it; doctors are 
ordering thousands of copies for patients who are under-nourished. Free 
-1-800-323-2784. Other recent studies indicate that those who eat organic 
foods don*t need vitamins.

Liberated Salad is an innovative eating experiment based on the Sanskrit 
concept, Ahimsa (harmlessness) and a nonviolent diet.

When 7 sources of protein are added to Liberated Salad, it is a  
delicious satisfying main course: e.g., sesame and sunflower seed 
dressing, parmesan, goat , hemp seed, tofurella or other cheeses, 
multi-grain croutons, raw or marinated beans, smoked or raw tofu and  a 
few kinds of sprouts. Add a crunch by mixing equal parts of sprouted 
lentils, aduki beans and whole green peas also alfalfa, sunflower, 
radish, buckwheat and others, 

Eat Liberated salad as a main course or side dish for 9-10 months a 
year.  Even when the heavy frost came in mid-November, 1991, I went out 
at midnight to cover the raised beds for the first time. Although every 
leaf was hard - almost frozen - the next day there was almost no damage 
to my winter garden. I was pleasantly surprised that my experiment had 
worked.  We have a lot to learn.  During Siberian Express winters, beds 
were covered about 14 times - not every night. Use a tarp and put bricks 
on edges. 

Amity Foundation (now folded) in Eugene, OR, found in  experiments in the 
early eighties that 3-5 times as much food can be grown in Willamette 
Valley with simple protective clear plastic made into  a tunnel covering 
or bell cloche. Their book Gardening under Cover may be available in 
some libraries, or read other books on cloches. Experiment with 
protective coverings or more permanent hotbeds, cold beds or greenhouses, 
free-standing or attached, to the South or East of a house, barn or 
Consider designing a small solar heated structure including water or rock 
storage. Plastic lasts one to 20 years while fiberglass can last 20 years 
and glass 700+ years (European cathedrals!). Some plastic can be
recycled, though, and it costs only about 50 cents sq. ft for a
commercial size plastic greenhouse which can be put up in 1-2 days.

Soon a new material called  Cloud-gel (smart weather panels) may be 
available, allowing light and  heat for house and greenhouse. Many 
temperate climate fertile valleys like Willamette Valley can abundantly 
grow early spring and winter gardens. One could make a few hundred 
dollars a month with a modest outlay by growing liberated salad
for markets or for subscription customers.
Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest, a good reference book by 
Binda Colebrook, was a catalyst to my becoming more creative in
selection of garden and purple wonders. Over the last 10 years, the
40 seeds in my seed mixture have grown to a happy 100 varieties -
25 kinds of lettuce and many basils, kales, mustards, spinach,
coriander, arugula collards, chards, a few herbs and others. With 
only 100, I probably miss a few gems! Send me your suggestions.
I have distributed 1,500 Liberated Salad seed packs in the last decade 
to people from over 100 countries. Save the seeds-eat forever!
In Nov. my sister, Nancy, walked to her Pittsburgh, 
PA, suburban garden, and found a measure of independence-the last of her 
Liberated Salad planted in July.

Liberated Salad transforms into Liberated Steamed Veggies in
fall and  winter (using also roots grown separately). It has been
as well received as Liberated Salad. Imagine a rainbow in a dish:
deep purple Peruvian and yellow Finn potatoes, wine red, gold and 
pink and white striped beets (chiogga), purple and green ruffled
kales, mustards, broccoli, turnip and beet greens, orange squash
chunks, carrots, earthy turnip, onion and 
garlic, spinach, celery, cabbage and burdock. 

A principal ingredient in an anti-cancer diet and two formulas, BURDOCK 
(edible gobo root) is gaining popularity. It is easily grown and can be a 
perennial. It is a central ingredient of ESSIAC tea (Canadian cancer 
nurse Rene Caisse*s formula from the Indians) and HOXSEY formula for 
cancer control (from Mexico). To me, its flavor is like coconut and 

The Liberated Steamed vegetable platter satisfies the senses - delights 
the eye, scents the air, helps immunize the body, deters cancer. Sparky 
mustard greens, cabbage, kale, roquette - arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, 
brussel sprouts and other cruciferae have pro-life, anti-cancer 
(Ahimsa blessings to Linda and Allen Kapuler, Ph.D., for giving me 
diverse seeds to grow so that Liberated Salad evolved to the edible 
rainbow bouquet it is today. Emerging from his role as the organic 
vegetarian non-violent food system shaman, Allen has developed into the 
biodiverse amino, health and nutrition scientific defender at the table.) 
Organic seeds can be purchased from Seeds of Change POB 15700 Santa Fe, 
NM 87501, 505-438-8080, of which Allen and Linda are part owners.