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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.
LIBERATED SALAD - BIODIVERSITY AT THE TABLE
(Public domain document: when appropriate, please credit
Kathy Ging,, POB 11245 Eugene, OR, 97440 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.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
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.