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Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

January 28th, 2016

When I was contacted about reviewing and doing a giveaway of ‘Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening’ by Peter Burke I knew it was something that I would enjoy and definitely something you would enjoy hearing about. This is not a book about growing sprouts, this is a book about growing greens in small containers of soil. No multiple rinsing daily, not as much risk of mold, not as much maintenance. It is also not about growing micro greens, which can take much longer than the 10 days it takes to grow the kind of sprouts Peter is talking about in this book. This book is essential an in depth how-to guide to grow “nutrient-dense, soil-sprouted greens in 10 days or less”.
Year round indoor salad gardening 2
As I’ve been reading through the book I’ve been trying to figure how to incorporate some of the methods into my schedule in order to grow a few greens during the cold, winter months here in Maine. The truth is that I LOVE salad all year long and I buy a decent amount of it during the winter months. If I could grow it myself, I could not only save a little cash, but I could have healthier salads since the greens would be harvested right before eating. While you don’t need any additional lighting for his growing methods, he does recommend some window light. My windows are packed out with overwintered plants: bananas, citrus, herbs, etc. I also have the issue of having loads of cats running around the house eating greens they find delectable, which I’m thinking they’d probably find these tasty little greens.
Year round indoor salad gardening 1
The technique is simple enough, though I think getting the workflow that works best for your current situation would take some trial & error. Essentially, you need 10 containers. Each day, you plant one or more trays with seeds and follow the protocol (putting in a warm, dark closet for 4 days then uncovering and waiting 6-10 more days until it’s ready to harvest). At it’s core, this is a super simple method. Finding the right workflow for your house/time/needs is going to be the most difficult things to achieve. This method would work very well for someone who loves schedule and order. I could go on and on explaining Peter’s process, but in reality, you’re better off reading the book. It answers just about every question you will have and have loads of photos and wonderful explanations. One of you will be lucky, because we’re doing a giveaway of this book. Comment below for your chance to win, in a week I’ll randomly choose a lucky commenter to win a copy of this book.

What’s your favorite type of salad dressing? 

And our winner is:
Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 1.58.37 PM

49 Comments to “Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening”
  1. Ilene on January 28, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I definitely would like to read this book, so put my name in the hat! I am currently planning to grow some spinach and maybe lettuce hydroponically in quart glass canning jars, from some instructions I got on YouTube. My supplies have been ordered and are on the way. I put the link to the video on my recent blogpost on Jan. 21.

    Reply to Ilene's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on January 28, 2016 at 7:18 am

    My most frequently made salad dressing is olive oil, vinegar (any kind we have–tarragon vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, whatever), Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and a tiny amount of sugar. I find that having enough salt is the key to a not-flat-tasting dressing.

    Probably my favorite, though, is homemade ranch: mayonnaise (I just buy Hellman’s, because making my own is not happening), buttermilk or plain yogurt, garlic powder, dried dill weed, and pepper. However, I’m just as likely to eat that with tortilla chips, which is like a way better version of Cool Ranch Doritos, so I don’t make it all that often. It’s also not as versatile, since it’s kind of heavy and can’t be used for delicate greens.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. Jaye Whitney on January 28, 2016 at 7:50 am

    This book and concept looks really interesting – and doable!

    My favorite dressing is a traditional vinaigrette, homemade of course!

    Keep us posted Susy on what you find when experimenting.

    Reply to Jaye Whitney's comment

  4. Sara on January 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

    This looks like such a do-able technique! Secretly my favorite salad dressing is store-bought ranch! But most often we made a homemade vinaigrette, or if I’m really inspired a yogurt-y ranch-y version.

    Reply to Sara's comment

  5. Meg on January 28, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Homegrown greens year round in zone 6a? Count me in! Home made vinegarette is our favorite dressing.

    Reply to Meg's comment

  6. Angie H on January 28, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I love Italian dressing!

    Reply to Angie H's comment

  7. Dianna on January 28, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Home made buttermilk dressing is the absolute best! Thank you for sharing about growing these greens. I think I will try it.

    Reply to Dianna's comment

  8. Jill on January 28, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I had just decided it’s time to try growing some greens for ourselves and our rabbits. This book would probably help a lot! As far as store bought dressing goes, I love Renee’s Asian Sesame. One of my favourite homemade dressings is olive oil, ketchup, sugar and vinegar. Wonderful with feta and pear over spinach and arugula with red onion. Yum!

    Reply to Jill's comment

  9. Misty Garrett-Clugston on January 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I love the apple cider vinegar based dressing that Bragg’s makes! I’m sure you can make a version of this, but when I’m pressed for time, I grab a bottle of this at the grocery store. Delicious!

    Reply to Misty Garrett-Clugston's comment

  10. PennyAshevilleNC on January 28, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What a great book- I need the schedule for sure!
    For dressing, I am using a white balsamic with lemon grass & mint and an olive oil gifted to me by my sister in law at Christmas. She picked the perfect pair.

    As for cats- one of mine years ago ate all the leaves off the stems of my shamrock! It was hilarious, all that was left were white stems.

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  11. Nancy on January 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Anything homemade is my favorite but a simple vinegar and oil is at the top of my list. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    Reply to Nancy's comment

  12. AGinPA on January 28, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I was planning to try microgreens this winter and this method looks good. Thanks for sharing it!

    I actually like just plain olive oil (very high quality) and some salt.

    Reply to AGinPA's comment

  13. Charlie@Seattle Trekker on January 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

    This topic is on the topic of my interest list for this winter, I will hunt up the book, it looks like a really great read.

    Reply to Charlie@Seattle Trekker's comment

  14. Victoria on January 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I actually have a minibel tomato plant on my desk at work, here in WI. It just turned 1 year old and it’s still producing! I get about 5 to a handful of cherry tomatoes each week.
    My favorite salad dressing is a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  15. Amanda on January 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I like ranch dressing for salads that are loaded with veggies (I like carrots, cucumber, celery, and broccoli). Sometimes I prefer to keep it simple with greens tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with sea salt and fresh black pepper and maybe a little parmesan cheese. Yum!

    Reply to Amanda's comment

  16. whit on January 28, 2016 at 11:40 am

    This looks wonderful. We grow a few micro greens in our small greenhouse over the winter, but it would be so handier to have them in our sunroom. Thanks for reviewing the resource for us Susy, and to the people offering up a copy to giveaway.

    Salads are hard for me…I much rather have veg sides, but when I am having salad, I like smokey blue cheese. Ginger lemon vinegrette is another favourite, as well as a reduced balsamic vinegar. I’d love to figure out how to make a dressing with pesto and orange…for some reason that sounds really good to me. Truly, I just like my micro greens on or under eggs. Especially radish greens. So peppery…so yummy!

    Reply to whit's comment

  17. Jennifer on January 28, 2016 at 11:47 am

    This book looks great! My favorite salad dressing is homemade: olive oil, balsamic, a little maple syrup, and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand, which, sadly is none right now–come on spring!

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  18. Chris on January 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    This looks like a great book, especially this time of the year! I too like a vinaigrette, preferably Italian! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

  19. Denyalle on January 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I just borrowed this from the library and love it. Going to incorporate his methods in my home. Would love to have a keeper copy of this book!

    Reply to Denyalle's comment

  20. Zerilda Wornica on January 28, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Books sounds very interesting, I too would like to hav e fresh greens in the winter. I do enjoy your blog, always good and interesting information. Thank you for the time you put in to it.

    Grandma Zee

    Reply to Zerilda Wornica's comment

  21. Jess on January 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I love salad and this looks like a great book.

    Reply to Jess's comment

  22. Nebraska Dave on January 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Susy, that’s exactly what I’m doing in my basement seed starting room. I have four buckets that will become home for this year’s tomato plants in the rain gutter growing system. I planted radishes and lettuce. They are doing amazingly well. I made a huge mistake and put an entire package of lettuce seed in two buckets. There must have been a thousand seeds in that package and every one sprouted twice. I planted them a week into January and they are starting to get their true leaves and actually look like radishes and lettuce. I might just have to purchase this book. Even through Peter’s book isn’t about growing plants to maturity, it looks real interesting.

    Have a great soil sprouting day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  23. Wendy on January 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I enjoyed this book when I checked it out of the library; I’d love to have my own copy. My favorite dressing is a citrus vinaigrette, with ranch a close second!

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  24. Erin on January 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for years, never have commented, but I too LOVE SALAD and I most love it dressed with Caesar. I currently live in Colorado but am soon moving to the Northeast (possibly VT or ME). Colorado is very hot in the summer, too hot for many salad greens, so hopefully our move will yield a greater variety of salad material (although I’ve become addicted to spicy, home-grown arugula).

    (Count me in on the giveaway?)


    Reply to Erin's comment

  25. Camille on January 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I love vinaigrettes as well, but my go-to dressing is definitely tahini dressing of all kinds — with garlic, with lemon, blended with fresh herbs, and with turmeric and ginger if I’m feeling super healthy. This book looks awesome!

    Reply to Camille's comment

  26. Robin Follette on January 28, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I’ve been using Mange Fresh Fruit Vinegar on my salad. My favorite at the moment is Blackberry but Lemon Thyme is a close second. I found it at Boston Public Market last month. Next time I go back I’ll be stocking up. I never get tired of salad so I go through a lot of dressing.

    Reply to Robin Follette's comment

  27. Pamela Hawkins on January 28, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I love this idea!
    I have been trying to talk my sister into doing a cold frame, and she is pretty much against it at this time, maybe later she says, but this might be a great substitute!
    Thanks for all that you do!

    Reply to Pamela Hawkins's comment

  28. Kristen on January 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    The only winter gardening we did last year was to over winter the rosemary and start pea shoots which we thoroughly enjoyed. My favorite dressing is blue cheese. Recently an Italian restaurant in town bottled their house balsamic dressing and we received a bottle of that as a present. We ate salad every night that week!

    Reply to Kristen's comment

  29. Lisa on January 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Favorite salad dressing is olive oil and red wine vinegar mixed with Greek seasoning from THE SPICE GUY at THE NORTH MARKET.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  30. Sam on January 29, 2016 at 12:41 am

    My favorite salad dressing ever was an orange-rosemary vinaigrette I had at a restaurant in Baton Rouge. So simple, but so good!

    Thanks for the chance- looks like such and interesting idea!

    Reply to Sam's comment

  31. natalie on January 29, 2016 at 5:57 am

    I would love this book. I have an aero garden which is nice but gets pricey. I miss my fresh greens of summer. Would love to read this.

    Reply to natalie's comment

  32. Nancy on January 29, 2016 at 7:30 am

    I am interested in learning how to expand our fresh greens growing season. Favorite dressing is olive oil and vinegar, or no dressing at all.

    Reply to Nancy's comment

  33. Jodiana on January 29, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I have been looking at this book for some time. I would love a copy to read and try.

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

  34. Cassandra on January 29, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Very interesting! Thanks for reviewing this book. We’re still several weeks from planting outside here (duh, but I’m restless). I’d thought about planting some greens inside but wasn’t sure I could tend them well enough to produce anything. This gives me a bit of hope. :)

    Reply to Cassandra's comment

  35. Sheila Z on January 30, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Winter greens! yes

    Reply to Sheila Z's comment

  36. Andrea on January 30, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I’m really missing fresh greens this time of year. This book looks great. Favorite dressing around here is probably a simple homemade balsamic.

    Reply to Andrea's comment

  37. Kimberly K on January 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful book! I have never had much luck growing salad greens/lettuce but this sounds like a good way to do it.

    Reply to Kimberly K's comment

  38. Erin on January 30, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve never commented on your blog, even though I have been reading it for years. I too LOVE salad and Caesar dressing is my current favorite. Thanks for being informational and relatable!

    Reply to Erin's comment

  39. Cheryl on January 30, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I like to use guacamole as salad dressing. It’s tasty, and it goes great with the bean topped salads that I like to eat for lunch.

    Reply to Cheryl's comment

  40. Kirsten on January 30, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    We’re loving a homemade ranch right now, and in the summer, we have a homemade Dijon vinaigrette we really like.

    Reply to Kirsten's comment

  41. Sarah on February 1, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Choosing my favorite dressing is difficult! I like to make my own out of whatever is around. My two most common recipes include olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar as well as olive oil and the pickling brine from my foraged ramps.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  42. Pam on February 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    My favorite dressing is extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    Reply to Pam's comment

  43. Jodiana on February 1, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    My favorite salad dressing right now is Thousand Island that I have been making from scratch.

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

  44. Eric on February 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I’m a big fan of blue cheese dressing but my wife loves the balsamic vinegar.

    Reply to Eric's comment

  45. TR on February 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This sounds like a great system. We, too, love our greens, and I have been looking for a way to get them instead of just sprouting. Favorite everyday dressing is a homemade vinaigrette. Favorite special occasion dressing is a homemade blue cheese!

    Reply to TR's comment

  46. Kelly on February 3, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I would love that book! My favorite dressings are homemade creamy vinaigrette and homemade ranch without mayo (with full fat Greek yogurt and sour cream instead).

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  47. Brian S. on February 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

    What an interesting concept! I’ve recently began growing microgreens indoors under grow lights, which gives a nice addition to winter fare. I heard an interview of Peter Burke on the Urban Farmer Podcast a couple weeks ago and his story/techniques were quite interesting! I love the idea of growing more greens for myself and my family during the winter when growing outdoors becomes difficult.

    Reply to Brian S.'s comment

  48. Ferngold on February 4, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    We love to make creamy vegan salad dressings with miso, a few tablespoons of seeds (sesame, sunflower, hemp, whatever), water, oil, herbs. Sometimes I like to add carrots or greens. We use the blender.

    Reply to Ferngold's comment

  49. Becky on February 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    As someone who loves routine, this books sounds interesting, I’ll have to check to see if my local library has it or has plans to get it! If I’m feeling like a purist, my favorite dressing is just really good olive oil and balsamic mixed. When I’m not feeling so pure, I enjoy Brianna’s Chipotle cheddar dressing – maybe I should see if I can find a healthier copycat recipe for it? :)

    Reply to Becky's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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