Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tariq Hossenbux - Lettuce Farmer

 Tariq Hossenbux - Lettuce Farmer

My Garden Box

When i used to live in Dunrobin, one of my favourite things was that I could grow hundreds of lettuce plants in the summer and always have fresh salad.It really is a pleasure to be able to just walk out the door and pick out a bowl of crispy lettuce. And so easy to grow- after the neighbour had roto tilled part of the back field with his tractor it was just several days of work dragging a shovel up and down the field, walking by dropping the seeds in, and covering up the rows with soil. It was clayey soil, but rich in minerals and other nutrients for the plants. After a couple of weeks the little lettuce plants were sprouting up just as easily as grass.  The neat rows of vibrant green was something i looked forwrd to in the spring. For a few months i would be spared the strange feeling i had in the winter when i actually had to hand over money at the grocery store to buy greens. And it's a unique and proud feeling when you grow your own food, and watch the miracle of  life as your little plants grow. Now that the house has finally sold, the last remainder of my field of lettuce plants and kitchen garden is a blue box that i filled up with soil and took with me. This year has been a new experiment growing some lettuce inside it. I started in the summer and grew some things, but then brought it inside- worms and anything else that was under the soil. It's going well enough i think. Not enough to feed me full time or anything but when I need some lettuce to top a taco or something like that my lettuce is there. Typically i buy my lettuce seeds at the dollar tree. They usually have this gype called Grand Rapids that grows very quickly. It's not heirloom or non GMO as far as I know, but it's very easy to grow. When i used to buy seeds for my field in Dunrobin, the cashiers would be amazed (or possibly a little annoyed) when put down 60 packages of 3 for a dollar lettuces seed packages on the counter. Of course they would exclaim about how many lettuce seed packages i was buying and I would be happy to tell them about my annual project. I would also grow pumpkins and zucchinis but that would come second to my lettuce field in importance. The pumpkins became soups, pumpkin pies, and harvest squash soups. The zucchinis were sliced and made into jars of renowned dill pickled zucchini (the dill grew well in my garden!). I still have a stack of cases of jars from when i imagined that I could make a business out of  it. The pickles and even bags of lettuce were given as gifts and even sold. People were quite willing to pay 8$ for a large ziplock bag of my just picked pesticide free lettuce. It wasn't about money of course though. I was happy that people in the city could also enjoy eating fresh, natural,
nutritious and chemical free food. Perhaps sometime in the future there will be another version of my Dunrobin lettuce field.

Tariq Hossenbux
www.tariqhossenbux.ca Tariq Hossenbux

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