Food is complex. The types of food I grow at Mezzacello are optimized mostly for three things:
- Caloric Benefit
- Rate of Growth and Yield
- Seasonal Duration
Today’s blog post is about 2 and 3. The vast majority of crops that I grow are root crops or squashes. They grow well in my #ProjectMartian beds and they can last three seasons with proper precautions. Then there are the “super crops” or “winter soldiers” like chard, kale, leeks, and green onions. Root crops sweeten, but don’t continue photosynthesis like green onions, leeks chard and kale do. They may not be strong on the first optimization strategy, but they are great for flavor and reliability.
The other intriguing component of leeks and green onions: they are essentially immortal. The leeks and green onions you see in this garden in 2020 I planted from either seed or cutting in spring of 2017. If you mound dirt (or compost around leeks and green onions, they will root well. Then when you harvest them, leave the cut root in the ground and a new plant will replace it. Three generations of green onions in 2020 alone. And the leeks were bought at a NC garden stand on highway 12. I kept the bottoms moist in paper towels and brought them home. They lived in a five gallon bucket of water all winter of 2019 (I wanted to move them and replant them and forgot) and yet they persist. These are my winter soldiers!