Eating My First Balcony Garden Salad

Posted on Jul 7 2010 - 3:00am by Mike Lieberman

Three months after starting my balcony garden, I was able to harvest my first balcony garden salad made up of romaine lettuce and kale. This was a much different experience than when I harvested my first fire escape garden salad in NYC.

Last year I was pretty overwhelmed that I was able to trace my produce from fire escape to bowl, but this year I have a different appreciation considering all the problems that I’ve had with the cabbage worms and aphids.

As I was picking my lunch from the self-watering containers, I came across a cabbage worm that I tossed off the balcony.

I pretty much harvested all three of the containers because when I first transplanted them I think that I packed them in too tightly. I don’t think that it was too many plants in a container. I think it was too many plants close together.

After picking the containers, I brought them inside to rinse off since they were sprayed down with worm leachate and the organic soap spray. The salad was prepared with other fresh ingredients sourced locally from the farmers market.

I enjoyed the salad on my balcony garden where I harvested it just 20 minutes earlier. It’s not going to get much fresher than that.

This has given me a whole new appreciation for food and what goes into growing it. It’s not something that I’m going to take for granted between the insects and the yellow leaves.

This is my first balcony garden salad, but I have a lot more growing to feed me.

All it takes is just one herb or vegetable and it will make a difference. It will open up your eyes and give you a new appreciation for and connection with food. When are you going to start growing your own food?


20 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. this_urban_homestead July 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm -

    There is nothing like the first harvest of edibles! Our first salad this year was out of this world too! I can't agree more with your statement about it only taking one herb or vegetable to change your relationship with food!

  2. Mike Lieberman July 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm -

    This is the first of many salads. It totally changes the relationship, in a good way.

  3. Sketchkat06 July 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm -

    Congrats dude! Doesn't the struggle make is so much sweeter?

  4. rmassingham July 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm -

    Good stuff Mike. You're absolutely right, nothing beats a meal picked out of your garden – unfortunately I can't say the same about my lettuce but the local rabbits in my hood can. Only thing I've harvest so far this year is our herbs, rhubarb and currants. Back to the drawing board with the lettuce.

  5. Mike Lieberman July 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm -

    So much sweeter.

  6. Mike Lieberman July 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm -

    Cook and eat the rabbits. You'll then get your lettuce and the rabbits ;-). Have you put row covers on?

  7. rmassingham July 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm -

    missed that boat – tried too little, too late. Going back in with a plan – and eating rabbits isn't part of it – believe it or not, my cats take care of that for me.

  8. Whenuwish1 July 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm -

    Today I made a balsamic vinaigrette using all fresh herbs from my containers — I poured it over fresh chard and cucumbers grown in my containers. The only thing store-bought was the tomatoes I added to the salad (my tomatoes are still green — too early yet).

    My 7 year old son liked it so much he ate THREE bowls of salad!

    You are an inspiration — thank you!


  9. Mike Lieberman July 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm -

    That's awesome. Gots any pics?

  10. Anna July 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm -

    Congrats Mike!

  11. Mike Lieberman July 7, 2010 at 11:11 pm -

    Thanks. Salad was good too.

  12. Mike July 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm -

    Dealing with all of the garden pests and diseases certainly gives me a much better appreciation of how difficult it is to grow food, especially organic food. I'm having a huge problem with aphids now, and have a batch of ladybugs ordered and a big sack of diatomaceous earth ordered to help deal with them.

  13. Mike Lieberman July 8, 2010 at 12:54 am -

    Lemme know how all that works out for you.

  14. Whenuwish1 July 8, 2010 at 8:25 am -

    I've got to get out and take some. I have been out with the camera, but it seems I always find something that needs doing (shaking off beetles, pruning, watering, thinning, feeding……on and on) and the camera gets forgotten.

    I guess I need to take some time to stop and smell the veggies — and take pics.

  15. Mike Lieberman July 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm -

    Seriously. Prioritize!

  16. monica July 17, 2010 at 5:29 am -

    hey mike!! i got started a little late this spring with my first ever “container farm” (not garden!!). i've got mint, basils, and rosemary that i already use quite a bit in my various vita mix recipes. i'm waiting on my romaine lettuces, chard, tomatoes, and bell peppers to get into full swing. i've had my own battles with pests, but i think i've been able to get it under control. and while i don't have enough to harvest for a full salad, just last week, i pulled off the first of what looks like will be a plentiful sweet 100 tomato plant. i didn't even bother washing off the soap spray. just rubbed it off with my fingers and popped it in my mouth. what an amazing taste and how satisfying it was to know i'd grown it myself!!! thanks for all your inspiration!

  17. Mike Lieberman July 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm -

    Sweet Monica. Keep me updated on your progress! Love it.

  18. Marble Repair February 5, 2011 at 11:38 am -

    Eating My First Balcony Garden Salad

  19. Marble Repair February 5, 2011 at 11:38 am -

    Eating My First Balcony Garden Salad

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