Monday, June 24, 2013

Balcony Garden: Harvest Monday #29

I have had great success with growing lettuce on my balcony. Most of it I've grown from seed, but I've also been given a few healthy seedlings that a keen gardening workmate had left over from her little backyard patch (thanks Jo)!

Now that I think about it I've actually only ever grown Cos Lettuce (asides from one foray into mignonette but I didn't like the taste). Why Cos? Well, I guess because I really like it, it has a mild, smooth flavour. Plus it's super easy to why mess with perfection.

I'm surprised that I've had no real creepy crawly issues with my lettuce - the caterpillars seem too busy destroying my mint to notice that I've got lettuce growing all over the place. Given the right conditions though lettuce loves to "bolt" (grow really tall and go to seed). I was stunned to see this "lettuce tree" on my balcony after a few days away visiting Melbourne.

Being the lazy gardener than I am I'd lopped off the "tree" at the base with the aim of taking the dirt down to the green waste bin "soon". Of course soon turned into about two weeks by which time new leaves had sprouted from the newly chopped base. Lettuce - the plant that you just cannot kill!

My rocket also continues to do its thing out on the balcony - though it's looking a tad sad these days. It's probably come to the end of it's life, but I'll see if I can eek a few more meals out of it. It's lasted about 6 months so far as I just snip off what I want rather than pulling clumps up by the roots.

The same deal applies with the chives. It just keeps doing its thing despite a few attacks by black aphids which are hard to spot as they look like dirt at the base of the plant.  Dirt that moves in a creepy crawly kind of way that is. I think however that they've just succumbed to their final aphid attack as the currently look like the life has literally been sucked out of them. This coupled with all the rain is not boding well for all the chives. Lucky I got to it before its days became numbers.

Beautiful chives: pre-ahpid attack
Scary, horror movie chives covered in a heaving mass of dirty, black aphids. Blergh! Run for your lives!

Lettuce, rocket and chives (pre attack of the evil, life-sucking aphids). What to make? Seems like the perfect fixings for a tuna sandwich to me.

I know, I know, I'm using evil Coles tuna, but believe it or not they are one of the few brands that offer Slipjack Tuna rather than than yellowfin tuna (whose stocks are seriously running out in our ocean).  Slipjack tuna has been deemed to be a sustainable source of tuna at our current levels of consumption (unlike other types of tuna which are rapidly heading towards extinction if we keep eating it at its current levels). Coles tuna is also "pole + line caught" meaning no big drag nets or long lines (fishing lines that go very deep to catch certain types of tuna) are used. These drag nets or + long line sadly also snag loads of other sea creatures that are called "bycatch" which is a polite, marketing way to say "garbage". This garbage can include turtles, dolphins, sharks and piles of other fish that are too numerous to name. Yes...eating food is tricky business.

Mmmm, that's one good looking sandwich!

You can view more Harvest Monday posts on Daphne's Dandelions blog.


  1. what an attractively styled sandwich........ Hoping my lettuce does that well.

  2. Teresa borgese-coomJune 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Coles Tuna? Are you sure it is Tuna? Love reading your posts.

  3. your lettuce tree looks good! i am the lazy gardener, and most of my garden is dead or dying.

  4. I love having fresh lettuce and rocket available all year round. It is going crazy in this weather! I am wondering what else I can use it for.

  5. I love fresh chives! Bought one seem to wilt so quickly so it's a nice luxury to have fresh ones :)

  6. I love cos lettuce, too, crispy and fresh. Your rocket looks great! BTW Woolies also has sustainably-fished canned tuna in their Select line.

  7. Look at you go with your greens! Love the cut-and-come-again lettuce tree. How good is versatile and easy to grow. Your sandwich looks delicious too, the whole issue of tuna is a big one. Love your balcony!

  8. love the lettuce tree!
    interesting to know about the tuna.

  9. I had aphids kill my chives too. I tried so hard on behalf of the chives to win the battle, but nope :(


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