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Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls

Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in containers, is new to me. Oh, I knew it could be done. I’d just never done it. A couple of weeks ago I moved from a house into an apartment. With the move went any hope I’d had of creating a garden that could keep my family in vegetables all summer long.

So now I’m researching container gardening. That’s when I found this video from our friends at Cooking Up A Story featuring a creative, easy, and inspiring idea: growing salad bowls. It’s container gardening at it’s best.

Aren’t they cute? If you only harvest the outer leaves, you can continuously harvest this beautiful salad bowl to create months of salads.

In the video below Joan Baune of Rainyway Farm in Portland, OR demonstrates how you can grow and harvest your own salad greens in what she calls salad bowls. She has an eye for design, too. So, the bowls are not only useful, but beautiful. Imagine doing it with herbs, tomatoes, or other fun salad crops!

From the Cooking Up A Story article:

While their plant starts were a big hit, they realized that city people didn’t have the larger parcels of land that were common in the suburbs. This “aha!” moment led Joan to the realization that potted vegetables would be a great value-added addition to their product mix, and she came up with her Rainyway Farm Salad Bowls.

She first fills the 20″ plastic pots with a rich potting mix and then gently adds 15 to 20 lettuce and chard plants that she starts from seed. Joan’s eye for composition is evident in the red lettuces and colorful chard that she adds, saying that the different textures and colors make it look prettier on a patio.

After planting, the pots are then moved into the greenhouse to mature and fill in before going to the market. Joan said that many people buy them for gifts as well as for their own use, trimming off the outside leaves as they mature and using them in green salads. Frequent requests have led Joan to start making herb bowls as well, with a variety of perennial herbs (video coming soon).

Like I said, it’s container gardening at it’s best.

Watch the video:

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.

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46 Responses to Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls
  1. GrowSomeGrass
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/9uG65V

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. gardeningholic
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cRNndk

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. green_garden
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cXwXOu

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. GardenStyle
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in … http://bit.ly/b36oS1

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. gardening44
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/afWKeO

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. tifajhonson
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in … http://bit.ly/crrdLM

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. LA_George
    April 14, 2010 | 10:31 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/dco25x

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  8. CropMobATL
    April 14, 2010 | 10:36 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://ow.ly/1yp2u

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  9. WholeMind
    April 14, 2010 | 10:36 am

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://ow.ly/1yp2Z

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  10. AcneFreeLife
    April 14, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls http://shar.es/mtbpk

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  11. Todd
    April 14, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    This makes me want to start my own gardening so bad! Ughhh. Why am I still living in Michigan? I can’t wait this long!

    Loved the video – looks like a great idea!
    .-= Todd´s last blog post …Sleep and Acne: 3 Top Tips for Adequate Sleep & Acne Free Skin =-.

    • KristenM
      April 14, 2010 | 3:49 pm

      You can always start seeds indoors!

    • Kelly
      April 14, 2010 | 9:22 pm

      I live in Michigan too. I started container gardening on my balcony with self watering containers. They are containers with a resevoire on the bottom for water. That way the containers won’t dry out during the day. I’ve had really good luck with them. I start my seeds indoors around Easter and then transplant them into the containers after the last frost. I get a lot of peas and lettuce and tomatoes and other things I plant. You can grow a lot in a little space.

  12. aaddico
    April 14, 2010 | 12:43 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/9AhvsG

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  13. Lovelyn
    April 14, 2010 | 2:32 pm

    What a great idea! I live in a tiny flat and would love to grow some of my own food but I just don’t have the space. That looks like something I could do though.
    .-= Lovelyn´s last blog post …The Sea =-.

  14. realfoodmedia
    April 14, 2010 | 3:43 pm

    New post: Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls http://bit.ly/cly8Ho

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. Jassica
    April 14, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    That’s so cool, and EASY!! I’m surprised we don’t see these everywhere!

  16. paleozone
    April 14, 2010 | 3:52 pm

    New post: Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls http://bit.ly/cly8Ho (via @realfoodmedia)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. MsChavez
    April 14, 2010 | 9:51 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/96GNZD

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  18. evanstownmayor
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in … http://bit.ly/cswpxZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  19. growingyourown
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/8YE8Si

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  20. mhaaran
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cswpxZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  21. th_gardener
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in … http://bit.ly/aR3JwV

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  22. my2greenthumbs
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cswpxZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  23. dbribs
    April 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/9Jgc3C

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  24. Rebecca
    April 14, 2010 | 10:42 pm

    LOVE this idea! I’m planning on doing square foot gardening, 3 areas being 4×4′ each, with one dedicated to lettuces…but after watching that video, I’m totally scratching that idea! I’m going to do one (maybe two) of the salad bowls!

    Looks super easy, and pretty.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog post …Molly Monkey #1 =-.

  25. bornoutsidebox
    April 14, 2010 | 10:51 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cswpxZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  26. gargening_101
    April 14, 2010 | 10:51 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: Container gardening, particularly growing vegetables in … http://bit.ly/bNGy7K

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  27. green_garden
    April 14, 2010 | 10:51 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/cXwXOu

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  28. victrygardngeek
    April 14, 2010 | 10:51 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade http://bit.ly/a7TfGL

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  29. Justine
    April 15, 2010 | 1:39 am

    Great timing – I live in an apartment and have wanted to grow my own vegetables for some time, but didn’t really know where to begin. I think they look great too! I’m really looking forward to it now…Thanks for another great post :)

  30. Melissa @Cellulite Investigation
    April 15, 2010 | 9:09 am

    We have a decent size yard but I think I’ll start out with some container gardens anyway. I’d love to try some tomatoes. And we live in Florida so of course a few citrus trees are in our future, too!
    .-= Melissa @Cellulite Investigation´s last blog post …CELLULITE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD: Madonna Spends $75k on Anti-Cellulite Machine =-.

  31. Kim @ Staying Home
    April 15, 2010 | 10:25 am

    I’m a renter, and I love container gardening! I sort of stumbled upon it last year, but this year I have planned and potted a good number of crops. I tried some lettuce from seed, and I’m hoping it matures before the summer heat wipes it out.

    Check out some pictures and details here http://stayinghome-kim.blogspot.com/2010/03/back-porch-garden.html.
    .-= Kim @ Staying Home´s last blog post …Free Starbucks!!! =-.

  32. Alex
    April 15, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    I have three flower boxes on top of my dogs kennel in the house by a window with pea shoots and baby turnips and kale in them right now…outside, i have patio containers with chives and oregano already coming up–gonna plant the basil, tomato and other must haves this weekend–i have a big garden too, but i like to go outside and grab the baby greens from a pot! great article kirsten! I also have a farm in a one quart jar and I wrote about it today on my blog! I am a farmer in a one quart jar!
    .-= Alex´s last blog post …Its all for the birds! =-.

  33. Lisa G
    April 15, 2010 | 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the great post! Matthew and I only have a condo, and this is our first year to garden. We have the small spaces gardening book as well as the container gardening book. I don’t remember either of them with ideas looking so great as that “salad” bowl. I can’t wait to try it!
    -Lisa

    • KristenM
      April 15, 2010 | 3:49 pm

      I *know*! These are so attractive looking. They really are eye-catching compared to most veggie-oriented container gardening that I’ve seen.

  34. Natural Health Goodies
    April 15, 2010 | 4:06 pm

    Now that is super cool – and timely too – I just did a post on the book “Square Foot Gardening” that I just discovered today. a Salad Bowl garden is similar just more bowl-y and less square – Love it! I’ll have to take some time to enjoy all the comments but the sunshine is calling and I needs ta git off this here ‘puter.
    .-= Natural Health Goodies´s last blog post …Spring is Calling and So is My Square Foot Garden =-.

  35. jschoolcraft
    April 15, 2010 | 10:46 pm

    Container Gardening: Growing Salad Bowls | Food Renegade: http://bit.ly/bHTuxy

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  36. Shayna
    April 17, 2010 | 8:47 am

    I too live in an apartment, and I’ve done almost exactly this. I got the idea from the book Bountiful Container. It’s like a handbook for anything you might want to grow in a container, including edible flowers! They also talk about using organic methods of fertilizing and pest maintenance. I recommend this for anyone who wants to grow more than a pot of herbs on their windowsill.

    • KristenM
      April 19, 2010 | 11:42 am

      Thanks for the book recommendation. The word “bountiful” has me sold. :)

  37. adamslinda
    April 20, 2010 | 8:13 am

    Grow what you eat. Container gardening, along with recipes http://bit.ly/bEbIZg

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  38. Alex
    April 20, 2010 | 1:45 pm

    Hi! You so inspired me with this article, and a little something reminded me that i better get my garden planted if i want to feel better about myself! Linked to you in my latest article….A Moderate Life: Do you have a long-distance relationship with your greens?”/a> thanks again for sharing!
    .-= Alex´s last blog post …
    Do you have a long-distance relationship with your greens? =-.

  39. Christine
    May 24, 2010 | 10:39 am

    This is wonderful! I had never thought of “growing salad bowls” and yes this both a beautiful and healthy means of container gardening. What a great idea for gifts or a way to make a little extra money by taking the product to a local farmers or flea market. You’ve also given me a neat project to start with my granddaughters, thanks!
    Wow, now I’m thinking about herb bowls and strawberry bowls…the possibilities are endless.
    Thanks for the terrific post my mind is reeling with more creative ideas!
    Blessings,
    Christine
    .-= Christine´s last blog post …Advantages of Vegetable Gardening in Containers =-.

  40. Linda
    April 22, 2012 | 9:04 am

    I just found your website. Been reading around.
    Just wanted to let you know that the link to Rainyway Farm doesn’t go there any more.
    Glad I found your website!

  41. Mitzi
    April 22, 2012 | 7:16 pm

    This is so inspiring. I also live in a small space, but would love to have a garden where I can enjoy the view, as well as the wonderful salad greens and other salad fixings that are growing in this salad bowl garden. This is a truly fantastic idea.
    I will try this and let you know how well this succeeded.

    Thank you “COOKING UP THIS STORY”

    MS~

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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