Eating my greens while trying to be water-wise

Canberra, where I live, and like a lot of Australia is very dry. Over the last 12 months we’ve had between 600-900 mm of rain. For a comparison I just looked up the town where we used to live in New England, USA. Basically, Canberra gets 10 times less rain, and ours is spread over the entire year (rather than New England where for part of the year it will be snowing rather than raining. It very very rarely snows in Canberra). We experience drought here (in Canberra and other parts of Australia) and are all encouraged to conserve water. That’s why I took notice of this article, by Keira Butler, that explains why bagged lettuce mixes are not the most ecological choice. I certainly love those plastic wrapped greens, not just for the convenience but also because when I buy a whole lettuce it usually leads to some food wastage (although taco night helps 🙂 )

One solution is to grow your own and I’m happy to report that this is working really well for me right now. We tried growing lettuce last summer, using only rainwater (we have tanks that collect from our roof). The timing wasn’t right, they freaked out, bolted and went to flower/seed. However, the next generation have come up, so now we have a bunch of tender young lettuces.

baby greens! (and reds)
baby greens! (and reds)

I can currently pick a handful of these tasty leaves to put in a sandwich or a small salad. It hasn’t rained in a while though, and the water tanks are getting emptied. Hopefully with constant grazing I can keep the lettuces small and not too thirsty. I may still have to resort to some bagged greens when i want a larger salad. Oh and my favourite choice for those is rocket/arugula, because if you get too much the leftovers make a lovely pesto.

just enough for a sandwich
just enough for a sandwich



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