Just had a conversation with my wife about salads for the winter and she mentioned a couple of things I’d not considered nor even been aware of this year.
Apparently the only vegetables she has bought since we started harvesting from the veggie plot are broccoli (once), bell peppers (a few times), butternut squashes (fairly regularly as they’re a favourite in our “vegetarian day” meals) and cucumbers (a few times). But this isn’t just positive from a “food quality” or financial point of view. She also pointed out that not having to buy many vegetables has contributed significantly to our attempt this year to substantially reduce our use of single-use plastics. I’d not really thought about that at all and it does give me encouragement to find ways to grow more food over a longer period.
I would have liked to have some salad crops growing in the polytunnel through the late autumn and into winter, but I decided I would remove some of the soil (which is actually looking very tired) from the beds in the polytunnel this winter and add a lot more compost in its place so I didn’t bother thinking about it too much. However, there’s one bed that is empty at the moment and I could perhaps use that for some lettuces whilst I sort out the other beds and then do that one later once the plants have been eaten (or killed, if the frost gets to them). It’s a bit late to be sowing the lettuces now — ideally they should probably have been done a month back, but I think we still have some seed left and it doesn’t really keep that well if I recall correctly, so I might as well sow it and see what happens.
The irony is of course that the polytunnel itself is a huge piece of single-use plastic, but our last cover did at least last about ten years (and ended up not even being single-use, as I chopped it up to fill the window openings of the barn conversion to keep the wind and rain out once I’d replaced it on the polytunnel).