I like to garden. I like to write. I like to share new discoveries. I get excited about sharing my successes, but I don’t mind sharing my mistakes. This blog is little more than a way to combine these different facets into a single medium. With this blog, I hope to share my gardening adventures with you. I look forward to sharing what I have learned, to celebrating the excitement of each new harvest, and to learning whatever lessons my garden decides to dish out for me.

So, why do I call this blog The Heirloom Salad? For several reasons. Heirloom plant varieties provide a bridge between the past and the future. They embody the cumulative choices of generations past, and they capture the wisdom of ages gone by. By remaining true from one generation to the next, heirlooms offer us continuity into the future. In that way, we gardeners act as stewards of this priceless heritage. Heirlooms also offer a wealth of diversity that one cannot find in the commercial marketplace. Heirlooms have been selected over the generations because of their taste, smell, color, or their beauty. Commercial varieties have been bred or engineered to allow easy transport, to provide long shelf life, to enable machine harvesting, or to look as uniform as if they just came off an assembly line.

My goal for this blog is for it to be more like an heirloom than like the cookie-cutter commercial writing found elsewhere. I intend to use it to share tidbits of wisdom and practices from the past, and I hope it will serve as useful reference material in the future. One thing you will not find here is uniformity. Posts will vary by length and by topic. Some will be photo-intensive; others will be more prosaic.

Salads to me epitomize freshness and variety. Salads are filled with goodness and wholesomeness. Salads allow for creativity and expressiveness. They can be chewy, crispy, crunchy, or soft. They can offer contrasts of color, of tastes, of temperature, and of textures. A well made salad is a work of art. A good salad will leave you satisfied but not stuffed.

This blog itself is a salad. I don’t have a recipe for it, but I do have a vision. In my mind’s eye, it is chock full of fresh ideas, with an assortment of tastes, aromas, colors, and textures. It is light, but filling, and very nutritious, with no two bites the same.

The idea of an heirloom salad to me is both intuitive and an enigma. Practically every ingredient in most salads can be grown at home as heirloom varieties. Combine them into a single dish, and you have an heirloom salad. On the other hand, the assortments of vegetables often combined to make a salad don’t generally ripen at the same time. Things like lettuce, spinach, and radish are cool season crops, whereas tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and the like tend to mature once it gets hot. Yet, to make a salad, one should always start with the freshest ingredients. So, how does one go about making an heirloom salad? I’m sure it can be done, but it is somewhat of an elusive goal.

Regardless, I hope you will enjoy this blog that is The Heirloom Salad. There’s more than enough here to go around, so pull up a chair and join me!

Happy gardening!

14 responses to this post.

  1. Hi I wanted to pop in and say thanks for the follow, I can see lots of great reading !


  2. Hi Claire — thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading your blog as well.


  3. Hi Skip, thanks for the follow over on my blog. Great to meet you and see your blog. I love gardening…just not vegetables, mainly because I’ve never tried. I lood forward to your success, and will vegetable garden through your blog. 🙂 Thanks!!


  4. Just wanted to say hello and thanks for following; I’m looking forward to getting to know your blog!


  5. Thanks for the follow, Skip. I’m glad to find your blog, too. I’m a writer and quickly becoming a gardener (my husband is the master with the green thumb). I also lived in the Gainesville area for three decades before moving to Pittsburgh area so it will be fun to read your blog about gardening in central Florida.


    • Pittsburgh is such a lovely place! I have been getting to know the area since my daughter moved there about five years ago. If you’ve ever been to one of the city parks, you’ve seen her hubby’s handiwork – he works as a field ecologist for the parks conservancy.


      • I probably have seen his work. I’ve taken a course to two with the parks conservancy (one on rain gardens and another on nature writing). I do love living here. I was amazed at how quickly I fell in love with the area.

  6. Because I enjoy your blog, I have nominated you for the Inspiring blogger award. You can find more details here… http://www.dragonfliesandhummingbirds.wordpress.com/awards/



  7. Hi Skip. Just wanted to say thanks for the follow — it gave me the chance to visit your site. Great photos and information — and I also happen to be fond of the layout format that you chose. 🙂 Also, I wanted to point you in the direction of Blotanical. It’s a search engine for gardening blogs. You can register your site or just find other sites. Cheers!


  8. I really enjoyed your explanation above. I want to concentrate more on heirlooms now that I have some experience under my belt (I don’t wear one, ha!). To date, I mostly grew organic seedlings from the garden center, because my direct seeding hardly produced a thing. I’m learning. Want to know more about your peas and beans. I just seeded four purple beans, and only got one seedling! I tried direct-seeding corn inside and out three times and never got a sprout. It’s not easy, but the challenge is a great deal of fun. And addictive, and feeds the soul.


  9. I’ve awarded you the Inspiring Blog Award. See my post for today. Congratulations. I really do enjoy your blog!


  10. Skip, I’m glad I stumbled upon, and am really enjoying your blog so far. I was hoping to find a way to contact you by email but hopefully you will be able to see this and get back to me. I purchased my first home a few months ago and have been aggressively researching to start a pretty extensive home garden this fall to support our mostly vegetarian diets. I don’t really have any gardening experience, and it can be difficult to compare gardening in Florida to sources of information around the country because of our climate. I am in Spring Hill, so we have pretty similar climates to work with. I follow growingyourgreens.com closely and have just recently started researching square foot gardening/mel’s mix lately. I just ordered my first seeds, green and red okra, figuring that I could start them soon because they like the heat…but I was thinking I should put off ordering seeds for most other vegetable crops until it cools down a little bit. I have a hard time understanding when I should start seeds in accordance with UF’s planting season guidelines. I saw that last year you were transplanting pepper seedlings in early July, which means that you started them in early June…I was thinking that this would be too early to start seeds because it would still be miserably hot by the time I was ready to start transplanting to my beds. Could you help clarify how to know when is best to start seeds for the Fall season? Thank you for any help.



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