I got this idea from Martha Stewart, while watching her show at some point this spring. Maybe it was a late snow day, or a Saturday rerun, or I was on the stairmaster at the gym. Probably not that. But I like Martha, actually, as perfect and cloying as she is, because once you get past the construction paper cutouts of bats and spiders stuff and coordinating colored everything, she has some good ideas sometimes. Anyway, watching her show also reminds me of when my commute brought me past her farmhouse compound in Bedford. I think she spent some time there after getting out of prison, and I’m pretty sure I saw her one morning on my way to school, although I wasn’t close enough to see her ankle bracelet.
On this episode, she had a guy on the show to explain how to make this salad table. Basically, it’s a shallow planter that you could put on the porch, patio, or in the back yard. It’s small enough to be able to move it if you needed to, and it stands at waist height, so it’s a convenient place to grow your fancy salad greens for the summer. It was much bigger that I needed, so I took the general idea and changed it. I was looking for a window box-sized planter to put swiss chard in. The chard from Filanowski’s farm in Milford had been sitting in the plastic tray since I got it last week, and it needed more room. (I also got tomatoes and zucchini while I was there, which they’re practically giving away at this point.) The salad table has a wire mesh bottom for good drainage, and I kept that idea. (It’s a combination of aluminum screening and galvanized wire mesh, stapled to the bottom.) Using some pine boards that I had for making basement shelves, this came together in about an hour, and the happy chard is growing away. The box is 12″w x 36″long, 7″ deep, and it stands about 5″ off the ground. So it’s not exactly urban gardening, but I think we should have some good vegetables and herbs later this summer. And since zoning laws apparently frown on the keeping of livestock here in town, I guess we’ll have to wait on raising pigs and chickens and goats.