This is a good time of year for cleaning up tools, getting containers ready for starting plants, and maybe even building a Salad Table! The first University of Maryland salad tables were constructed at the Home & Garden Information Center in 2006. The idea for a waist-high raised container garden was based on a row of metal frames on legs I had seen at the edge of a woods at the Accokeek Foundation’s Ecosystem Farm. It was August and the shallow frames were filled with beautiful salad greens. I adapted the design to make it relatively easy and inexpensive to build.
The “University of Maryland Salad Table” carries a State of Maryland trademark for name recognition but was always intended to be an open-source gardening tool. It was popularized in a New York Times article by Anne Raver (a former UME master Gardener!), and by an appearance on the Martha Stewart Show. It has been built and used by gardeners of all ages and circumstances. Videos and building and growing instructions for Salad Tables and Salad Boxes are on the HGIC website.
Check out the many ways that people have adapted the Salad Table to improve performance and meet specific gardening needs. The Salad Table’s mobility and versatility make it a useful DIY climate change adaption tool for small-scale food production.
Arms and wheels
Have you built or been using a unique or improved Salad Table? I’d love to hear about it. Send photos and a description to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
By Jon Traunfeld, Director, Home & Garden Information Center