Building a Salad Table

Tomorrow I will begin building a “Salad Table” as part of a contracting project I’m working on for a web design company. While I’m happy to simply call it a “Salad Table”, I bill my hours to a comical bureaucratic name: “Product Manufacturing Facility”.

The “Grow It, Eat It” Campaign of the Maryland Cooperative Extension provides excellent instructions for first-time builders and tool wielders.

In order to build a table that is the suggested size of 33″ x 58″, you will need the following materials:

  • Untreated, framing lumber: Two 2 x 4s (10 feet long) and two 2  x 4s (12 feet long)
  • 2 ½” galvanized deck screws
  • 3/8″ staples
  • 1 lb of 1 inch roofing nails
  • 3′ x 5′ roll of aluminum window screening
  • 3′ x 5′ roll of ½” mesh hardware cloth

And the following tools:

  • Handsaw
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • #2 Phillips screw bits
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Tin Snips
  • Staple Gun
  • Leather Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

I had to provide a basic budget for the project and was excited to see that the cost was estimated to be about $35 for materials and $20 for seeds, fertilizer and “growing medium”.

This seems to presuppose that the builder will have access to all of the tools necessary. It’s possible that I could have purchased the materials alone for $35 if I were willing to shop at a major home and garden chain on Rhode Island Avenue but I prefer to support local businesses.

Today I walked over to the excellent Pfeiffer’s Hardware in Mt. Pleasant and received immediate attention from the helpful staff. Their stock was somewhat depleted while they await their delivery truck tomorrow so I was only able to find a few of the elements there. Nevertheless, I spent nearly $50 and only left with deck screws, window screening, hardware cloth, tin snips, and some small non-leather gloves for my little (vegetarian) hands. Luckily, I have most of the other tools available at my group house so I don’t have to buy those.

Tomorrow I’ll stop by the excellent Brookland Hardware for the lumber,  roofing nails, and more personalized customer service. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get a nice variety of seeds there as well as a soil-less “growing medium”.

I haven’t decided what exactly to grow yet. Some of the recommended “products” are arugula, kale, mustard greens, broccoli raab, mizuna, komatsuna, spinach, chard, orach, endive, lettuces, parsley, cilantro, basil, leafy amaranth, and purslane.

I am impressed and intrigued by the ingenuity that goes into naming some of the different varieties. A few favorites include the Green Deer Tongue (aka “Matchless”), Forellenschluss (aka “Freckles” or “Trout Back”), and the Hyper Red Rumple Waved.

After a hearty breakfast and my shopping expedition, I will begin building the Salad Table/Product Manufacturing Facility. Updates to follow.

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One Comment

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  1. Sounds great! I can’t wait to see photos of the final “Product Manufacturing Facility.” You sound so handy!!

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