The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 26 to February 2, 2023


Grow Tasty and Nutritious Leafy Greens Indoors

growing greens indoors with grow lights
Tabletop light stands work well on kitchen counters and provide plenty of light for greens to grow.
Photo courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company/

Boost the flavor and nutritional value of winter meals by growing a container of greens indoors. Plant, tend and harvest greens for garden-fresh flavor now and throughout the year.

Green leafy vegetables are healthy sources of carbohydrates, typically rich in fiber and nutrients, while also being low in fat and calories. Many of these vegetables can help reduce the risk of stroke, anemia, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and diabetes. They also help improve the health of your gut, heart, bone, and skin while boosting your body's immunity.

To create your own indoor garden of greens, all you need are seeds, a container, potting mix, and a sunny window or artificial lights. Select a container or planter with drainage holes or reduce maintenance with the help of self-watering containers like the Viva Round or Square self-watering planters. Their water reservoirs reduce watering frequency.

Fill the container with a quality potting mix that is well-drained and retains moisture. Plant seeds as recommended on the seed packet. You can grow each type of green in its own container or mix them up for an attractive display in larger planters like the Tartu Elevated Rectangular Planter (

Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil moist while waiting for the seeds to sprout. Reduce the need for frequent watering by covering newly planted containers with a plastic sheet or dome. Once sprouts appear, remove the plastic and begin watering thoroughly when the top inch of soil begins to dry.

Boost productivity and increase planting space with the help of artificial lights. You will find a variety of setups for any space in your home. Counter and tabletop light stands like the Micro Grow Light Garden can be conveniently located in the kitchen or dining room. Stand-alone light shelves provide more growing space within a small footprint. Furniture-grade light stands make them easy to use in any room in the house.

Grow greens you and your family like to use in your favorite recipes and salads. Green or red leaf lettuce is easy to grow indoors and its mild flavor is most appealing to children and picky eaters.

Spinach is another popular and easy-to-grow leafy green vegetable used fresh in salads and smoothies or added to soups and sauces. It contains many vitamins and nutrients, including iron, folic acid, and calcium.

Kale is considered a superfood. This nutrient-dense vegetable is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If the flavor is a bit too intense for you, try the baby leaf types that are milder in flavor, or try braising kale for a milder flavor and more tender texture.

Add a bit of peppery flavor to salads, soups, pastas, and other dishes with arugula. Add a spicier flavor with mustard greens. Sauté mustard greens or add them to your favorite Southern, Asian, Indian or savory dish.

Include color and flavor in your winter meals with beet greens. The leafy part of this vegetable is often overlooked but is the most nutritious part of the plant. Use these the same way you would spinach or kale. You can purchase beet varieties selected for growing the best greens to harvest from baby to full size.

Make it more fun by getting others involved. Hand family members and guests a plate and kitchen shears so they can harvest and help prepare the meal.

Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including The Midwest Gardener's Handbook, 2nd Edition and Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Gardener's Supply for her expertise to write this article. Her web site is


What Makes an Autograph Valuable?

Emerson signature
Ralph Waldo Emerson signed 19th century autograph album page
Photo courtesy of Wayne Tuiskula

Everyone has a different reason for collecting antiques or collectibles, but it can often be tied to positive memories in their life, a sentiment that extends to autographs. Maybe you were elated when Carl Yastrzemski made his one-handed diving catch in left field during the Red Sox 1967 pennant run and seek out a signed photo of the event. Perhaps Meryl Streep's performance in Bridges of Madison County inspired you to acquire a signed photo of her.

In a 2008 Guardian article titled "What is the point of collecting autographs?" Dr Wendy Fonarow said "an autograph gives people who feel intimate with celebrities something tangible to possess, a personal touch."

There are several factors that will influence the value of an autograph. The bigger the celebrity, the higher the value. The object that's signed also makes a difference. A signed jersey is typically worth more than a baseball or photograph. A signed item that was worn by or belonged to a star will also increase the value. Another factor is how frequently the celebrity signed. If they didn't sign as often, their autographs would of course be more valuable.

Just like all antiques and collectibles, age also makes a difference. Babe Ruth signed many baseballs over his career. His iconic status is one reason that balls he signed can fetch 5 figure sums. Another is that he hasn't signed baseballs in over 75 years. Many balls he signed were discarded or not protected well. Collectors now typically keep their baseballs in plastic protective containers.

When it comes to autographed letters or documents, the content is important. The simplest form of autographs is a cut signature, which is essentially just the signature on a piece of paper or index card. They are called cut signatures because they are typically cut from another document; they have no content apart from the signature. I mentioned in a previous column that a Darwin manuscript on natural selection sold for nearly $900,000. In comparison, a Charles Darwin with four words and his cut signature sold for £800 ($991 U.S.) in 2015. The content increased the value by nearly a million dollars.

There are many more examples of this principle. Albert Einstein and Swiss engineer Michele Bessos' 54-page manuscript sold for $13 million in 2021. By contrast, a cut signature signed "With Best Wishes A. Einstein 1945" sold for $2,000 last month. Abraham Lincoln signed 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and only 26 copies are still known to exist, according to Money Inc. A copy that was owned by Robert F. Kennedy sold for $3.7 million. A simple cut Lincoln signature signed "A. Lincoln" sold for $550 last month. Money Inc. also reported that George Washington's personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights sold for $9.8 million in 2012. A George Washington cut signature sold for $2,600 in May of 2022.

We're offering signed Kurt Vonnegut and J. Edgar Hoover letters, a Ralph Waldo signed page from a 19th century autograph album and a Ted Williams signed photo in our current online auction which ends on January 31st. But won't need your autograph to register to bid: you can register online. Please visit our website for links to this auction and other upcoming events.

Please contact us at: (508-612- 6111) for antiques and collectibles auction services.