Friday, January 09, 2009

Lettuce is a Winter Vegetable

Not knowing any better, I tried growing lettuce a couple of summers in a row.
Pah!
They always bolted too soon and tasted bitter and frail. They would swoon under the sun, turning spotted and pale.
That's OK, I told myself. We have some great vendors of greens at the market. I don't mind supporting my local farmers.
But without telling you how stupid I am, I "found out" that lettuce is a winter vegetable. I'm not growing any myself this season, because I found out too late. (Though I might still get some into the ground.)
You think of green salads as summery, because they're raw and crunchy.
Then, in January, your body starts screaming to your brain: "Want Salad!"
Irony deficiency.
Satisfied.

20 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

Well, it can make a nice soup!
We grow it summer & winter here but like your experience, it bolts damn fast in the heat.
I don't think it would count as winter veg in US bits with snow though ;)
I'm certainly going to give kale another go come wintertime. With any luck the greebilies won't be a problem then.

Kailyn said...

Makes sense to me. Lots of greens are winter veggies.

kudzu said...

Darling, you will never have an irony deficiency.

el said...

Oh yeah. I found out the same way, and it's why I don't eat salad from late June to early Sept.

But tell us about the ORANGE.

Zoomie said...

Did you do the poetry on purpose? Very cool.

Lannae said...

It is amazing to have a true locally grown BLT with L being winter veggie, and T being a summer veggie. It is that fine balance of a few weeks in the Fall when both L and T can exist together.

Plume said...

I found that out when I began to get vegetables baskets from a local producer: we get lettuce only in winter!

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: There is shade cloth. And we grew the mache last year under the shade of the orange tree. But.
And: Snow. My pal in Michegan grows her lettuce in a hoophouse. Brilliant.
Damn brassicas, eh?

Kailyn: There's some random chard free-seeding itself out there. Pretty.

Kudzu: Snerk!

El: If you don't already know, you are the source of my newfound knowledge. And bravery.
OK, the orange. Not perfectly ripe, but stunningly sweet in the context of a salad. Best tree ever.
New vow: one (or two) oranges a day.
I have your address!

Zoomie: I can't believe you spotted the poetry. It was unintended, but possibly psychically suggested by Sam. I noticed it, after the fact. xx

Lannae: We're thinking about frozen roasted tomatoes for BLT's. Is that seasonal?
I am still gobsmacked about this discovery of lettuce as "winter."

Plume: When you grow your own, you think you're in charge. And when you get a CSA, you find out you know diddly. Good for you!

Brittany said...

I'm so busy slurping down kale and collards in the winter that I completely forget about salad.

But now that you mention it- a big crunchy salad sounds really really good.

cookiecrumb said...

Brittany: I'm overdue for a pot o' stewed greens. Salad is easier.

Heather said...

Well, snow makes no winter crops work, my friend. Even my kale is wilty with clear spots now. Frowny face.

EB said...

This is one of those facts that I know but conveniently forget each and every summer/winter. Lettuce does make an amazing soup though. Hmmmm dinner plans brewing...

Noel said...

just wondering if cookie is the artist formerly known as deb and also how she and her guy are doing. can be emailed at nholston@uga.edu

and if you're not that person, well, i'm glad i stumbled upon the blog.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: I almost bought a pre-fab greenhouse. Then I said... I live in frakkin' California! Saved about $1K.

EB: I must explore lettuce soup. Sounds dreamy.

Noel: How the F*** did you, first of all, stumble across me, and second of all, figure out who I am? Yes! We are terrif. All retired and stuff li' dat. Hope you are dandy -- in GA? Cool. Rob will send you a note.

Susan said...

ha ha ha ha oh man, thanks. Now I don't feel so gardenly uneducated for my last two summer attempts at lettuce.

cookiecrumb said...

Susan: Yeah. I'm still walking around feeling really stupid. Welcome to my club. We are educable.

pea said...

you are so lucky. i am shivering over here in the northeast and *wishing* anything would grow outside my door right now.

cookiecrumb said...

Pea: We are in a scary, rainless, warm climate thingy here in CA. It ain't right.

Anonymous said...

I'm in slushified New England (added to a base layer of snow, ice and bit of rain, equalling a pizza for the cold-meiser). I was definitely in the throes of iron-deficiency when at the grocery store: bought swiss chard, baby bok choy, romaine, beets, anything with color and/or vitamins! Yummy dinner but man I hate how it all shrinks down to nothing in the saute pan...

cookiecrumb said...

Anonymous: You are getting whomped. My sympathies.
Still... dull greens is good for you, and maybe even good for the spirit. Carry on.