This time of year, we’re enjoying the bounty of the lettuce planted earlier in the spring. What a treat to have farm-fresh or homegrown salad!
Wouldn’t you love to grow your own lettuce and enjoy it right out of the garden? It’s easy to grow and enjoy. It’s oh-so-satisfying to pick your own lettuce right before dinner and enjoy a tasty salad that you know was being nourished by your own soil just moments earlier. What a treat!
Garden-grown lettuce tastes better and has more vitamin A than store-bought lettuce.
You can enjoy it all season long by planting one small crop at a time. You should avoid planting it in the middle of summer when it’s too hot, but you can get multiple crops in spring and late summer.
Iceberg (aka crisphead) ettuce was introduced for commercial production in the late 1940’s. It was bred to survive cross-country travel. The name “iceberg” comes from the ice the lettuce was packed in before the advent of the refrigerated train car. Because of this, throughout the middle of the last century, unless you grew your own lettuce or dined in a high-end restaurant, iceberg lettuce essentially was lettuce.
Romaine lettuce has long, stiff spoon-shaped leaves with strong ribs. In ancient Syria, the lettuce leave were used as a edible scoop or spoon when eating tabbouleh-like foods.
Most lettuces are relatively low in nutrients. Romaine lettuce, however, is highly nutritious. It has a mild flavor that’s easily masked by fruit so it’s perfect for adding to a green smoothie. This healthy lettuce provides protein, calcium, omega 3’s, vitamins A, C, and several B’s, iron, oxalic acid, and several minerals including magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
Other Healthy Benefits
In ancient times, certain varieties of wild lettuce were used by Native Americans as a sedative and for pain relief. It’s claimed that lettuce is a remedy for acid indigestion. The early Romans ate it at the end of meals to aid digestion and induce sleep. And now in current times, lettuce is known to have a number of medicinal qualities, such as having a calming effect and improving circulation.