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Heirloom Lettuce

October 23, 2010

Now that it is FINALLY cooling off some, the lettuce I’ve been trying to get started for several weeks has perked up. The Arugula sown diectly back in mid September is doing extremely well and it has been frustrating waiting for the lettuce to catch up. We have discovered that while arugula is extremely pungent when freshly cut, it lacks any of the bitterness of the grocery store variety.

As of last night, we’ve had a couple of modest salads 100% from the garden and are looking forward to several weeks of salad bliss.

Last year I bought an heirloom lettuce sampler pack from Seed Savers Exchange and the seeds are now providing their third “half season” of lettuce (fall, spring, fall). This stuff is as pretty as it is tasty.

Some samples (with Arugula in the background):

(Note: The plant in the bottom right corner is actually a volunteer potato plant; i must have left one in the ground last summer. ;))

Behind a small cluster of broccoli some young and more adequately spaced heads are forming:

These are the varieties included in the sampler if you want more information (and wish to see better picture samples)

Australian Yellowleaf
This is a lot like the simpson varieties but a huge leaf and an unusually bright green color
Bronze Arrowhead
same as with the deer tongue- a fairly robust & think leaf in normal conditions made for a tender winter leaf in the window….
Forellenschuss
Fantastic romaine with interesting color- bronze specks on a delicate light green leaf.  It looks like it is going bad at first glance with all the gold/brownish spots.
Lollo Rossa
Tasty; we are bad to snip new growth off of this one before it matures. Nice sweet flavor when cut this way
Pablo
Beautiful, tasty, tender. Top of the leaves are one color and the bottom are another, looks almost painted
Red Velvet
Deep red, (what we grew over the winter was almost purple) Tender tasty colorful, not bitter
Reine des Glaces
The best part of this is the heart of the head once you’ve worked on the outer leaves.  The inner leaves are curled together and are the sweetest tastiest morsels out of any of these; they had a nice crunch and are 3-d as they keep their shape after you separate the individual leaves of the core head.

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