Tag Archives: Lettuce

Bitter Lettuce and Talking Plants

Loose-leaf lettuce_______________________I go into my Arizona garden each morning with a knife and a colander to gather the day’s harvest. _______________________

I bend over to slice the central stem of a pretty, green, loose-leaf lettuce. White liquid pools up in a circle on the severed stalk. I hesitantly guide a leaf into my mouth to taste.

“Ptooey!” I spit it on the ground.

Why does lettuce turn bitter?

It has to do with the turning of the earth over eons of time. Continue reading Bitter Lettuce and Talking Plants

Me and My Shovel

Me and My ShovelThis is me, preparing the garden for the fall crop. I don’t own a tiller.

Oh, I purchased the contraption once—under the mistaken impression that every good gardener should have one. It was expensive . . . hard to start . . . at the repair shop more often than not. It was loud, heavy, and whipped up the soil like my KitchenAid mixer with cream.

It’s not good for the garden bed to be disturbed that way. Continue reading Me and My Shovel

Lettuce Tree?

26 lettuce tree-1-LNo, it’s not a tree at all! Just a lettuce plant reproducing.

My grandmother would have said the little guy was “going to seed.” As the plant matured, an ancient process encoded in its DNA caused the stem to elongate and push skyward. Flower buds formed on the top and will soon burst open. This process also caused the leaves to taste bitter.

I don’t harvest the best plants in the garden, but leave them alone to produce seed for next year.

This is another picture taken by my friend, Bonnie Wright, during her last visit. (Bonnie Wright’s Photography)