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Lettuce originates from the Mediterranean area around 4,500 years ago. Even then it was popular and its image has been found on tomb paintings in ancient Egypt. First introduced in the US by Christopher Columbus, lettuce is now second only to the potato in popularity.
Lettuce is unique in that it is the only vegetable that can’t be preserved by freezing, canning, drying or pickling and must be eaten fresh. The darker, green leaf types of lettuce, such as Bibb or Romaine, are more nutritious than the lighter green leaf Crisphead (Iceberg lettuce). The leafy types are more tasty and delicate, but can be expensive. Their high content of fiber, vitamins A, B and K, iron, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and potassium and folate can improve your eyesight and prevent macular degeneration, and reduce heart disease and auto-immune disease, such as arthritis.
These appetizing greens can be served as a salad, or in sandwiches, tacos and nachos. A healthy alternative to bread, the large leaves can be used as a as a wrap to hold chicken or pork, or used as a colorful garnish. Toss your salad with pomegranate or other fruit, cheese, seafood, avocados, garden vegetables, lentils, quinoa, almonds or anything else you can imagine!
Lettuce is fast growing, and can be grown from early spring and into summertime. Your St. Clare Heirloom lettuce seeds will need direct sunlight daily, and they should be placed in fertilized, well-drained soil. Lettuce seeds prefer cooler temperatures, so plant your seeds 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost. If you live in the south, October is the best time to plant your heirloom lettuce seeds.
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