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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How We Plant Eggplant

A pictorial about how we plant eggplant

Most of what we need to plant eggplant, seedlings and water

Eugene putting the eggplant seedlings through landscape fabric mulch which has drip tape underneath

The drip tape needs to be moved to one side or the other of the seedling. It is important that it is the same side for all the seedlings. i.e. you do not want the tapes to be serpentining around the plants
all done with transplanting

Time to water. if you have two people one can start watering as the past seedlings are going into the ground
Eugene puts up the last hoop on this bed

Row cover being measured

weighing the end of the cover down with rocks so it can be cut to the proper length

Final measurement (we eyeball)

Cutting the row cover

One of the many side rocks used to keep the cover down and we are done

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wrong Salad, When a Lettuce is not a Lettuce

I have been reading things about salads that really bother me the past couple of weeks. Specifically I see lists of favorite "lettuces" and the list always seems to include arugula, mache and frisee. All wonderful salad greens but not a single one of them is a member of the lettuce family,  Lactuca sativa.
Here is one example of a misinformed Food writer Twinkle's Kitchen  and another from Heifer International (whom you would think would know better)

3 kinds of Lettuce, leaf, bibb and romaine

Mach (aka corn salad, Lewiston cornsalad, lamb's lettuce, fetticus, field salad, mâche, feldsalat, nut lettuce and rapunzel.) is Valerianella locusta, a completely different genus than lettuce. It is a nice low growing green that is one of the first greens to come up in our yards and garden in the late winter/early spring. It is jammed packed with a lot of nutrients. But it ain't lettuce, despite some of the common names implying such.

Frisee is an endive which hails from the chicory family and a gain not a lettuce, though it is green, leafy and generally eaten raw in salads

Arugula, Eruca sativa (aka rocket, roquette) is another non lettuce salad green. Arugula is a brassica and is closely related to mustard, cabbage, and broccoli. We grow a lot of arugula on our farm and it is one of our all tome favorite salad greens (and we grow some of the best arugula on the planet, why? I don't know but we seem to have an affinity for the stuff)


If food writers, Chefs and other culinary celebs want to write about lettuce I suggest they do some homework and write about lettuce and not other salad greens. There are over 400 different varieties of lettuce grown these days (though most people only know about leaf, iceberg, romaine and bibb). Some of my favorites include the lollos, an Italian frilly bibb like lettuce that is a stunning red and green, Amish deer tongue that looks like a cross between bibb and romaine but is neither. Cracoviensis, one of the most ancient lettuces and likely one of the parents of romaine.

These people do are doing the public a disservice by calling things that are not lettuce, lettuce. it is much like an automotive writer calling a pick-up truck a sedan, they two are not the same, though both do have similarities. it doe show me how disconnected people are from the food they eat when supposed experts get such simple things wrong. And when people read what these folks write they assume the "experts" are correct. Sadly with food and garden writing all too often the "experts" are dead wrong and and that is no good for the salad eating public and it is truly vexing to us lettuce and salad green growers who have to explain over and over again to our customers who read and/or hear this misinformation  that arugula, et. al. are not lettuces at all, though they are lovely salad greens in their own right.

Food writers, Chefs and the rest of you salad experts try to get this right from now on. Go out and learn about the wonderful world of lettuces and quit calling all salad greens lettuce. Thank you in advance