Our lettuce, on the other hand, is producing like never before. We currently have four different varieties out in the garden:
- Winter Marvel, a winter variety we planted last year, which gave us nothing at the time and then popped up unexpectedly in April.
- Bronze Mignonette, a butterhead variety we planted for the first time this April. I used our "carpet sowing" method and got great results, but unfortunately I planted the seeds so thickly that I ran out, so there wasn't enough to fill the three squares we'd set aside for it.
- Tom Thumb, another butterhead type that we'd grown in the past. We had some seeds left in the packet, so I planted them to fill in the rest of the space allotted for the Bronze Mignonette.
- Summer mix, a mixture of heat-tolerant varieties that we started in May so we'd still have some lettuce after the cool-season ones had all bolted. But so far, despite the hot weather, that hasn't happened.
A couple of crops are already played out for the year. The asparagus has now gone completely to fern, without ever having yielded enough at once for a single good recipe, and the arugula, after providing us with a couple of batches of pasta, has gone to flower. Every year, I plan to catch it right before it bolts and turn it all into a big batch of pesto, and every year it gets the jump on me. So the best I can do with it at this point is get some use out of the flowers, displaying them in our new cat-safe vase alongside some purple sage blossoms.
So tonight, we're celebrating the summer cornucopia with (what else) green salads, with a few pea pods thrown in for crunch and flavor. These will accompany a main dish of free-range turkey franks cooked on the grill, since the weather is plenty warm for it. And for dessert, we'll have a rhubarb crisp, because our rhubarb is one crop we can always count on to keep producing from the first thaw right through to the first freeze.
Summer is icumen in; lettuce eat!