Jun 17th, 2014 by Brian Vick
Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
We grew three cultivars: Green Forest, Coastal Star and Red Cash. All three were Romaine-style heads and the organic seed was sourced from Johnny’s Seeds. The Red Cash was the most attractive, but the Coastal Star produced the densest, heaviest heads.
Earlier this week we harvested the last of the spring lettuce cropo in the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden. We have cause to celebrate on several fronts:
a) Our lettuce was beautiful, and tasted great.
b) Even with so many days with temps exceeding 90 degrees, the lettuce only started showing signs of bolting (going to seed) recently, prompting our final harvest. A taste test on June 10 indicated the taste was a little strong, but not bitter.
c) The Spring lettuce crop yielded 133 lbs., more than twice our yield in 2013 (62 lbs.).
We starting sowing lettuce seed in the greenhouse on February 24. These seedlings are shown from March 25, with Blue Flame agave standing guard.
We use coolers with a little ice in the bottom to refrigerate the lettuce during the delivery process to FeedMore’s Community Kitchen.
Two heads of the Coastal Star romaine.
Lewis Ginter Horticulture interns Shawntae Fletcher (left) and Holly Hooper deliver the last of the Spring lettuce to FeedMore’s Community Kitchen.