Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 Farm Share Week 14

Hello Everyone,

This week you will find in your shares:

Wed. August 26
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers (Poblano, Cayenne, Jalapeno and Habanero)
  • Melons
  • Baby Lettuce Mix
Vegetable Spotlight - Lettuce  

Nobody really knows where lettuce originated, but we do know it has been on the human menu at least since 800 BC.,when an Assyrian herbal listed it among the 250 plants growing in the gardens of King Merodach-Baladan in Babylon.  Herodotus wrote that the kings of Persia had lettuce on their tables about 550 BC and it was also being grown in Egypt.  At those times, lettuce did not form heads, but rather grew leaves on a tall stalk (much like the wild lettuce known as a “weed” found in our regions-Lactuca scariola).  The Romans cultivated a variety of lettuce that grew more “head like.”  This variety was not recognized till the 1st century AD.

Lettuce seems to be slow in reaching the far east, only in the 5th century do we see it mentioned in Chinese literature.  It was cultivated in French gardens, but water cress seemed to have been preferred as a salad green.
It appears to have enjoyed luxury status, being served at all the great medieval banquets.  By 1440 lettuce became quite popular in England, and in the 17th century, Louis XIV was quite fond of it.
Columbus is purportedly the one who introduced it to the New World, but not until after World War I, did Americans pay much attention to it.

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