To keep lettuce plants growing and growing, the best way to cut the leaves is from the outside of the plant in. Cut the outside leaves about 1 inch above the crown, leaving a smaller set of leaves in the center. This is often called the "Cut and Come Again" method of harvesting lettuce and is ideal for leaf lettuce varieties. Take what you need and use the same procedure the next time.
I like growing loose leaf lettuce because it allows me to use just what I need along the way rather than having too many heads of lettuce ready to eat at once.
To keep cut lettuce fresh, first wash the leaves thoroughly and dry them as much as possible using a salad spinner (my preferred method) or pat dry with paper towels. (As you can see from the photo, my lettuce leaves love picking up the dirt.) Place a bunch of leaves along with a few small pieces of paper towels in a gallon zipper bag and close the bag, leaving about 1-2 inches open. I find the lettuce stays fresh and crisp for a week or so using this method.
I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).
I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)
This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.
In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself.
With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix DMC-ZS15 compact camera.)
I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.
Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!