Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Five seductive vegetables for your garden

Discover the origins and plant lore of these intriguing edibles and learn how to make them thrive in your garden

merlot-lettuce.jpgMerlot Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

"He has sprouted; he has burgeoned;
He is lettuce planted by the water.
He is the one my womb loves best."

-Sumerian Song, 3000 B.C.

Lettuce has had a hearty and long tradition of both culinary and medicinal usage and, as such, has been held in devotionally high esteem by some of our most notable ancient civilizations. Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who published his famous History in 440 B.C. " . . . in the hope of . . . preventing the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the Barbarians from losing their due meed of glory . . . ," wrote of lettuce being enjoyed in ancient Persia in 550 B.C. Hippocrates of Chios, the Greek mathematician who squared the circle and duplicated the cube for us, noted the many herbal usages of lettuce in Greece in 430 B.C., as did the great Aristotle in 356 B.C., and Pliny, the venerated natural historian who died in the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, described no fewer than nine types of lettuce under cultivation before his untimely demise.


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