The his­tory of let­tuce

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Country Smile -

Do­mes­ti­ca­tion of let­tuce be­gan with the Egyp­tians more than 3000 years ago, with tallish, deep-rooted, prickly plants, which quickly bolted to re­lease seeds.

By 2000 BC pic­tures on Egyp­tian tombs showed let­tuce plants re­sem­bling the up­right ro­maine let­tuce. These moved around the Mediter­ranean Sea to the Mid­dle East and Europe.

An­cient Ro­man ref­er­ences re­fer to green, pale, white, tawny, red­dish and pur­ple tones – the full plethora of colours avail­able to­day – and vari­a­tions in tex­ture from smooth to curly types.

A sub­species called cel­tuce, which formed crunchy, elon­gated, cel­ery-like stems, trav­elled east, even­tu­ally reach­ing China.

As these let­tuces trav­elled through Persia, Greece, Rome, Si­cily and later into France, Ger­many and Eng­land, dif­fer­ent types were adapted for dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments. Be­tween the 16th and 18th cen­tury the mod­ern but­ter­head, leaf and crisp­head va­ri­eties were se­lected in Europe, es­pe­cially Hol­land.

Learn more about chicken health and man­age­ment, and the prac­ti­cal as­pects of run­ning chick­ens, in­clud­ing how to gar­den suc­cess­fully with hens; how to build your own coop (in­clud­ing plans), or­gan­ics, health care, and how to grow your own qual­ity, nu­tri­tious chicken feed. 144 pages There’s more to pre­serv­ing than jams and chut­neys. A fresh take on pre­serves cov­ers all the foods you might want to store, from cured meats and sausages to long-term stor­age of your gar­den har­vest and ideas for an egg glut. 144 pages Ev­ery­thing you need to know to set up a hive, make your own honey and help save bees, in­clud­ing video tu­to­ri­als through an in­ter­ac­tive app.

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