Friday, March 28, 2014

Miner's Lettuce

Miner's Lettuce has started popping up along the hillside trail just beyond our garden gate.  Long dainty stems suspend a single asymmetrical leaf and tiny central blossom.  For as long as humans have inhabited the Central Coast, miner's lettuce has played an important part of their diets.  The name, miner's lettuce, reflects back on a time when miners and pioneers depended on the leafy greens for vitamins after the winter months when edible vegetation was scarce.  Early explorers were so taken with the striking wild greens that they brought seeds back to Europe, where they are still considered a delicacy.

Along with triangle leeks, miner's lettuce is a true harbinger of spring; a subtle reminder that months of cooking hard squash and winter radishes will soon be behind us.

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