We feel a special connection to this versatile vegetable, one we’ve grown for several decades. In fact, we grew lettuce during the 1980s, in the years after we’d lost our farm. And, if you don’t mind a jaunt down memory lane with Farmer Lee Jones . . . we’d even lost the vehicles we’d needed to transport our produce. Then, one day, we got a call from a cousin’s husband. They’d decided to buy a new Jeep and offered us their Datsun with a couple of hundred thousand miles on it.
So, Lee scoured the possibilities to get the cheapest plane ticket to Maine, where the car was located. He thumbed a ride for the last 50 miles before arriving at his cousin’s house. They transferred the vehicle into his name for $1.00 and Lee drove the car home.
“They knew we were desperate for help,” Lee remembers, “and that’s exactly what they gave us. The help we needed. When I got back, we took the back seats out of the vehicle and quickly discovered that, if we packed our peck baskets exactly right, we could fit 100 of them in the car, which equaled 2,400 heads of lettuce.”
Thanks for listening to our memories!
We’ve been growing specialty lettuces in standardized sizes for a long time now. We love to grow them because of their body and flavor, and how attractive they look.
“As always,” Lee shares, “we’ve learned so much from chefs. We’d been growing baby lettuce and ultra-sized lettuce, half the size of a baby head. But, one day, a chef watched us take even smaller lettuces from the greenhouse to the field, where we planned to transplant them. But the chef said, ‘I like this size you already have, before you transplant them.’ Thus the petite-sized head of lettuce was born!”
And, Lee is now especially partial to the petite sized lettuces, because they are shaped so perfectly and look as if they were just plucked out of the earth. Because The Chef’s Garden hand harvests petite fresh lettuce using scissors, they can be used on the plate in natural-looking full forms. They typically come with six to eight leaves.
Here are varieties of fresh lettuce available at the farm. From bibb to crispleaf, and from crystal to green tango, lolla rossa and more, there is a variety of fresh lettuce just right for your salads, entrees and more, in a size that's just right for your unique dish. Delicious all by itself, chefs can use lettuce as a foundation for their most creative dishes. Add crunch to your soups and extra nutrition in your juices. Sear it, sauté it, braise it, grill it and use it creatively in wraps in place of bread. The more you experiment, the more ways you’ll find to use this amazing vegetable.