In a Pickle

Just joking around

The heat was slow in showing itself over the summer. Even though it’s normal to have rain and overcast in Port Townsend that persists until June, this last summer we saw these cool, wet conditions last well into July. The lettuces and and peas were happy while the tomatoes hardly grew at all during their first month in the ground.

An usual crisphead variety whose bright green leaves are splattered with crimson.

Then, from the shadowy depth of my garden, one variety of lettuce, joker, surprised me by making it through the heat (finally!) of August before bolting in September. Joker is described as being both cold and heat tolerant but, I had never experienced anything like that before. With most lettuces, the flavor becomes unpalatable as it bolts, going from flower to seed with summer’s rising heat. By the time July rolls around, it’s usually a done deal and I’ve had to move on to the summer crops but, with amazing results like that, I will continue to grow this variety because it stays sweet and tender until the bitter end. Joker, we will meet again!

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