Crop Fun Facts

Members of the staff are choosing one crop a week to look at for interesting facts about their botany, potential problems and cultural history. Here is the first contribution about the culture of lettuce from Helena and Andi;


Lettuce was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who turned it from a weed. It later began to spread through Greece, Rome, and all over Europe around 50 AD. Romans cooked it and served it with an oil and vinegar dressing. Today lettuce is used for salads, sandwiches, soups, etc.

Lettuce has also been used as a medicinal herb and as a religious symbol. Ancient Egyptians thought lettuce to promote love and child bearing in women. In contrast ancient Greeks considered lettuce a cause of  male impotence and served it at funerals.

Folk medicine has claimed lettuce as a treatment for pain, rheumatism, tension, and nervousness.

A few interesting lettuce dishes from around the world include stir fried romaine, Thai style lettuce wraps, lettuce soup, lettuce sauce, and a wide variety of salads and much more. (from Helena, Wikipedia)

And from Andi here is this contribution “Growing Plants and Vegetables in a Space Garden”

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