Here's one of my favorite garden lettuces. Let me amend that. Here is my favorite garden lettuce. Crisp, meaty, slightly bitter.
Planted in the spring, it sends up green leaves which grow about 12 inches tall. They can be picked individually for a good addition to salads. Then in late summer and fall the inner leaves turn red and begin to head up. With a mild winter, the heads can be harvested late in winter.
This year, a cold spell longer and more severe than usual froze my radicchio. It was sad to look at the black gooey leaves where I had expected red crunchy goodness.
Then a surprise. I pushed aside the black goo, and found underneath thriving little heads. Now that the temperature is in the 40s, they are growing. Here's what I harvested yesterday. Notice that they are individual leaves, not whole heads. The leaves can be picked with a gentle tug, leaving the head to continue producing.
This morning in my reading I came across a reminder that the black gooieness of life will give way to something better: "For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations," Isaiah 61:11.