Sunday, May 23, 2010

How To Harvest Lettuce In Korean

Yesterday, I received my latest lesson in how to run a vegetable plot.

These aren't the most-detailed lessons because my neighbor offers her curriculum in Korean.  But I got the point that I'm letting my lettuce go too long, and I should be harvesting leaves at a steady pace to keep the plants producing.

Unfortunately, I also got a lesson in how to harvest chard and beet greens -- only unfortunate because I know those plants and had consciously intended to save them for one large meal some time this week.

My neighbor gives these lessons whenever she happens to walk past me in the garden.  I couldn't politely tell her my plans for the greens because the only word we share is "Thank you."  I actually went for scissors so that she could harvest some lettuce for herself.  She thought I was asking for a demonstration, and she went through one of my raised beds like a barber shaving new Naval Academy plebes.  I cooked the greens for lunch, and I ended up perfectly pleased that we had harvested them early.

My neighbor talks the entire time in Korean.  She is clearly explaining her theories and experience, and our neighborhood has such small yards that I assume that she has the gardening bug but not a garden of her own.  (Last fall, she gleaned soybeans from the harvested farm field just down the hill.)  That was why she and I spent 20 minutes hulling all the dried beans last November when she found me tearing down the freeze-killed vines.  I know I can save seeds from the dried pods.  I like to try new varieties each year.  But I couldn't explain, and I knew that she was trying to help a guy whose garden said he was a rank amateur.  So we hulled beans.  We smiled at each other.  I thanked her and stored them all winter in the chest pocket of my wool gardening shirt.  Each time they rattled, I smiled again.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your two oldest (in all aspects) fans love this.

Matthew said...

awwww. that's just too sweet. =)

sherringham said...

Howchow,
Perhaps you could help me. I have a garden at my school for my students and we've got a few varieties of lettuce. I have never grown lettuce before and though I know enough to know that after I harvest some, more will grow back, I'm not sure how and where to trim. I don't want to kill the plant. Tips?

HowChow said...

@sherringham -- I wish that I knew. My neighbor pulled the outer leaves that I presume had gotten touch. Then she cut a few leaves off each lettuce plant. I don't know why she stopped at that point. Also, I think there are differences between different types of lettuce. Send me an email, and I can send you a photo.