Lettuce and Tomatoes

We’re a week or two away from the beginning of what looks to be a bumper crop of tomatoes. In last year’s crazy wet, cold summer we lost nearly all of our tomatoes to blight.  So it’s a relief to see them coming in so strong this year.  I may have planted too many.  We’ll see.  If so, it’s not a bad problem to have.

Meanwhile, we’re finishing up the last of this year’s lettuce.  Our spring lettuce this year was the best we’ve ever grown.  Even though the lettuce gardens have now been plowed up (one is now covered in young sunflowers and the other in sweet potato plants), we’re still enjoying great salads every day as Cherie nurses along the last heads that we cut a couple of weeks ago.  Last night she made a delicious soup featuring peas and Romaine lettuce.

But the lettuce will be gone by the time the tomatoes arrive.  I wonder how many people realize how unnatural it is to have lettuce and tomato on a sandwich or in a salad.  While I realize that it’s technically possible to grow lettuce and tomatoes at the same time, and some folks manage to do it, the fact is that lettuce is a cool weather crop and tomatoes are a hot weather crop.  They don’t naturally go together.  Seasonal eaters rarely eat them together.  Anytime you have lettuce and tomato together, at least one (and probably both) came from a long ways away.

Even though the lettuce is gone till fall, that doesn’t mean we won’t be having salads any more. Instead it means that we now get to enjoy delicious tomato salads.  Because that’s what summer is supposed to taste like.