For the past two nights I've been dreaming about lettuce--if that isn't weird, I don't know what is! In the first dream I was in a large hall for some sort of celebration feast. There were these large tables set up with seed flats, row upon row of them, of young lettuce plants. The lettuces were all about 6 or 8 inches tall and there was every imaginable variety represented. It was beautiful, all the different leaf shapes and the shades of green and pink and red and purple. For your salad you just went up and picked whatever assortment of lettuce you preferred. In the second dream, last night, there was just one lettuce plant, about a foot tall, and I was plucking off leaves and eating them one by one. It was the most delicious lettuce I had ever tasted, very sweet and buttery.
I've been trying hard this winter to mostly eat from my preserved garden produce, without resorting to buying from the grocery store. This was the only option that was available to our ancestors and I've heard tales of how starved they were this time of the year, especially for greens. My body seems to be crying out too. It's not that I haven't eaten any greens, but apparently I haven't been eating enough. We still have some frozen chard that I've been using lately in stir-fries, and I've been growing sprouts too. But oh what I wouldn't give for a tender young lettuce plant right now, or even the first lamb's quarters of the season. I guess it's still a little early.
Maybe these dreams are telling me I should go ahead with my plans to plant some things (especially lettuce) ultra early. Soil temperatures as of a few days ago were hitting 35 degrees F for the first time this season. A small cold snap the past two days has brought nighttime lows down into the single digits, so the soil temperature has dropped again, but I imagine in the next week or so it'll reliably be hitting that 35 degree mark. That would allow lettuce to germinate. I'd have to put a little hoop tunnel up to protect the seedlings. I have the plastic--I just need to get rebar stakes and pvc tubing. Meanwhile, I might as well start some lettuce in the house.