Miner's lettuce



Last year, a little too late in the season, I discovered that we have miner's lettuce growing in our front yard. Becky knew about miner's lettuce from Girl Scout camp in California. She taught Greta and me about it when we saw it at a farmer's market. Miner's lettuce is so named because it was the first edible plant to pop up in the spring. It has important vitamins and helped miners stave off scurvy, or so the myth goes.

It took me a while to put it all together and realize we have a nice patch of our own and it's actually pretty tasty, nothing like eating other common weeds like eating bitter dandelion.

My theory is that it arrived here long ago transplanted along with a Douglas Fir tree that my friend Tom McRoberts brought with him when he visited us. About 12 years ago Tom did a brief stint working in a tree nursery for the Washington State Forest service. I asked Tom if he could score us some Doug Fir seedlings. He brought us three. One was planted in our front yard and is quickly growing to be way too large for the space. (What was I thinking planting it here?!)



I suspect that this patch hitched a ride as a seed in the small bit of soil that came with the tree. Alternatively, the shade and soil conditions created by this tree helped a latent patch take root.

I need to poke around the neighborhood and see if I can find it elsewhere. I haven't seen any elsewhere though. It made for a great addition to last night's dinner salad.