A salad favourite, lettuce has been found to carry residues from more than 50 pesticides, so it really is worth looking out for organic varieties. Lettuce is a great vegetable for anyone on a Nutritionhelp programme, so to bulk out expensive organic salad leaves I will toss in some grated carrot to add volume and make it go further. Cabbage has low pesticide residue, so using this as a salad base may make a cheaper alternative.
For those of you with green fingers, or wanting to experiment in the garden, now is the time to plant some lettuce seeds, to grow your very own organic salad leaves. If you are short on space use a tub or old washing up bowl filled with earth. At this time of year seeds can be sown directly outdoors. If you choose a variety such as ‘Cut and Come Again’ you can simply pick leaves as you need them. Make small sowings every three weeks through the summer to provide a continuous supply of lettuce leaves. I have just planted out some organic ‘Cut and Come Again’ seeds by Unwins, which is a mix of loose leaf lettuces including ‘reds’ and ‘oak leaves’.