Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Taking a Leaf out of Booky's Book

This topic was posed to me by the delightful and fellow Tony Delroy fan, Booky.

“Why can’t you get lettuce anymore – only that rocket shit?”

Then he told me a bad joke, as he is wan to do.

Doctor: What seems to be the problem.

Patient: Perhaps it’s best I show you, though it’s rather embarrassing.

*Patient pulls down pants, bends over and spread cheeks*

Doctor: Oh!

*winces* seeing a lettuce leaf growing from Patient’s a-hole.

Doctor: I’m afraid to say this is just the tip of the Iceberg.

Good one.

Anyhoo… the plight of the lettuce.

I happen to be a bit of an aficionado on lettuce. Self proclaimed, obviously. My Aunt and Uncle have a farm, lettuce is their major crop.

I worked there for a summer picking lettuce. It’s dirty, back-breaking, sweaty, the lettuce juice stains your clothes and you’re surrounded by hippies. Great. But you get paid and nepotism is great for the good jobs.

Lettuce is such a fad item. As far as I’m concerned the frilly, fancy-pants lettuce has been on its way out for a while now. Iceberg is making a comeback, albeit slowly. However, as soon as it’s starts making a comeback ~wham~ here comes a drought. And ~wham~ there’s a new fad leafy brother trying to take over your turf. In this case, Booky, quite rightly points out rocket is the NKOTB.

Point 1: The Drought
Did you know there’s a drought? There like totally is. One of the worst in 100 years. Haven’t you been paying attention to Bracksey’s adds? Lettuce needs stacks of water. Yeah, I know all vegies do, but… well, you not going to forgive lettuce for being wilty in the supermarket are ya? So the supermarkets won’t buy it off the farmers coz the customers won’t buy it off them. Ergo the lettuce sits in the fields getting all slimey (slimey lettuces are worse than anything ever, however, great for throwing at the hippies in the fields*).

Basically there isn’t enough water to make the lettuce industry blossom (so to speak). Also it’s been particularly humid this summer, which lettuce also hates.

Sure rocket is a leafy green too, but like spinach (the other show stopper) it’s able to hold in the water better, allowing it to be a little heartier.

Point 2: Jamie says so
The leaf fad changes according to endorsement. 3 years ago your average Jo didn’t know what rocket was. That is until Jamie starts talking about it deep green colour and it’ pukka peppery taste. Hey presto you can get it greengrocers, then ~shazam~ you can get it in the supermarket. Everyone wants it. The Jamie Army will buy it by the ‘barrow load.

Point 3: There’s still hope
Even though Iceberg hasn’t been around a lot lately, her ship’s not about to sink (sorry had to be done). It still remains to be the most popular, cheap, delightfully fresh and hearty of the lettuce plants. Many a leafy green’s tried to bully her out, with no success. Never fear, Iceberg will always be on the horizon.

*They're an easy shot because they're mainly vegans and have no energy. ooooh, c'mon. I'm not really that against them, not all of them.


Blogger daniel said...

I love me an iceberg lettuce. So juicy, no wonder it needs so much water.

And by the by, i also 'love the nightlife'. *nod nod* *wink wink*

The Challenge is great to go to sleep to.

2:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to read more of what you have to say. Never has something that is 90 percent water sounded so intersting. Dare I say delicious.

3:35 pm  
Blogger sugar and spice said...

daniel boud! you sly ubernerd. totally making up a brains trust right now.

3:39 pm  
Blogger fluffy said...

me brains trust too. me brain good! so smart at thinking.

I too have a love of the iceberg. Without iceberg what would we wrap round our vietnamese spring rolls without iceberg? Rocket? Pfft. I particularly like stealing the heart out of the iceberg as I'm washing it for the salad and then EATING IT! CRUNCH! YUM! Iceberg washer's bonus.

VOTE 1: buy your iceberg lettuces, grow your own rocket.


1) You CAN'T grow a decent iceberg lettuce at home. No you can't. No. Shut it you, I said NO. CAN'T. So all iceberg lettuce farmers get drought compensation.

2) Rocket seeds will be made cheap, nay, free! Make healthy fertile dirt, sow 'em, grow 'em. Bingo, fresh free roquetta.

That is all.

9:49 pm  
Blogger Ukulele said...

I’m totally cut I don’t get the inside gag and brain trusting going on in these comments but none the lettuce, I’ll let it go.

Hmm, yes, the ‘drought’ is something I have issues with because it is a fairly feeble excuse for the ‘poor’ farmer to continue to carry out his centuries old shitty farming practices whilst proclaiming that there is not enough water to sustain their crops and therefore need tax concessions and hand outs. If my business goes arse over tit because I couldn’t conduct my company in a modern climate with modern business demands, than that’s too bad really, isn’t it? Agriculture should be no different and some farmers need to be penalised with perhaps the loss of their farm (yes, there you go, I said it!) which can be then sold to ‘good’ farmer who practices sustainable agricultural and we can all live happy and eat iceberg lettuce until we die. Amen!

And don’t be shizznitting on rocket dudez. I love it and it is the secret weapon in my famous pasta salad.

9:41 am  
Blogger sugar and spice said...

are you a little edgey today Ukelele? seems this morning is not on your side.

me thinks 'twas a little harsh on the farmers *walks on eggshells*. from my point of view my families farms do all they can to conserve water and use viable sources, but they really are fighting an uphill battle. they still have to abide by the water restrictions set on them. they have much respect for water and i'd suggest more than us city slickers.

9:48 am  
Blogger Ukulele said...

Sugar, I’m really okay, Lovely. I’m totally not angry at all and there is really no need to walk on eggshells because we disagree on something. We can still marry if we have different viewpoints because apparently it’s healthy and I’m adult and can take it.

Perhaps it does sounds a little harsh on farmers but then I also think its time that some of them stepped up and lived sustainably as well and stopped relying on the infrequent rainfall in rural areas to sustain their business.

I really don’t think it’s cruel to expect that those that wish to remain ignorant to the demands of the land be responsible after decades of farming.

We live in an arid country with low to moderate rainfall. This isn’t a recent occurrence and something we have all known from birth.

Countries like Canada which has high rainfall and sophisticated run-off schemes has year round water restrictions in all regions. Their farmers are penalised for not introducing and fostering modern irrigation because it is their responsibility to look after their own business interests. Agriculture is a business just as is the production of energy, clothes etc and all necessary and important to modern life. Canadian farmers are offered grants (read: free money!) to establish their irrigation and then they are on their own to make their business what they want it to be. Some economists in this country feel that this may be the only way to make steps for long terms change, by rewarding the practices of modern farmers in order to eradicate the continual need for water grants and concessions every year.

But don’t get me wrong, I ain’t hating on the farmer because it’s a tough life and I respect them heaps. I did a little hoeing once in my life and I realised that the farmer boy I was dating was never going to be my hubby because the life was way too hard for my delicate disposition. I just think sustainable living is the way to go and stop blaming the ‘drought’ which is really only just our climate and will be forever and move forward.

Just a view point. That is all.

10:42 am  
Blogger sugar and spice said...

have you ever thought of joining some sort of debating club? you totally should

point taken and well considered.

11:12 am  
Blogger Ukulele said...

Debate club is for dorks! I’m totally a marching band kind of girl myself.

Meh! All that theory above is pretty much what I have done for the last 6 months in between all the blogging. I always hoped the two would be symbiotic and work as one. It seems you made that possible.


11:38 am  
Blogger sugar and spice said...

i does what's i can's

11:57 am  
Blogger problematic said...

My comment was accidently anonymous, and so far up the page it really doesn't matter.

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3:18 am  

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