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Thread: Harvesting Prickly Lettuce

  1. #1
    Member RoadLessTraveled's Avatar
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    Default Harvesting Prickly Lettuce

    I've been watching the Prickly Lettuce mature over the last month or two.They've been seeding for several weeks now. And just within the last week or so I've noticed some of them are beginning to wither and turn brown.

    Around here, this is an extremely abundant plant. And it happens to be a rather good one for hand drill spindles.

    About 6 weeks ago, being impatient, I went and harvested some that were withered at the base but still green near the top. No luck. They disfigured as they dried. It seems they've got to dry naturally and completely after seeding in order to keep their strait shape.

    I harvested some last week and I tried one stalk as a spindle on a cedar hearth over the weekend. It made black powder and smoke, so I believe the plants are nearing the stage when they can be harvested. I'll post my success with Prickly Lettuce as soon as I get it.

    Here is a video I made 4 days ago during lunch. It shows me scouting a nearby field:



  2. #2
    Member RoadLessTraveled's Avatar
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    And here are some photos of the Prickly Lettuce, same field. At this time, most of the plants are still partly green at the top. But a small number are beginning to go past seeding and turn completely brown. This can be seen in the following photos.

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    I collected two stalks that were past seeding. One had just a few green leaves still at the top. The other was thoroughly dry. The one with green leaves was not dry inside the stalk, and its pith was white. As the stalk dries, the color of the pith changes from white to dark grey.

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    And here's a video taking a closer look at and comparing these two stalks. The width of the stalk that I'm looking for is about 3/8".


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadLessTraveled View Post
    I've been watching the Prickly Lettuce mature over the last month or two.They've been seeding for several weeks now. And just within the last week or so I've noticed some of them are beginning to wither and turn brown.

    Around here, this is an extremely abundant plant. And it happens to be a rather good one for hand drill spindles.

    About 6 weeks ago, being impatient, I went and harvested some that were withered at the base but still green near the top. No luck. They disfigured as they dried. It seems they've got to dry naturally and completely after seeding in order to keep their strait shape.

    I harvested some last week and I tried one stalk as a spindle on a cedar hearth over the weekend. It made black powder and smoke, so I believe the plants are nearing the stage when they can be harvested. I'll post my success with Prickly Lettuce as soon as I get it.

    Here is a video I made 4 days ago during lunch. It shows me scouting a nearby field:
    planting and harvesting Prickly Lettuce needs a lot of patience. i used to plant one but it just dried and eventually died. i think i don't have a green thumb just like you. but i hope you'll harvest a success

  4. #4

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    Welcome and hope you find the time to introduce yourself:
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    You may not have a green thumb but you sure can dig up old posts.
    RoadLessTraveled hasn't posted since 2013.
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