You will get a little something extra when you pick up your CSA share this week – aphids! We are growing some gorgeous lettuce in our greenhouses right now. The heads are tucked under a toasty blanket of row cover. Unfortunately aphids like to be kept warm and toasty, too. Of course we don’t spray any pesticides on the lettuce, which means the aphids get to go home with you.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of the aphids at home. You just have to soak the lettuce to wash the aphids away. Start by soaking the lettuce in a salad spinner–or a large bowl. (Wyatt says it’s mandatory to have a salad spinner as a CSA member!) Fill the bowl all the way to the top with cold water and swish the lettuce around a bit. This will make the aphids float to the top of the bowl where you can just skim them off with your hand. If there are a lot of aphids you may have to change the water a few times. I like to spin the lettuce each time I change the water to help fling the aphids off the leaves. If the aphids are really bad, it might take me four rinses to get rid of all the aphids but I’m usually successful in removing all of them.
It’s a little extra work to deal with the aphids. But I think it’s worth it to get such beautiful local greens in December!