Butter Lettuce is the variety most people think of when they think of Aquaponics Lettuce. A type of lettuce that includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce, Butter Lettuce is known for loose, round-shaped heads of tender, sweet leaves and a mild flavor. All varieties of butterhead lettuces have smooth, loosely-coiled leaves that are often sold with the roots still attached to preserve freshness.
Supplied by our newest local veggie grower – Fort Orchard Aquaponics (Gold Beach) – and like the name implies, grown with organic methods in a closed-loop, aquaponics greenhouse. Store in your crisper (preferably in a lettuce keeper) and use within the week. Click on this link (www.masterclass.com) to learn more about butter lettuce, including how best to store it and how best to use it.
So what is Aquaponics? Simply put, it is a system whereby plants grow in water instead of soil, using the waste that fish produce to create the nutrients that the plants need.
An aquaponics system works by creating a nitrogen cycle. In this cycle, the three main elements, the fish, the plants, and the bacteria, share the water. In the fish tank, fish produce high ammonia wastes. The pump carries this waste into the growing tubs, where the bacteria convert these wastes into nitrites and then into nitrates. Those nutrients then flow under the “rafts” to be taken up by the roots on the plants.
These nitrates become food for the plants to grow, and in return, the plant roots clean the water in the growing tubs before it returns to the fish tank for the fish to live. It’s a continuous cycle, where the bacteria convert fish wastes into food for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.