Pick-your-own lettuce straight from your grocer's shelf

October 26, 2004, as reported by just-food.com: Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has found away to guarantee its customers fresh lettuce—sell them the plant. The UK grocer is encouraging shoppers to pick their own fresh produce with the launch of a new “living lettuce” designed to be grown and harvested on the kitchen windowsill.

The lettuce, a cross from endive, gem and curly-leafed strains of the salad plant, will go on sale at selected stores this week for £1.09 (US$2) each, reported The Guardian.

The lettuce project, in development for two years, started with the idea that consumers can harvest the plant gradually over several weeks, a few leaves at a time, so that they can have freshly-picked lettuce leaves.

"Lettuce leaves are at their very best when first picked," Stephen Hedderley, salad buyer for Sainsbury's, was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

"We can't take all our customers to the farmer's field, so we're bringing the field to them, in miniature," he added.