Chadwick's Rodin Lettuce
Bred especially for flavor by garden genius Alan Chadwick, this is one of my three favorite lettuces. It has the leaf shape and buttery texture of Deertongue, but with a crunchy midrib like a romaine or a crisphead. Can be harvested quickly as a leaf lettuce, or left to grow a compact head almost like a little romaine. Excellent for cold spring soil, and fairly bolt-resistant as well. Very compact, it gives you a lot of lettuce in a small footprint, and is great for tight spaces.
This lettuce was almost lost to the world after Alan Chadwick died, and getting seeds again has been a saga. I found a packet in the seed archives at Bountiful Gardens and grew it to see what it was like, thinking I'd save seed and get it going again. Then I came home from work one day and found out a neighbor had needed lettuce and someone had cut my Chadwick's to give her.... So the next year I tried again, and got no germination. Finally, the last seed that I could find was really old, from the 1990's. Miraculously, it germinated pretty well and we got a good seed crop. Now lettuce breeder extraordinaire Frank Morton has taken an interest in Rodin. He grew our seed at Shoulder to Shoulder Farm in Oregon.
Named after the sculptor of "the Thinker" and other famous pieces, this was misspelled in several catalogs for years. Apparently, someone who heard the name, pronounced as the French say it, wrote it down phonetically as "Rodan". However, Mr Chadwick's lettuce is a tribute to the sculptor, not the sci-fi monster. My thanks to Craig Siska of the Chadwick Archive for his help in straightening this out. 300 seeds