Our cool weather lettuce crop was terrific, almost too terrific. We still have lots of lettuce – too much for our family to eat – so rather than toss it into the compost we donated it to our nearby neighbor Kevin Proulx.
We wrote about Proulx, also known as the “Tortoise Guy,” last summer when he launched his YouTube channel featuring the more than 30 tortoises he has rescued. I remembered Proulx (pronounced ‘prue’ like true) telling me how neighbors would donate greens from their gardens and trips to the farmers market to help him feed the tortoises, who, it turns out eat quite a bit. I contacted Proulx to see if he’d be willing take some greens from our garden.
“Sure,” said Proulx, “As long as they are pesticide free, we’d love to have them.”
So we harvested a bunch of lettuce and arugula that has seeded itself around the garden, and delivered a bucket of greens to Proulx this morning.
It was really gratifying to see these lumbering animals come over to the greens Proulx spread across his backyard deck and start eating. Truth be told, the lettuces had started to bolt or flower and had started to get a little bitter. And I learned that second season arugula turns out to be much a stronger flavor and texture than the first season, so I was happy to donate to my tortoise neighbors who aren’t as picky as some members of my family. But the best part of clearing out our lettuce bed is tha now we can start planting tomatoes!
Proulx welcomes donations from neighbors’ gardens as long as they are pesticide free. The donations help cover his food cost as his rescue is continually growing. While we were there, we met the newest resident tortoise “Gargantuan,” aptly named for his formidable size. Gargantuan is special because he was hatched from dozens of eggs but the only one to survive.
Proulx is told us he’s happy to answer any questions about tortoises and help out neighbors who find lost tortoises. In fact, later today, Proulx is reuniting a lost tortoise with its family. A few days ago, a neighbor knocked on Proulx’s door with a tortoise somebody found over by Rite Aid. Proulx was able to find the owner through the internet and they are coming to pick up the tortoise today.
“I am happy to be a part of this community,” Proulx told us. If you have questions or greens or both, you can reach Proulx by email at [email protected].