Consumers are being encouraged to grow their own fresh produce with the launch of a new "living lettuce" designed to be grown and harvested on the kitchen windowsill.

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's is to start selling the lettuces, which took two years of research to perfect, at selected stores this week for £1.09 (US$2) each, reported The Guardian.

The idea behind the new lettuce, crossed from endive, gem and curly-leafed strains of the salad plant, is 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.