(May 5) VANCOUVER, British Columbia —The Oppenheimer Group is expanding its greenhouse offerings by adding butter lettuce.

The hothouse shipper and marketer began shipping the product May 3 from Fable Farms Ltd., Pitt Meadows.

Fable Farms will provide Oppenheimer 2,000 cases of butter lettuce weekly through September, said David Smith, Oppenheimer’s greenhouse category director in the company’s Los Angeles office.

“It was a mutual arrangement where they were looking for better distribution and wanted to be a part of a bigger company that can offer its customers other items,” he said.

The addition helps Oppenheimer by rounding out its indoor-grown product lineup from growers in Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Holland, Israel and Spain.

“It helps us fulfill the category we’ve been in for 15 years,” Smith said.

Shipped one head per pack, the lettuce is available in 12 clamshells per box and 24 cello bags per box.

Scott Pelton, fable Farms’ grower-owner, said customers can receive the product packed with its roots in clamshells or in cello bags with or without roots.

Leaving the root ball intact helps lengthen shelf life, he said.

“The gourmet butter lettuce will keep longer because the plant is still alive and can draw on moisture reserves in the root ball,” Pelton said.