Monday, November 22, 2010

Rocket City

I am overrun with arugala. This happens to me every year. 

Usually it's because I put in too many starts, but this year I planted a second batch of lettuce from a seed packet (Spicy Mix) and it turned out to be 90% arugula. I guess it's just my fate to have an abundance of rocket.

I enjoy rocket as a bed for carpaccio, in salads, soups and pasta, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Picked early it's light and refreshing. Left in the soil too long, it becomes tough and very spicy! Arugala pesto may be the answer.

Alas, the garden is waning. Leaves are falling and the mercury reports stew weather.

Outside, thai shallots, carrots and peas remain in the ground, but none are quite ready for the table.

Still, there was a mini harvest to be had. Turnips and beets for dinner.

And today, the last tomato.

Of course it was a Honey Bunch cherry tomato. That little over-achiever. With a heavy heart I added the wilted tomato bush to the compost bin. I will now have to rely on the tomatoes I canned for the winter if I want to stay true to my efforts to eat locally. I'm not strident about this pledge (I can never resist mangoes at the market) but I am making daily efforts to shop greener.

So I turn my attention to the indoor garden and the seed catalogues.

I've been hunting for all the heirloom and certified organic seeds I can get my hands on. Two Green Thumbs up to Burpees and Johnny Seeds who carry sections on both. They get my business this year.

The cost of seeds is really alarming. Halfway through my enthusiastic shopping spree I realized I had already managed to add $148 to my cart.

When you're paying $3.99 for 25 heirloom seeds you want to do everything in your power to ensure that the seeds take. Better planning of the 2011 vegetable garden is definitely on the agenda. I'm finding great tips from so many sources. Blogs, books, garden shows and the best of all, the gardeners in my community.

Maria Finn's cute little book, A Little Piece of Earth, offers handy suggestions on beneficial combinations of plants for container gardens.

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