Saturday, August 4, 2012

Arrugula and Free Bees

An acquaintance once offered us a "wild" arrugula they had growing in their garden.  "But be careful, " she said, "it will grow everywhere!"
We love arrugula - how could you ever have too much?  And while Al does his battles with it in the  flower beds, I'm often saying "But wait, we might need that clump!"  Our neighbor comes over to pick it and barters off some of his tomatoes or kale.  I put it in our salads almost every evening from May to November.

This variety doesn't look much like the kind you buy in the store.  The leaves are thin, deeply cut.  Toward fall, they get smaller and smaller.  But they have a sharp peppery bite to them, a little sturdier texture.  They're great in sandwiches.  One of my favorite lunches is a pita pocket with some hummus, arrugula, and crisp cucumber slices.

And now we are loaded with bees!  I'm thrilled!  The reports of dwindling honey bees in the last few years has been upsetting.  But you couldn't prove that by how many hang around the pretty little yellow blossoms of the arrugula.

The plants reseed themselves and come back every year.  The only maintenance is removing them when they're not wanted.  They make me smile - a treat that shows up for the taking - for us, for our neighbors, and the bees !


  1. I wish I was a fan of arugula... it's such a lovely plant. I have discovered Kale though, and that grows all season long and should grow into the winter if I plan it right. It'll have to do. :) I have noticed bees everywhere this year. A few years ago it took ages for the flowers to bloom into fruit and veggies, but not this year. I was told to plant flowers in the garden with the vegetables to encourage more bees visiting. Whatever is doing it, I love it!