Arugula

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by tominwash, Dec 3, 2017.

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  1. tominwash

    tominwash Member
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    My wife and I started a test garden this year. Early Spring. A complete bust, but learned a bunch.

    We live in the Olympic Peninsula of Wa. State. A rainforest, just think the Twilight movie with more rain.

    From October on it is is grey, cold, dipping below freezing. No light at all. Horribly short growing season as the sun clears and ground warms up more or less in late Spring.

    One surprising little vegetable I have discovered is the Arugula plant. The entire thing is editable, flowers, pods, you name it. Here we are on the 3rd of December and I picked leaves that are still growing this morning. Protien rich, vitamin rich, and contains several medicinal properties as well.

    For those not familiar, you add it to salads, over dishes etc., it is a little rich to substitute for lettuce. I believe it is related to Kale and the such.

    In my reading, it apparently grows wild all over Europe in hills, in the rocks, everywhere and only requires 3 hours of sunlight a day to keep producing. In my case, cloudy and rainy weather. A fresh leafy vegetable that in my case has been producing for 8 months now and still going.

    I plan to start a bunch of it and start planting it here and there and see what happens.

    I am curious as to what suggestions others might have that we can plant considering our conditions to provide a fresh source of greens, veggies that grow in less light, more wet conditions outside of a greenhouse condition, on their own so-to-speak.
     
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  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Okay, I assume you are not talking about West Australia. The other name for Arugula is Rocket, we grow rocket in our garden, a very hardy plant.
    Have you tried growing Jerusalem Artichokes? This plant is native to the "American" Great Lakes area. This is a root crop. The leaves can be used to feed chooks or stock. The dry stems make excellent kindling for starting a fire. It is a member of the Sunflower family & has smaller similar flowers. Not a lot of taste, but can be used in the same manner as potatoes. We find them very nice roasted.
    Keith.
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    The wild ones that grow in America have a smaller tuber but I daresay you can get these larger ones over there too.
     
  3. tominwash

    tominwash Member
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    "Jerusalem Artichokes" On it.

    No, it isn't Western Australia that's for sure. I border the Olympic national forest, and Olympic National Park. https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm It is lousy with deer and critters here. I went out to photograph a sunrise at the bottom my hill and tripped over a dying beaver the other day. If you have never had a screaming snapping beaver coming at you in the half light it is a memorable experience.

    Lots of game, rivers and streams everywhere. Water and game isn't a problem for me. Growing things is to balance the diet. Need to get into what is edible and what isn't as well. For now I just want to plant what I know will grow.
     
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  4. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    With two ten buck grow lamps from wall mart you start indoors in april. In may move outside to greenhouse. Useing the two lights and nature light you should be able to pruduce plants hardy enough to survive your weather and short grow season
     
  5. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Something I forgot to mention, it is said that you will never starve if you are growing Jerusalem Artichokes. The reason being is that they just keep coming back & they will spread! Not fast, but they will take over a cultivated area. We had them growing up at our old cottage, when we moved into our new house the roos got into the cottage garden & dug up & ate all the Jerusalem Artichokes. That is about the only thing that will stop them coming back year after year.
    Keith.
     
  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    Can you eat the Roos? That is what we did one year when the deer ate our entire 20 acre pea patch.
     
    1. Keith H.
      Legally no, we can shoot them & leave them to rot, but we are not allow to eat them. Professional shooters can shoot & sell the meat. That is our corrupt screwed up government for you. As it is I would not want to shoot them anyway, we don't need the meat.
      20 acres is a lot of pea patch!
      Keith.
       
      Keith H., Dec 3, 2017
  7. tominwash

    tominwash Member
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    I read up on them and they are perfect. Amazing plant I have never heard of. Bulbs are even available on Amazon. Great suggestion. You are exactly right about this type of plant. They come back year after year like potatoes and bigger than before. If one had several of these type of things going you do have vegetables even in places like mine that a formal garden is hard or impossible to do. Yes, as another suggested grow lights can compensate, but I am trying to think rustic with no available electricity or batteries.

    Any other suggestion I will add to them, plant in the spring and do a follow up. It rains here from Oct-May. Heavy in the winter but lighter around the edges. Jul-Sept almost no rain. Temps rarely go below freezing for extended periods. I know your neck of the woods is probably opposite of mine.

    Another thing about your Jerusalem Artichoke I was reading is that you don't even have to harvest them as even after the ground frosts over they are nice and cozy in the ground. You could theoretically have a year round vegetable crop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Quite true. We have so many that we occasionally boil up a heap for chook feed.
    Keith.
     

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