Arugula: Sylvetta vs. Rocket

For so many years, arugula has been a staple in the garden. It's a fantastic addition to salads (grown right next to mustard greens and lettuces, it adds amazing texture to the garden as well), and can be cooked into pasta dishes, thrown on sandwiches or served as a garnish for Italian dishes.

This year, our regular arugula plants are getting some competition. We've always grown arugula (A.K.A. rocket salad, rocket arugula, eruca sativa), but ever since a visit to Italy where we ate an entire salad made from Wild arugula (A.K.A. ...

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Take Cover! It’s Cabbage Moth Season.

Just a few moments in the garden reveal that it must be mating season for the cabbage moth. These deceptively cute white butterflies can be found twirling around one another and fluttering about the garden, looking for a good place to lay their eggs. Be prepared.

We planted out our kale and cabbage crops early this year, but took the precaution of covering them with floating row cover to keep the critters from settling in.


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A Fall Thinnings Salad

If you grow from seed this fall, you'll have a chance to enjoy the benefits of thinning your seedlings right into the salad bowl. Baby greens may be expensive in the market, but they're free when you pick from the excess of sprouts in your garden.

Even when using Square Foot Gardening, I like to have a little bit of insurance. I plant two or three seeds in each planting hole, then wait for survival of the fittest to make itself known. The smaller seedlings are then snipped off (with scissors, rather ...

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Aquaponics: A Field Trip to EVO Farm (Now Ourfoods)

Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics and aqua-culture. It is a closed-loop system that uses aquariums (or aquaria if we're going to use proper Latin) of fish to produce the nutrient fertilizer for plants to feed upon. The plants then grow in the water that is infused with fish droppings (and filtered for solids). It uses no soil. The water recycles back through the system to the fish and the whole process starts all over again.

I paid a visit to EVO Farm, a local experimental site that combines yardsharing with aquaponics. ...

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Experimenting with Biochar

Ever heard of biochar?  Maybe the term "Terra preta" rings a bell?  Back in 2008 National Geographic published an article about a discovery of man-made nutrient-rich soil in the Amazon. Yes, man-made. It appears that by layering soil, charcoal, pottery sherds (yes, that's the correct spelling), and plant and animal wastes, the soil was transformed from nutrient-poor, desolate soil into the fertile ground that grew sustenance for ancient jungle inhabitants. I remember reading about it and thinking, "Hey, this could save ...

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Harvesting Watermelons

Just in the nick of time, our watermelons are ready to harvest before summer ends. How do you know they're ready?  Consider this post to be a companion piece to our watermelon Tip of the Week Podcast, visual aid style, that illustrates the tell-tale sign that watermelon is ready for harvest.

There are old wives tales about the sound that watermelons are supposed to make when ripe. You can also look at the underside of the melon to check whether ...

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Petaluma Seed Bank Field Trip

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company holds a place in the heart of many an organic vegetable gardener. Their gorgeous seed catalogs are the industry standard of "garden-porn", with beautiful pictures of hundreds of varieties many eyes have never seen before.

While away on a writing retreat, I stopped by their West Coast store, the Seed Bank. It is aptly named because it is located inside an old bank. A corner building in the center of town proudly displays Heirloom Seeds in the two-story bank windows. You can't miss it.

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New 2011 Fall FantaSeed Collection

As summer winds down, the excitement for fall crops is building. Not sure what to grow?  Gardenerd is here to help. We've picked out a special selection of veggies we have been dying to grow - and we're pretty jazzed about it.

Color is the name of the game this fall. Purples, yellows, reds and greens take the stage this fall to brighten up your garden. Check out this beautiful lineup for fall:

2011 Fall FantaSeed Collection

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