Celebration and Loss (last of the arugula)

last arugula

As you can see from the photo, this tender arugula was not likely to make it through the night (temperatures forecast to be in the mid-20s).  It is a cause for great celebration that it made it through last weekend’s snow storm, several nights below freezing, and provided a little spice to my salads for a couple of months.  It lasts this long because I over plant, first eat the greens as I thin them, then pick them by the leaf rather than by the root to encourage the plants to grow more vigorously, and finally start pulling them up by the handful when the danger of hard frost calls for the inevitable demise.  Tonight, I cut everything in the pot down to about a 1/2 inch.  It is possible, though not likely based on the current forecast of a cooler than normal winter, that if we got a couple of warm weeks in late January or early February that it would come back.

I am celebrating what I have grown in this tiny space and the exquisite delight of eating greens from right outside my door this late into the year.  I am sad that the outdoor gardening season is just about over; I will miss it.  If I had more space or a firmer intention (maybe the latter will come in another year or two),  I could build a cold frame or go for plastic tunnels.  In my little micro-climate, that would probably get me through the winter.  I rather like, though, a space of time with no obligation to the outdoor garden.  A time to dream rather than work.  I know what a luxury it is to be able to rest in such a way and still have bountiful food.

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