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Jan. 11, 2011

My Second Favorite Weed

by Carl Flatow

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A while back I wrote an entry identifying my most favorite weed as purslane. In the summer when it starts coming up all over, all by itself, I rejoice, harvest some, fresh, every day and add it to my daily dinner salads. Unfortunately, when the weather turns colder this super-nutritious wild green disappears as quickly as it at first appeared.

I have discovered a second plant that, although I originally planted one plant in my garden, intentionally, now has taken on a life of its own. The fact that it reseeded itself ALL over my yard, after it matured and waned, made me agree with those who classify it as a wild and prolific weed. I might really find it an annoying pest had it not been for two factors.

Although it took a while, I have developed a real taste for arugula in the right proportion in my salad. At first I found its flavor too strong and I would avoid it or only use the tiniest amount. Now, every week I consistently use more than I did the week before.

But the second factor launched arugula into contention on my list of favorite weeds. It’s still growing strong, in spite of the fact that its January in NY State.

In truth, the arugula growing in unprotected areas of my yard is either still buried under the snow or simply not suitable for inclusion in my salad if I can even find it. But inside my “cold house” I have a terrific cluster of plants that provide plenty of green for my salads, in spite of consistent night-time temperatures in the low 20′s.

To be continued….

About Carl Flatow

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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