Why This Blog is Not About Arugula

Yes, it’s true. I was going to blog about arugula today. And hope of spring. Because Friday when it was almost 50 degrees and the sun was shining, I went to the grocery store, and there they were. The towering racks of seeds right inside the door. MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I almost swooned. Really.

When you live in Maine, and it’s dark and dismal and cold and icy for endless months on end, you take any sign of spring as an encouragement. Like the groundhog seeing his shadow. Like the garden thyme desperately peeking out from the only non-snowy corner of the driveway. Like one sunny day at the end of February. Like the seed towers at the local grocery store.

And so MEH and I oohed and aahed over every seed packet, every possibility, what should we buy as our representation of spring? To tuck into a prominent spot of the kitchen so we could appreciate the reality that someday soon we would return to the garden, dig up the beautiful bountiful earth, and engage in our yearly ritual of planting.

Flower or vegetable? Root crop or leafy green? Someone walking by might have thought we were playing 20 questions or Animal Vegetable Mineral. Someone walking by might’ve thought we were crazy. No we’re in Maine. They knew. They understood.

Finally of course we knew it had to be a vegetable. We passed by the beets, the spinach. Breakfast radish, a new favorite from last year, almost made the cut. But in the end, we went with arugula. This spicy, almost-bitter green sprinkled with balsamic vinaigrette, is the bee’s knees of culinary delight. Closing our eyes, we could almost imagine: feel the springtime, standing in the warm sun, pinching back the arugula sprouts, thinning and then devouring the tiny harvest. Sublime.

But instead more snow. Only lightly falling, but still. This morning an annoying reminder that we need to wait. And so for now the seed packet of arugula sits on the window sill. A small reminder that soon I will be able to begin to consider that maybe someday, I will sit and think and write and maybe even blog in the warm spring sun while I watch the arugula grow where now there is only snow.



p.s. How does the weather inspire or discourage you in your writing? What gives you hope for spring? If you’re a gardener, and you live in a warm climate, how’s the growing going?


  1. Doesn’t it seem like there is always one or two warm days in February to tease us? I hope you get to plant your arugula soon.

    Warmer weather is more of an inspiration for me. More people are outside, so there’s a better chance of overhearing or seeing something that would make a good story. I don’t have a drop of a green thumb, but I’m excited for summer vegetables and fruits at the farmers’ market!

  2. Thanks for your comment! I really like the way you put that about warm weather being more of an inspiration because of the opportunity to pick up a good story….so true!

  3. Julia – your post was a reminder of exactly WHY I moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona (we weren’t far from Lake Erie, so lake-effect conditions were always in effect … overcast … or SNOW in the wintertime.)… But I do recall those teaser-type days when the sun would come out. They were glorious!

    I don’t take a single day of great weather for granted here. I’m thinking about planting some new ornamental plants to replace the ones that were annihilated by the hard freezes we had this winter. Tried gardens twice in AZ, with no luck. Here in the remote Sonoran Desert … way too many critters eating my bounty (javelina, birds galore, jackrabbits, etc). When in Phoenix, didn’t quite figure out the ‘raised-bed’ garden, either.

    I applaud your enthusiasm and bright eyes toward springtime!

  4. Melissa– Thanks for your comment. It’s hard to remember in the dead of winter that some people are actually having warm weather! So weird to think, especially this second when it IS sunny yet 25 degrees and worse with windchill. Right this second I’d trade it in a heartbeat for those jackrabbits munching my arugula!