Rocket ‘Giove’ is a new wild rocket variety that has been bred for flavour. With an attractive dark green colour and distinctive flavour, it is the essence of a lightly flavoured rocket – honeyed, grassy and lightly peppery. It has good jagged leaves right from the initial cut.
Rocket ‘Giove’ will grow in even the most inclement weather conditions. The plants are bolt-resistant, so don’t run to seed, allowing you to keep picking the leaves over a long period. Easy to grow, this cut and come again variety can be harvested almost year round. Sow directly outdoors during the spring through to autumn, and under protection during the winter. The plants grow best in full sun and well-drained, moist soil.
The tangy leaves add a distinctive flavour to salads. They also give a lift to cooked dishes, add a few leaves at the end of cooking, they give a sweet and earthy, warm peppery finish to roasted vegetables, pasta bakes or risotto.
This variety of edible Rocket has been named after the Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element.
GIOVE is the name for each satellite in a series being built for the European Space Agency to test technology in orbit for the Galileo positioning system; the European GPS.
Giove is also the Italian word for 'Jupiter'. The name was chosen as a tribute to Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), the Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. Galileo discovered the first four natural satellites of Jupiter and later discovered that they could be used as a universal clock to obtain the longitude of a point on the Earth's surface.
According to Stephen Hawking, Galileo probably bears more of the responsibility for the birth of modern science than anybody else, Albert Einstein called him the father of modern science. Among his inventions were telescopes, a compass and a thermometer.
Galileo was born and lived in Pisa, and would have been used to eating wild rocket growing freely on the Italian hillsides. I am sure he would have approved of this modern variety.
Sow directly into a bed containing any good fertile, well drained soil. Use a line to mark out the row. Sowing in a straight line allows you to identify where your rocket seedlings are and which are the weed seedlings to pick out.
Sow just a small quantity at one time, and then sow successionally, to harvest over a longer period. A 1m (3ft) row is usually enough to get you started. Late summer sowings will carry on cropping into the winter if the plants are protected by cloches.
Sow direct in spring for summer greens, and in autumn for winter greens.
Sow thinly 6mm (¼in) deep in drills spaced 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) apart. Sow the seeds thinly along the row, spacing them out as evenly as possible. The distance between the seeds should be about 3cm. (1¼in) Cover the seed lightly with soil. Remove any weed remnants or large stones as you go to ensure the plants have a good start.
Water the seeds in well using a watering can with the rose attached. This means you drench the soil but minimise disturbance to the seeds.
Flea beetle can be a problem in summer, nibbling holes in rocket leaves. The best defence is to cover the row with a length of horticultural fleece.
Rocket will always want to flower in summer, because this is the time of year when all crucifers naturally flower, then produce seed.
As autumn approaches, cover crops with sheets of horticultural fleece to keep the cold at bay, and you could be cropping right through to first frosts.
Harvesting: 25 to 45 days.
Simply pick the young leaves and the plant will keep generating new ones for months. Older leaves are a bit tougher and hotter. Pick over the whole row rather than just one or two plants as this would weaken them.
As the flower buds appear pinch them out to prolong cropping. The flowers are small, yellow with dark centers and can be used in the salad for a light piquant flavour.
Rinse the leaves in cool water and dry on paper towelling. Wrap leaves tightly in plastic or a zip lock bag. Best if used within two days.
Arugula is a nutritional powerhouse, containing significant folate (folic acid) and calcium. Exceptionally high in beta carotene, vitamin C, and a good source of iron, Arugula is a member of the same family as cabbage and broccoli and like all such vegetables; it contains cancer-fighting phytochemicals called indoles.
You can substitute water cress for a similar peppery flavor. You can also use fresh baby spinach (but the flavour will not be the same). Also dandelion greens have a tart flavour but a bit more bitter.
The genus Diplotaxis is from the Greek diplous, meaning ‘double’, and taxis meaning ‘row’, because of the double row of seeds in the seed pod.
The species name tenuifolia means ‘with finely-divided, slender leaves’.
Eruca is a classical Latin name used by Pliny.
The term arugula (variations of Italian dialects around Arigola) is used by the Italian diaspora in Australia and North America and from there picked up as a loan word to a varying degree in American and Australian English, particularly in culinary usage. The names ultimately all derive from the Latin word eruca.
Vernacular names include Garden Rocket, Rocket, Eruca, Rocket salad, or Arugula (American English), In Italy, it can be known as Rucola, Rugola, Rucola gentile, Rughetta, Ruchetta or Rucola selvatica.
Throughout the world there are variations: Rauke or ruke (German), Roquette (French), Rokka (Greek), Ruca (Catalan), Beharki (Basque), Oruga (Spanish), Rúcula (Portuguese) krapkool (Flemish), Arugula Selvatica, arugula sylvatica, aeruca rocket, eruka psevnaya (Russian), oruga (Spanish), jaramago (Spanish),
Roman rocket, salad rocket, sciatica cress, shinlock…
In Roman times Arugula was grown for both its leaves and the seed. The seed was used for flavouring oils. Part of a typical Roman meal was to offer a salad of greens, frequently arugula, romaine, chicory, mallow and lavender and seasoned with a 'cheese sauce for lettuce'.
It has been used in England in salads since Elizabethan times. On another interesting note, Rocket or Arugula seed has been used as an ingredient in aphrodisiac concoctions dating back to the first century, AD. (Cambridge World History of Food) - …but we can make no promises!
Galileo Galilei - The man who invented the telescope.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was born in Pisa, Italy. He enrolled to do a medical degree at the University of Pisa but never finished, instead choosing to study mathematics. He was a ground breaking astronomer, physicist, mathematician, philosopher and inventor. Among his inventions were telescopes, a compass and a thermometer.
Galileo built on the work of others to create a telescope with around 3x magnification, he later improved on this to make telescopes with around 30x magnification. With these telescopes, Galileo was able to observe the skies in ways previously not achieved. In 1610 he made observations of four objects surrounding Jupiter that behaved unlike stars, these turned out to be Jupiter’s four largest satellite moons: Io, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede. They were later renamed the Galilean satellites in honor of Galileo himself.
The discovery of these moons was not supported by the scientific principles of the time and Galileo had trouble convincing some people that he had indeed discovered such objects. This was similar to other ideas put forward by Galileo that were very controversial at the time.
The Geocentric model of the universe which was embraced by earlier astronomers had the Earth at the center of the universe with other objects moving around it. Work by Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler helped to supercede this theory with the more accurate heliocentric model. Such a view of the universe differed strongly with the beliefs of the Catholic Church at the time and Galileo was forced to withdraw many of his ideas and even spent the final years of his life under house arrest.
Galileo refused to believe Kepler’s theory that the moon caused the tides, instead believing it was due to the nature of the Earth’s rotation - helping prove that even the smartest people can make mistakes.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 275mg Average Seed Count 1,000 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 3,000 seeds per gram Common Name Arugula, Roquette, Rucola, Rugula Other Common Names Selvatica or Sylvetta Family Brassicaceae Genus Diplotaxis Species tenuifolia Cultivar Dragons Tongue Synonym Perennial Rocket Hardiness Hardy Perennial Height 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) Spacing 15 to 22cm (6 to 9in) Position Full sun Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Time to Sow March to September Harvest 25 to 45 days. Time to Harvest April to November