Mary, Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With parsley, kale, spinach, and beans!
It’s quick and easy to grow your own greens.
Growing your own garden has taken hold and is sweeping across the nation.
Throughout schoolyards, backyards, balconies, and rooftops across America, more people are getting their hands a little dirty to grow their own food.
Why grow your own?
A garden affords you the comfort of knowing where your food is coming from, saves money on grocery bills, adds instant nutrition to mealtimes, and acts as a meditative stress releaser. These are four great reasons to start growing today–green thumb not necessary.
- Space – how much room do you have and where is it located?
- Sunlight – how much light will your plants receive?
- Soil – what is the condition of your soil? You may need to work in amendments to nourish and make it workable
- Watering – plants need water; make sure you have a reliable source nearby
- Climate – knowing your geographic hardiness zone is crucial for success
The time spent growing your own garden, watching each little bud form into an edible eat, will be worth every minute as soon as your taste buds experience the fruits of your labor. Gardening is quite the adventure if you are a beginner–be aware there is a learning curve. Don’t give up just because you kill a plant or two, it happens to the best of the green-thumbers.
Here is a list of 5 simple vegetables and herbs to start with:
Radishes are a perfect little finger food you can enjoy in salads, on a veggie plate with hummus, or as a snack on the run. The spicy or peppery taste ranges in strength from light to fiery and depends on which variety you choose to plant.
This little red ball of fun is a cruciferous vegetable, containing a powerful phytonutrient called sulforaphane. This antioxidant triggers detoxifying enzymes in the body and for this reason, sulforaphane is being researched as a preventive for certain cancers and reducing tumors.
Radishes and their leaves are a rich source of folate, vitamin C, zinc, phosphorus, and B vitamins, not to mention they’re full of fiber and water that are both beneficial to a healthy digestive system.
2. Green Beans
Bush Green Beans are super easy to grow and keep growing after each harvest. Green beans also have a little secret: two types of carotenoids called lutein and beta-carotene. Both have the ability to absorb the sun’s harmful rays, acting as a sunscreen for the eyes and skin.
The body needs beta-carotene to convert into vitamin A, an essential vitamin that is not naturally made by the body. Vitamin A is necessary for the immune and circulatory systems to run properly.
Green beans are also a great source of vitamins B1, B2, C, K, folate, fiber, and manganese.
3. Green Onions (Scallions)
Green Onions contain the flavonoid quercetin, a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that can cause damage to the body through oxidation. They lower cholesterol, contain vitamin K for proper blood coagulation, reduce inflammation, and stabilize cells that release histamines–helping to reduce allergy symptoms.
Green onions also contain biotin (vitamin H)–which is good for the skin–potassium, fiber, copper, vitamin C, and manganese. They also have the beneficial effect of increasing bone density and may help those suffering from osteoporosis.
Kale is being heralded as one of the top superfoods today. It is chock full of antioxidants and vitamins that provide more than just your minimum daily supply. Kale can have a very bitter flavor, depending on the variety, so choose the type that will match your taste.
Kale is rich in vitamins K, A, C, B, E, fiber, copper, tryptophan and even has omega-3 fatty acids and protein. This cancer-fighting vegetable is an anti-inflammatory that helps build collagen for healthier skin, shinier hair, and even helps to balance out hormones.
Chives belong to the onion family and have a mild onion-like flavor. They date back to the Middle Ages when they were known to help with sunburn and throat infections by the Romans.
Chives contain a phytochemical called allicin; this anti-bacterial helps the immune system fight off illnesses like the common cold or flu. Chives also contain vitamin K for bone health and folate, an essential vitamin for pregnant women to reduce the risk of birth defects.
Growing your own garden is good for your mind, body, and soul. Not only does a garden offer a piece of serenity in this busy world, it offers nourishing food necessary to your body’s health.