If all the grow your own thing is getting a bit overwhelming, or you don’t have time or the resources to grow all the crops your family needs to survive, opt for the best options and just grow your own superfoods!There are so many fruits and vegetables we can grow that are packed full of the good stuff:
Broccoli – has long since been recognised as a superfood and it’s one of those veggies you can eat on it’s own, although it’s always nice with a cheese sauce. There are dwarf varieties available that you can grow in containers or pots on the balcony or patio. Don’t try and grow huge heads of broccoli the first time you try it. Let the first head grow to a medium size then cut and eat. The plant should produce more small heads of broccoli and will keep you in florets for longer!
Spinach – again, since the days of Popeye, spinach has been recognised as a power packed veggie. Although the amount of iron the body can actually ingest from spinach is another issue. However, all green leafy vegetables have quantities of vitamins and minerals that are invaluable, especially during the winter months. Look around for varieties that you can grow in a small space. A small area of garden or a few pots on the kitchen windowsill are easier to maintain, and an enjoyable distraction from the washing up!
Watercress – if you can possibly find a way of growing watercress, you can almost guarantee a strong enough immune system to see you through changes in environment, weather and most other adverse conditions. If you have a water feature in your garden, maybe it could be adapated to growing watercress. (Quick note here; if you find watercress growing wild, the water could be contaminated with animal droppings or agricultural chemicals that may or may not affect the taste of the plant but will affect it’s properties and cause illness.
But hopefully you don’t have sheep grazing near your water feature so it’s worth a try doing it at home.
Parsley – contains more iron than most vegetables, gram for gram, and can be grown indoors or out. Put a few small plants in a fairly large pot ( make sure it’s well-drained ) and use good compost as parsley is a heavy feeder… hence all the goodness in the plant!
Berries – berries and more berries. Where do we start? The best way to handle this berry dilemma is by growing what you like to eat. Blueberries are very popular and little power houses of goodness. You can grow them in containers and they are readily available in most big garden centres and online garden stores. (And the the fruits are usually quite expensive to buy, so it makes sense to grow your own if you like them)
And of course strawberries. It’s really worth thinking about investing in a strawberry planters if you haven’t got a strawberry patch available. And you can often be eating strawberries for many months as there are hybrid plants available that produce fruits for longer than just one season. The ‘Albion’ variety, which is an everbearer/all season type, claims to produce fruit from June to October, and another new hybrid to try is ‘Finesse’ which doesn’t put out so many runners and produces more fruit.
There are hundreds of fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be grown in small spaces and will take hardly any time to maintain. The simple fact that there are so many choices available can be overwhelming. The best policy is to grow what you like to eat, and if you like to eat superfoods, include some of them in your gardening project!