Easy Vegetables and Greens for Health by Jacqueline Milner

Easy Vegetables and Greens for Health by Jacqueline Milner

EarthMattersTitle_06_10_13_P1010859

CFN – Have you planted any vegetables this year? My planting journey began back in February with an experiment in growing some slips from a sweet potato in water.  I started with three potatoes, commercially bought at the store and came to find out from an experienced gardener that store bought potatoes may present challenges as they are sprayed to insure they do not sprout in the stores.  This indeed proved to be correct as one of the potatoes after many weeks in the water sprouted one very weak slip, just before it rotted from the inside out being in the water.

I did however sow many slips from the other two potatoes and planted them in egg cartons to get them started before they were to be transplanted in their permanent bed outside.  One lovely spring day I put them outside for some fresh air on the north side of the house.  I forgot to bring them in one evening which proved to be fatal to most of the slips.  Frostbite!  Not a happy result after the weeks of watching and waiting however lessons were learned and will serve as a sturdy foundation for future garden projects.

Although most of the slips froze to death a few slips were planted in the garden, a couple of which are beginning to show signs of renewed life.  Time will tell.  My experienced gardening friend, learning of my experience, was kind enough to give me a few slips for planting.  One has gone in the bed with my challenged slips.  My new trial is trying to keep the cat from scratching in the bed.  The other gifted potato slips have been planted in a half wooden barrel.  As I have never planted this vegetable before in the garden or a container, it is an adventure which I hope will bear yummy, homegrown produce.

I have also chosen to plant some carrots and spinach, both in containers and a barrage of red beets, some in a container and a couple of short rows around the compost bin in the ground.  The compost bin is about 4’ x 4’ x 4’.  Beets are very easy to grow and can be eaten raw or cooked.  The greens are also edible and are fantastic in stir-fries.  It has recently come to my attention that beets are particularly good for the health of one’s vascular system.

Raw beets are also an excellent source of foliates.  Additionally the root is a good source of B-complex vitamins and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper and magnesium.  The greens are an excellent source of vitamin-C and vitamin A. The beauty of this plant is that it can be grown in containers or the ground, can be consumed raw, cooked or juiced, is delicious and lastly provides nutritional and health benefits that can keep one out of the doctor’s office.

Lastly, I have come to learn that the greens from the sweet potato plant are edible.  According to Wikipedia they are a common dish in Taiwanese cuisine.  Furthermore, E-how informs that Radish Greens are edible and a high source of vitamins A, C and B6.  Believe it or not folks, carrot greens are also edible.  So next time you get a bunch of carrots, radishes or beets with greens, consider googling how you can incorporate them into your salad, soup or juicing regime.

Your comments are always welcome and encouraged below or to earthmatters@jmilner.com

cfnjm

8 Responses to "Easy Vegetables and Greens for Health by Jacqueline Milner"

  1. Wow!   June 10, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Save your time and take a multi-vitamin folks.

  2. jules   June 10, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Jacqueline my mother used to grow potatoes in her garden in Cornwall as well as beats, beans, and so many other veggies and she used to be an avid canner of everything she could get her hands on. The best food is what you grow yourself. You will learn a lot gradually and it does take time. I can eat all kinds of veggies and yesterday we ate eggplant done up Lebanese way and I felt like a rabbit that can invade a garden. Tomorrow we are going to use up some Italian eggplant (the small eggplants) and that is very good. I saw some even smaller than the Italian eggplant that my husband told me that they use for pickling. I had a pickled eggplant before back in the late 70’s by a Lebanese lady in this same building here in Ottawa just across the hall from me and it was good. The doctor told my daughter today to eat fish and veggies and to stay away from pork, lamb and stay away from as much beef as possible. Pork and lamb contain the most fats. Happy gardening.

  3. Reg Coffey   June 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Wow misses the point of gardening. There are far more nutrients in fresh vegetables and fruit than any pharmaceutical company can pack in a pill. Gardening provides not only the shear pleasure of picking your own tomato to put between two pieces of toast or the olfactory delight of a sweet cucumber still warm from the sun, but a calming almost therapeutic effect working in the soil has on an individual.

    The collection of partisan groups that make up our federal government could use some gardening therapy. The liberals could do some cash cropping, the NDP could organize the garden into rows of senior crops and the Green Party would actually grow beautiful organic produce. The Conservatives would be in charge of the compost heap.

  4. Jacqueline   June 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Reg…the compost heap offers nutrition & minerals for the garden…a great addition to the backyard/front yard garden.

  5. Reg Coffey   June 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Jacqueline…..yes it does but it can stink if not turned over frequently.

  6. jules   June 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    My mom used to compost in the back yard and she turned it over and used the ashes from her woodstove as well to mix in the soil. You talk about good black ground – she had it. Gardening is one of the best and healthiest things to do and I love that kind of work.

  7. jules   June 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Jacqueline do you know what is good to eat and most people throw away are those beat greens and those are good boiled and put a pat of butter or margarine or without. I used to eat a lot of that and still do now and then.

  8. jules   July 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Jacqueline while copying some of the recipes of my husband’s country I came across a food that they use to mix in with meat, etc. and that is “pumpkin” yes the pumpkin that we use in the fall. I read where it is high in nutrition and vitamins and especially good for people who are diabetic. I have recipes that are for the Lebanese palet where it is cooked with meat and I thought right away that Canadians can use it just like any vegetable and can make a stew out of it. Pumpkin is used in soups as well and some Canadians eat it that way too.

    Lentils is mighty healthy and that is part of my husband’s culture as well and soups are made out of this as well as other foods.

    Another very healthy food is “chick peas” and you may have seen it in salads at Farm Boy and I heard a radio host on a radio station here in Ottawa who speaks very highly of chick peas and that is in my husband’s foods as well. There is a sauce that the Lebanese make out of it and I never ate it and my family tricked me into it when they bought a chicken soaked in that stuff and I didn’t know and my husband BBQ’d the chicken at the time and I loved it. LOL LOL. Hummus is the other thing that Canadians and Americans love and very good for the diet and that is chick peas mixed with a few other ingredients and one is sesame seed oil which can be made “homemade” and I have the recipe for that if you cannot find the stuff in Cornwall. It is full here in Ottawa.

    People think that pumpkin is only good for pumpkin pie – false. Eat healthy and cook from scratch is what I tell people. Make a garden even in containers for some things but eat healthy.

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