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.
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