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Category Archives: gardening
When folks want to eat healthy, I tell them to add herbs to their dishes to avoid “boring” food. Herbs at the store can be expensive and take planning. You need fresh herbs usually the same day you make your dish. But why not grow them in a container or in the ground? You will have them when you need them.
The time is NOW! Berries are available now through the beginning of fall. If you are growing a berry bush, i.e. raspberries or blackberries, you might have seen them already on your vines. But peak time does vary depending on the berry. Strawberries and blueberries are at their peak now, while blackberries and raspberries will be at their peak in August going into the fall.
These fruits are great raw or cooked, especially as a pie. Among the first people to appreciate these fruits were Native Americans, who ate them, cooked them, dried them for adding to winter soups and stews, and even used them as medicines, dyes, and food preservatives.
In all honesty, artichokes are probably a spring crop, but here in So Cal, they are ready for me to eat
A single artichoke is actually an unopened flower bud from a thistle-like plant, Cynara scolymus. It’s a member of the daisy family.
They were avidly cultivated in the fifteenth century in Florence and was reputedly taken to France by Catherine de Médicis, wife of Henry II. The French, Italians, and the Spanish continue to be the leading growers and consumers of artichokes. It was European immigrants who brought artichokes to the United States in the nineteenth century to Louisiana and then later to the mid-coastal regions of California, where the cool, foggy climate is ideal for growing.
I know lots of folks who start their veggie and flower gardens by spraying pesticides in their yard to prevent the insects from eating their plants. BUT, you are also exposing yourself and others to poisonous chemicals by killing these bugs.
By not spraying pesticides, you will get “bad” bugs, but also attract “good” bugs. Part of this process is having the right plants to attract the beneficial insects to your garden, such as, yarrow, dill, feverfew, lavender, lemon balm, parsley, sunflowers, spearmint, fennel, white sage. Understand that any wildflowers native to your region will work!
I have been attending herbal classes. While I know some of the benefits of the nutritional properities of some herbs, I always enjoy learning more. So I thought I would share the benefits of onions & garlic.
The distinctive odor that garlic produces doesn’t occur until it is crushed. This is the plant’s defense mechanism against insect predators. Garlic cloves contain an odorless , sulfur-containing phytochemical called “alliin.” When the clove is disrupted, alliin is released and reacts with an enzyme in the neighboring cells that converts it to the odoriferous “allicin.” Allicin is the garlic’s bug repellant – and a “people” repellant which is why many folks are shy about eating it. If that’s the case, roast or cook whole to avoid the smell.
Weeds in your yard? Don’t worry they might be edible! I recently attended a garden tour of an organic garden with weeds. I took photos so I wouldn’t forget and have posted some common one that you would find in the Long Beach area.
Many know the dandelion is all edible. I’ve even seen it sold at a local farmer’s market. It can be bitter, but edible. A recent website also focuses on edible weeds.
I thought I would share my current gardening passion and the progress that has occurred with my garden gutters. My seeds have started to sprout! The photos below will show the progress that has been made in about 2 months. Just so everyone is aware, it has been a warmer winter in So Cal. I did plant some heirloom variety lettuces in one of the garden gutters. I planted strawberry seeds in my other garden gutter. You can see the photo of the small strawberry seed that are just starting. The benefit: I’ve not seen bugs; this includes slugs and pill bugs which usually eat tender seedlings.
For folks who like gardening or like planting edibles as a source of nutrition, you might be interested in knowing that USDA unveiled their new Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The map for the first time can help gardeners identify their current planting zone by zip code. This makes choosing edibles and other plants easier, especially if you know what zone you live.
It’s currently available online at www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.
These were the words from a woman in my class. Let’s not jump to conclusions here…I will be the first one to tell you that I’m not the expert. It didn’t occur to me to pursue a “passion” until I was in my thirties after I got married. Now, your thinking, “What does this have to do with nutrition?” Here’s how: