Zeroing in on Eating More Greens
Along with the Good Fat Company, I am zeroing in more focus on the idea of how to be successful in the eating of more greens this year. As previously alluded to in other more recent blog posts, one way is to find options that allow for growing them. As we shift into spring, it’s a great time of year to place emphasis on this.
Popular spring greens include lettuces and other leafy options. Plants that are considered cold-hardy, such as spinach, arugula, kale, and mustard greens, may be easier to grow and can handle climates that experience temperature swings as many areas will observe in spring. Pea shoots are another great spring green food and most sprouts seem to grow just about anywhere, including small indoor pots.
Growing methods can be outdoors or indoors, such as via aero- and aquaponics or, for those with space, greenhouses. Methods for outdoor gardens vary from raised beds and square foot gardening and use of trellises to more comprehensive biodynamic approaches such as permaculture methodology. For outdoor growing, using geographic zone maps and peak planting times can help ensure success. A few other factors to consider are related to the soil, germination, and the harvest.
Soil checks are, in large part, to ensure successful germination will occur. Factors that matter includes ground temperature, amount of moisture or dryness, nutrients in the soil, and composition of the soil itself, such as the various balances between substrates like clay, sand, or other organic matter. Some blogs recommend “sandy-loam” soil composition for growing vegetables. Check out more about soil composition on Gardenerdy. Also, leafy greens need adequate nitrogen. An appropriate compost application can help with that.
Germination may or may not be successful in the soil. Many gardeners find that germinating the seeds in green- or hoop-houses and/or under grow lamps, then allowing them to grow into seedlings before planting in outdoor soil can be supportive of more healthful plants. Note that in this approach, there are a few factors to keep in mind in order to not shock the plant when it moves outdoors and into the ground. A little more on this is highlighted in this treehugger blog post and a write-up from Gardener’s Supply Company.
Once the plants are ready to harvest, appropriate picking can be helpful. Leafy greens, for example, will produce more leaves if you pick the outer leaves before they are fully mature and keep the center heart of the plant intact.
Regardless of your decision to grow or not grow and, if so, what method, Spring is a great time to shift eating patterns with the seasons. Perhaps this is a transition from warm soups to a greater emphasis on cold salads. It’s a time of renewal and awakening which can be invigorating and further enriched through the nutrients that fresh green foods can provide.
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners from Gardener’s Supply Company
Intensive Gardening: Grow More Food In Less Space (With the Least Work!) from Mother Earth News
Permaculture and Biodynamics: Sustainable Systems of Living and Growing from The Ecologist
Permaculture: You’ve Heard of It, But What the Heck Is It? from Modern Farmer
Biodynamic Gardening from Mother Earth News
Ashley runs a lifestyle health coaching service centered on evidence-based behavioral change and systematized approaches from integrative health services and healthcare. She includes functional health assessment tools that support setting more clear, realistic goals that are tailored to each client. She appreciates the products and mission of Good Fat Company due to the emphasis on whole-food, nutrition-rich products without processed additives or fillers. Also, that the product line is applicable across dietary spectrums from vegan to paleo and most anywhere in between. Further information can be found at www.ashleylarnold.com.