“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
When we expanded our garden this year, I knew I wanted a greens bed. When I read about important vitamins and minerals, almost every article says, ‘Found in dark, leafy greens.” And buying organic greens in the store isn’t cheap for a family of six, so I was excited to see what we could do on our own.
Greens like the cooler weather, so you can plant their seeds earlier in the spring than most. It wasn’t long before we had two kinds of lettuce, spinach, kale, and chard. I don’t know why, but it thrills my heart to walk out to my “grocery store,” pick a bowl full of healthy goodness, and serve it to my family. Over and over we did this, all for the price of a few seed packets. I would also throw in some dandelion greens from the yard. Our lawn is chemical free (which is also why we have dandelions growing in it), so I had no fears. Dandelion leaves are a great liver supporter, and who doesn’t need a little help in the detox department these days?
Now, I must admit, the greens I pick from my garden don’t come triple-washed like the ones in the store. But since I know where they came from, and there is no pesticide residue to remove, I don’t need to triple wash them. Often, a quick rinse and a ride in the lettuce spinner is all I need to do. If your family is concerned about finding little creatures on their salad, dump the greens in a bowl filled with cool water and a glug of vinegar. You won’t taste the vinegar, and any hitchhikers come right off.
When your plants start to grow seeds, called bolting, pinch that growth off to extend your growing season. Once the seeds come, the plant will consider its job completed and stop growing. It will also change in flavor. But there will come a point, usually in the heat of summer, where the seeds will come despite your best efforts. So don’t fight it then and when the process is complete, you’ll have seeds to plant again in September. These seeds will sprout quickly in the warm soil and grow long into the cool fall weather. All for free! It doesn’t get much better than that. So grab a seed packet, sprinkle them into a garden bed or a pot of dirt, and grow yourself some goodness.