Monday, March 11, 2019

Gardening For Cooking

Just some of the organic heirloom edibles growing in my garden right now - 

goji berries
prickly pear
gourds (to make bird houses)
rainbow carrots
rainbow beets
aloe vera
navel orange
purple potatoes

Why grow dandelion? The roasted roots of dandelion are exceedingly healthy in a tea. The greens are also great for you. It helps joint pain, eczema, gallstones, and great for digestion. The roasted root made into tea has anti-cancer properties.

Aloe? I eat aloe vera and it has many health benefits. It is an antioxidant, antibacterial, that reduces dental plaque, improves skin, helps constipation, and lowers blood sugar levels. 

If you have blood sugar issues, consider grapefruit, aloe vera, goji berries, and prickly pear.

What about goji berries? These grow on a bush and are slightly tart berries that are higher in antioxidants than other berries. They help prevent cancer growth, help blood sugar levels, help improve cholesterol levels and help with weight loss.

The unbelievably fragrant and beautiful flowers on the chamomile plant make a tea that is very relaxing and the ideal bedtime tea. It has antioxidants that are great for cancer and heart disease prevention.

The prickly pear is high in antioxidants, fiber, decreases blood sugar levels, anti-inflammatory, and high in vitamins and minerals. Ironically, this tasty fruit (cross between watermelon and bubble gum flavor) makes a great margarita and also a cure for hangovers.

Gardening has tons of benefits:

Composting scraps of egg shell, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, fruit skins, newspaper, etc. Check local landscaping companies and city utilities to see if they offer free wood chips/wood mulch. Many shred up limbs and trees and end up with tons of mulch that they will take to your driveway and dump for free. 

Water conservation 
Utilizing drip systems and wood chips/shavings to protect the soil and keep it from drying out.

Nothing like digging, reaching, tying, building raised platforms, picking, mulching, composting to make you strong.

Vitamin D 
The natural form of vitamin D, from the sun, is ideal for mood and health.

Stress relief 
The time outdoors in a quiet, peaceful area with the wind, the rain, the breezes, and scents all make you feel relieved of the weight of the world. There is something very spiritual about seeing the process of life and feeling responsible for clearing the way for it to do its thing. A tiny seed becomes a giant sunflower. There is nothing more humbling than witnessing that process. The senses are stimulated outdoors, your breathe deeply, your muscles are in use, and the stress release is immediate.

Robust health from vitamins, minerals, fiber
Health benefits of eating what you garden are extensive and the nutrients are fresh and live and not sitting in a store dying off and having been picked too soon to ship.

Protecting environment 
Utilizing heirloom seeds and propagating the seeds for next season is a good way to avoid the awful GMO sterile seeds from store-bought produce. As well, not utilizing weed killer and bug sprays is a huge boon. You also attract wildlife and beneficial creatures like geckos, grasshoppers, lady bugs that eat bugs, as well as a wide variety of birds.

Amazing taste
Fresh fruits, veggies and herbs are amazing compared to the bland store-bought stuff. Fresh, crisp and flavorful makes your meals a thousand times better and encourages family members to want to eat raw and fresh)

Think outside the box for possible growing areas - 

Regional gardening channels on YouTube are a huge help. Here are two of my very favorite gardening channels that show the viability of it, the passion, the beauty, and the benefits.

Roots and Refuge Farm
Late Bloomer

Expect to see me showing some cooking utilizing these garden grows coming up this springtime. I will include videos, recipes, and photographs, advising on how varieties grew and their advantages and disadvantages.

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