Spring is here, although it is way too cold and the sun is scarce. After a long and cold winter in Europe, spring 2013 is longer to manifest than ever. Still, don’t miss the rare times the sun does appear so you can stock up on healthy hormone promoting sun rays!
For young plants, the cold weather is slowing down the growth, of course, but their new life cycle has begun, no matter what the weather offers. It will just take longer. Every year at this time, I dream of having a huge vegetable garden in which I can pick, as long into the season as nature will allow, all the fresh, crispy and delicious fruit and vegetables I can lay my hands on. This is how I love to eat — on every level. I feel, very deeply in my body as in my head, that this type of food is what most of us need to thrive on. I am not alone in this, thank goodness, and vegetable gardens have remained quite popular.
The reality is often quite different from our dreams though, so my huge vegetable garden has to be manageable, otherwise I’d be weeding every day instead of writing for you! Just take a stroll in a garden center and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to buy every young plant and seedling you see! This year I decided to plant salads of various kinds, spinach, celery, rocket, chard… which is already quite a bit. As I had to make choices, of course I focused on GREENS. For the rest, I can go to the local organic farmers’ market, which is beginning to have great new veggies and fruit on offer.
The idea of picking fresh young greens in my garden to throw in my salads, juices or smoothies just minutes after picking them simply makes my heart sing and my mouth water. Is it not the same for you?
My young plants have not yet had a chance to grow given the lousy weather recently in Switzerland… Nevertheless, my priority this year is to plant kale and start a new series to last me several years. This famous leafy green vegetable of the brassica (cabbages) family is not easy to find in Switzerland, unfortunately. Some organic markets carry it, but only during the winter months. Yet it is so easy to plant and grow because it requires no special care and it really grows like a weed. And it offers incredible nutrition for very little effort! We should all grow it in our gardens, or on our terraces and balconies! On the pictures above you see the various stages of growth of my seedlings and young plants. I will plant them in garden soil as soon as the weather allows, soon I hope as they will need the extra space.
To grow kale, you can purchase the seeds from kokopelli in Switzerland or France, but they are more easily purchased in any garden center in most other countries (look for “Chou Frisé Lacinato (palmier) and/or Chou Frisé Sibérie Wild Garden kale in their seed listing). This site (in Swiss German) also carries high quality, organic seeds for the Nero di Toscana specie, as well as four other ones.
The benefits of kale are numerous
This green leafy vegetable is very nutritious, fat free, cholesterol free and it offers powerful antioxidants. Like all vegetables of the Brassica family, it contains precious phytochemicals with anticancer properties, which are damaged when submitted to heat. It is also rich in iron, vitamin A (for your skin and eyes), vitamin K (for your bones and brain cells), vitamins of the B Group (for metabolic performance and nervous balance). Thus it offers protection against osteoporosis, anemia, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Some even claim that kale has antiviral and antibacterial properties! So why not consume if, as often as possible? Grow it in your garden! And if you live near Morges or near Sion, contact me and I might be able in the upcoming days to give you a couple of seedlings so you can plant your own, because I currently have too many!
BRING MORE RAW INTO YOUR LIFE, ONE DISH AT A TIME!
For more delicious and simple raw food and wellness recipes:
- Receive your free booklet of raw recipes to get started
- Come join a raw food class if you are near Morges, Switzerland
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