Spring is in the air! As the birds sing, pollination picks up, and food prices skyrocket, I’m excited to get back into my garden this year! Now I am not the best gardener by far. I ask my neighbor all the time for assistance. Maybe one day she will take me up on my offer, trading cooked food for grown food. Lol.
I do enjoy knowing exactly where my food is coming from, how it’s being handled, and who is touching it. I’m not above having surveillance cameras on my garden. Those deer and rabbits can be relentless. Garden eats keeps my diet packed with fresher, in-season flavors! The colors are brighter and the love with which it was grown is easily detectable on the palette.
Y’all know I am all about quick and easy eats. I don’t like to be in the kitchen long. I enjoy time in my garden, caring for my herbs and veggies, but I don’t like being tied to them. It’s kind of like when you finally work up the motivation to do a task, then someone tells you to do it, and then all of your motivation is gone and it’s a chore again. In fact, it’s exactly like that. There is a good chance your garden will most likely suffer. The last thing I want to see you do is to quit right before the fruits of your labor pay off (all the puns intended). That’s why I’m going to share 3 easy springtime foods to grow and my tips for keeping your garden a happy, bountiful place!
In order to keep a healthy, happy garden, I do 3 things every single time.
- Start with what’s in the kitchen.
If it’s already in my kitchen, clearly I like the food enough to spend money on it. There are lots of fancy garden kits that can be a lot of fun to get into. If that’s your thing, by all means, go for it! However, If you’re just starting your first garden or you’re curious about a new food, planting the roots or seeds of the organic produce in your house will work just fine.
- Talk to the vegetation.
This one might sound a little woo-woo, but I have found that talking to my plants on a daily basis is not only good for them but for me as well. I talk to my plants like they’re additional family members. I compliment them on their growth and try to remember to offer them encouragement when they start to droop. When I get too stressed or find myself focusing on negative things, it’s going to sound crazy, but I really believe my plants feel it too.
There have been multiple studies on positive and negative energies affecting the world around us like the clarity of water and the survival of plants. Whether you believe it’s really helping the plants or not, it’s a wonderful practice for you to remember to speak positive, life-giving words to yourself, your household members, and those around you. Negative or destructive words run the risk of stealing your vibrance, joy, and the flavor you bring to life, just like your plants!
- Know your surroundings.
Quick story. A couple of houses ago – yay for military life – I proudly set up my garden in my fenceless backyard. I grew blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, and all the goodies I knew I’d be whipping up on a regular basis. I watched the garden from the window while I cooked. My son and I had special desserts and snacks planned for the blackberries and we could. Not. WAIT! One morning, I looked out of my kitchen window into my garden and noticed that all of my blackberries were GONE! Not dead or picked at. Every single berry with the exception of one was gone. I’d worked so hard and they all were gone.
It turns out, deer love blackberries. I was livid. If I had done a quick google search, I would’ve been better educated on which local animals would be attracted to my crops and what to do to drive them away. I encourage you to be aware of potential threats to your garden before beginning and figuring out how to protect your efforts – whether the answer is an area fence or cage, or a specific type of soil. Finding local friends with gardens is probably the most effective source of help because they’re experiencing very similar terrain to yours.
Fastest spring crops.
Now that you have a few tips on starting and maintaining your garden, are you ready to eat?! Because I stay ready.
Beets and beetroots are not only full of chlorophyll – the colors in your food, not the poisonous chemical, that’s chloroform by the way, and not to be confused with the military dress shoe, those are chloroframs. Ok, back to the topic. Beets can be beneficial in helping diversify your good gut bacteria, clearing the skin, boosting energy, improving brain health, and keeping the poo-poos flowing smoothly through your intestines. The last thing you want is a stagnant, chunky pond chilling inside of your intestines. Gross right?
From the seed, you can expect beets to begin peeking out of the soil around the 8-week mark. Once they’re ready, my family loves to add them to salads or pickle them and eat them straight. If you’re bougie like us, you can also add shredded or pickled beets to sandwiches! The fiber should support the bread’s breakdown and proper digestion.
This one might seem a little obvious. If you weren’t thinking about it, you’re welcome! If you were, here is the permission that you don’t need to go ahead and do the thing! Of course, lettuce has a million cousins, but the word on the street is that whether you’re planting romaine, butter, or oak, leafy lettuce takes roughly 30 days to mature. Cruciferous greenery like cress, broccoli, or radishes can take up to 8 weeks.
Leaves aren’t just for salad. By creatively adding more leafy greens to your diet, you might see a noticeable improvement in your hydration, bone health, and quality sleep. Try making your homegrown lettuce an edible bowl, wrap, or star character in your next smoothie!
Let me just tell you how zucchini made me mom-of-the-year. When my pasta-loving child decided to cut back on carbs in order to reduce inflammation in her body, She was struggling. We put the zucchini through a stringy shredder and paired it with my homemade white sauce. That quickly became her favorite!
Of course, I love that they are packed with antioxidants and promote heart health, sleep, and digestion, but I really enjoy getting creative with these from time to time. You can chop, slice, grill, bake, sear, and of course air fry these babies and throw them on a plate with any kind of sauce and it would be delicious! Sticking with the general consensus of the rest of my fast garden favorites, zucchini takes roughly 45 days to grow.
What is your favorite food to grow in your garden? Let me know in the comments down below!
Bringing the family back to the table,
Sakinah is an Army Veteran, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Wellness Advocate, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, and Home Grown Chef.
After the untimely death of her husband and business partner and autoimmune complications suffered by her daughter, Sakinah realized life was no longer business as usual. She made the collective decision to redefine how she and her family approached health and healthcare. She has a passion for helping families come back to the table by restoring healthy relationships with food, others, and self. Sakinah believes when women, the cornerstone of the family, learn to restore healthy relationships with food, others, and themselves, it creates a ripple effect for the entire family and generations to come.
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