This year we have learnt a lot about growing vegetables and herbs. We have stuck to the core of what we use the most in our juices to reduce cost such as Kale and Celery and added a few herbs in such as basil and lavender. One thing you will notice about all of these is that providing you take care of them, they will continue giving throughout the summer.
Kale is a great performer when it comes to providing again and again. I tend to grow around 15 and pick as I need. Like everything on this list, kale will continue giving so don’t cut the stalk, continue watering and you will be rewarded with more of the super green leaf. Kale is loaded with beneficial compounds that have high medicinal properties. This superfood has a few friendly relations such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and collard greens. Most of us tend to eat the green kale but you can also find purple kale. It’s also packed with lots of chlorophyll
From a cup of raw kale, here’s some of the nutritional content that’s worth noting:
- Vitamin A:206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
- Vitamin K:684% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C:134% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6:9% of the RDA.
- Manganese:26% of the RDA.
- Calcium:9% of the RDA.
- Copper:10% of the RDA.
- Potassium:9% of the RDA.
- Magnesium:6% of the RDA.
Here’s a photo of the Kale that is now starting to grow back its leaves a couple of weeks after harvesting:
Celery is also part of our juicing regime. Here’s why it should be part of your juices too: it contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, Iron, zinc and potassium. It also contains fatty acids and vitamins such as A, C, E, D, B6, B12 Vitamin K. Celery contains a phytochemical called phthalides, which helps to bring high blood pressure down. Best of all, once your celery has reached its point of harvesting, use a knife to cut the sticks so you are left with the very bottom part like so. You can see in the photo where the cuttings were and where the new celery stalk is growing. You might also notice that we are using wood chippings on top of the soil. it not only keeps the soil damp and stops the soil from drying up but also stops the weeds to some extent.
Basil is also known as Saint Joseph’s Wort, it belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae and is often used in cooking. The herb is native to tropical countries such as Thailand. Picking a few leafs every other day is a perfect way to have a whole summer of basil from one plant. Basil should be left in the green house to keep with its origin of climate. When looked after with watering often, this herb will continue loving you with its delightful tastes all summer.
Some of the nutritional content from basil per 100g
- Vitamin A:264 μg
- Protein: 15g
- Calcium: 177mg
- Vitamin K:8 μg
- Manganese: 148mg
- Potassium: 295mg
We have been growing Lavender ever since we purchased our home. The herb was living at our property before us so we thought we would continue the plants journey. We just needed to find uses for him/ her. It turns out that there’s quite a few.
The uses of Lavender go back many years. The Egyptians used it in their cosmetics, the Romans in their baths for scenting them. This may have been where its original name comes from, Lavare meaning ‘to wash’.
Today we use it for fragrance by cutting a few leaves to create household cleaners and disinfectants. Its antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal and insects usually hate it. We have been experimenting with it in the tumble dryer. We place a few leaves in a sock and knot the sock. This gives our washing a lasting fresh smell.
There are a number of things that can be done with Lavender oil. As our homes are becoming increasingly more toxic with all of the synthetic cleaning agents, it would make sense to try to use what nature has to offer. Lavender Oil can be great to keep a room smelling fresh. Put a couple of drops on a light bulb. Ensure that the light bulb is not hot before applying. This is a fab way to keep a room smelling fresh without the synthetic chemicals at a cut price.
This article I hope will encourage you to start planning your garden for next year. These are all really simple to grow and can save you money.