Black Vegetables and Garden Planning

I swear, the clouds part and the sun shines through the moment the Seeds of Change spring/summer gardening catalog appears in our mailbox each January. This happened yesterday. There are so many dog-eared pages already that it’s hard to keep it straight.

We’ve been talking about this year’s food gardens. January is the time to have these discussions. Since merging my life with my husband’s, I’ve seen a change in my food production needs. 

I have extended family now, as well as my own family, all of whom enjoy the fresh, organic, GMO-free and biodynamic fruits and vegetables we produce. We have neighbors, all good people, who see us working away on our plots, then meander over for a little of this and a little of that. We’ve taken to giving away a lot of the food we grow. This is wonderful in my eyes: often I enjoy more the giving of wholesome food to others more than the giving of it to myself.

Our plans for this year’s food gardens include a few changes that we think will make it profitable for not just us, but everyone else who enjoys the food we grow:

We’re going to scale down the tomato production. Lots of people in this area grow their own tomatoes in pots or small plots. Besides us, only our mothers really want big tomatoes. I love the tiny cherry tomatoes: the larger ones I use for soups and sauce.

I would like to grow more black vegetables. Japanese eggplant, Cherokee tomatoes, black bell peppers, black hot peppers, dark purple tomatillos, blueberries, blackberries, purple endive and kohlrabi, and even black basil are all available by seed. Black foods are rich in antioxidants and melanin. Green veggies are wonderful, but if you can boost nutrition even more just by choosing a black food, than do it. Incidentally, black rice, black beans, black tea, and chaga are all black and all good for your body. Black is a grounding color. Feed your root chakra with black foods. I know that black foods are trendy now, but don’t wave them away for that reason. There’s solid science behind them.

We’re going to increase our production of green beans, squash, melons, and greens. This season, I’d like to dedicate an entire bed just to spinach. My husband and I both love it. He loves squash; I could stand in the garden and eat green beans off the vines all day. We don’t spray, and bugs got most of our melons last summer, so we’re going to plant in greater quantity, and hope to win by sheer numbers.

We’re going to go a lot more vertical. Seeds of Change is offering affordable, strong, 6-foot trellises. I hope to invest in several of them. Although we’ve trellised each year, the do-it-yourself approach has usually ended up with weak structures pulled down by the weight of the plants by August. Plus, we would like more walking room through the rows.

‘Mineral rich’ is a big term in my vocabulary. Veggies like kale, broccoli, asparagus, garlic, and potatoes contain large doses of minerals. And they’re all super easy to grow. The garlic bed is already planted. We’ll plant more kale, and possibly put in another row of potatoes. And it may be time to include asparagus.

I’d like to grow as much yummy Malabar spinach (a Chinese variety) as possible. And finally, I’d love to expand our root vegetables. I cook a lot of Tibetan food, and vegetarian Tibetan cooking orbits around the root vegetable.

Peace on Earth

Popular Posts