Top 5 Garden Vegetables for Spring

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We only have four days left until spring! All of you gardeners out there know that now is the time to get sprouting. There’s no better way to know where your food comes from than by growing it yourself.

Seeds: Regardless of what crop you are growing, always choose organic, non-GMO varieties of seed.

Recommended seed sources:

– Bakers Creek

– High Mowing

– Seed Savers Exchange

Gardening for Health: All vegetables are healthy for you in their own unique ways! We’ve put together a list of our top 5 garden vegetables that are easy to grow in Michigan, and pack a big nutritional punch.

  1. Kale: You’ve probably heard about this popular superfood. Did you know that it is one of the easiest garden veggies to grow? It’s dark green leaves are loaded with protein, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, Folate, and more! It can stand up to cold weather and will continue growing through the winter. You can brush off the snow, snap off a few leaves, and cook up fresh flavor when you’re feeling the winter blues. Kale is very versatile in the kitchen. Add it to soups, salads, shakes, sautés and more… be creative! Click Here for a recipe tried and tested by our staff.
  2. Garlic: Who doesn’t love a good garlic flavored dish? Plant your unpeeled garlic cloves as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring, or late in the fall about two months before the first frost. This vegetable is unique because it contains acillin – a compound high in sulfur that has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial effects. Garlic is also high in manganese and vitamin B6. It is a very good choice for most people to incorporate into their diet. Garlic has the ability to lower blood pressure. If you have a cardiovascular problem, speak with Dr. Sowerby before consuming large amounts of garlic.
  3. Purslane: You probably won’t even have to buy seed for this vegetable – it is commonly known as a weed. Look for it throughout your garden, or purchase seeds and contain it in a pot. Purslane takes almost no effort to grow, it has a nice lemony tang, and a lovely nutritional profile. It is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins E and C, magnesium, beta-carotene, riboflavin, potassium, and phosphorous. Try some next time you’re out weeding!
  4. Beets: If you haven’t tried beet greens before, you’re missing out. They have a sweet mild flavor similar to spinach or chard and are loaded with nutrition just like the root. Beets are two crops in one! They usually prefer a sunny spot in your garden but if you only have partial shade, try planting them anyways! Often, the greens will still thrive in slightly less sunny conditions. Folate, maganese, potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and magnesium are just a few of the nutrients that beet roots contain. They are rich in antioxidants and the greens have high levels of Vitamins A and K. If you have a cardiovascular condition, speak with Dr. Sowerby before consuming a large amount of beet greens as Vitamin K is known to thicken blood.
  5. Gogi Berries: This trending superfood is also known as the Wolfberry. They grow on a shrub and can tolerate Michigan weather. The nutritive value of these berries is astounding. With high levels of vitamins a and C, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and loads of antioxidant power they are one of the most nutritionally rich foods the world. Plus, they make a beautiful addition to your garden! One of our staff grew Gogi Berries successfully in the 2014 season and recommends purchasing a plant from Uncle Luke’s Feed Store – right around the corner from our clinic.

Add these to your garden and your body will enjoy the fruits of your labor as much as your taste buds do! We will provide you with recipes for your homegrown vegetables as they come into season. Happy planting!

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