For the next two weeks of emails I will be providing several tips about how you can easily grow your own organic salads and herbs. I’ll also be sending scrumptious salad dressing recipes to you.
Salads make great summer meals and are a tasty addition to your lunchbox or dinner table any time of the year. They make the perfect light meal. Most people don’t eat enough leafy greens on a regular basis.
How much leafy greens should you consume? One cup of leafy greens equals one serving. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with the higher end suggesting 13 servings. That’s a big gap between five and thirteen! I recommend you shoot for up to 3-5 servings of leafy greens daily. It really is not hard to do. A big salad can easily contain two cups of greens. Also, you can wilt spinach and lettuces and other greens to use in stir fried vegetables or use as a side dish.
Here’s a picture of my starter garden for salads. There are several types of lettuce, green onions, beets, kohlrabi and pepper plants. You can plant a variety of plants in a small area.
Why not start growing your own lettuce so you have a steady fresh supply of greens at your fingertips. It’s a lot easier than you think and there are some very good reasons why you should grow your own salad.
It Tastes Better
Let’s start with the obvious one first. Homegrown salad just plain tastes better. It is fresh, it has been grown in good soil, and it hasn’t been washed, sprayed, and processed days before it makes it onto your plate.
If you haven’t had fresh, homegrown lettuce before, you’re in for a treat. If you need a little more convincing get your hands on some fresh lettuce from a gardening friend or your local farmers market. You’ll be ready to grow your own after the first bite.
You Control The Quality And Variety
One of the best parts of growing your own produce is that you control what goes in the soil and therefore, the plants. Also, you get to select which varieties you want to grow. That means you have a lot more options than what your local grocer offers.
Grocery store produce varieties are grown for easy and uniform growth and longer shelf-life. Flavor and nutrition aren’t the main concerns. The opposite is true when you grow your own. You can pick varieties that taste amazing, but may not last more than a few hours in the fridge after you harvest them.
Last but not least, your home-grown salad will be a lot healthier. Nutrients quickly start to deteriorate after produce is harvested. When you grow your own, you can go from soil to table in less than an hour. It doesn’t get any fresher than that, which means you get more of the vitamins in your food.
Plus, since you control the soil, the additives, and anything that happens to the plants while they grow, you can limit your exposure to pesticides, insecticides and the likes. When you grow organic, you know it actually is organic.