Seed catalogs and more seed catalogs!! Tis the season for gardeners to consider the strategy for next season's garden.
Here is New England, we still have many overcast days, but as the days get longer, we begin to see the sun shine and the hint of spring a few months away. Looking at seed catalogs and envisioning the green plants popping through the ground is a way that I get through cold winter evenings. But for me, there is always something beckoning me to play in the soil whether it is my house plants, my windowsill herbs or the newest discovery - growing microgreens. As the sun begins to shine stronger each day, my windowsills and sunny, south facing rooms begin to see the gathering of plant pots and seedlings in anticipation of a fast start to new plants in my vegetable garden. Now I am making room for plastic trays that I can fill with numerous varieties of seeds that I can sprout quickly and begin to have fresh salad greens at my fingertips without any threat of ecoli microbes.
We have always known the nutritional advantage of sprouts because of the full value of plant nutrients within the seeds themselves. Now we have the advantage of experiencing what happens when those seeds are planted in soils warmed at home in a sunny window and containing the dense nutrients provided by the chlorophyll within their green cousins. There are any number of things that you can raise this way from obvious salad greens to their herbal cousins for flavor combinations and diverse vitamins and minerals as a base for your winter salads. In Europe, it has always been a custom to have a simple green salad with meals with fresh olive oil and vinegar. The combinations, shapes and sizes are diverse. If you google growing microgreens at home, there are many sources of information with instructions.
Some of the more uncommon greens are mache, beets, broccoli, arugula, cress, nasturtium, radish, peas, sunflower, celery, buckwheat. Or how about the herbs basil, mustard, cilantro, parsley, oregano, alfalfa, dill, leeks. These are just a "taste" of what is available for creative cooks as well as not so creative. Even if you only grow one kind of green that you use as a salad base for your household, the consistent contribution of nutrient value in these simple salads will increase your health and immunity in a season when ripe, fresh vegetables are not so easy to come by. They are picked fresh from your home garden and no value is lost in transport.
The other way you can use all these wonderful shapes and flavors of greens is to use them as garnishes on sandwiches, wraps, meats and sauces. So the skies the limit. While you're dreaming about your summer garden; start a mini-version in your house. You may find that microgreens are a great addition to raised beds and patio gardens if space is limited.
So dream on……….
Strategies For 2020
It's a New Year!!!
As always, many of us are looking for a new start in some area of our lives. It seems that health issues are always near the top of those lists. Whether those issues are health problems or something else, the problem is that we have good intentions, but neglect to make a plan; or if we do make a plan, it is full of unrealistic expectations. As a result, the resolutions soon fall flat.
As the numbers 2020 often insinuate, maybe we should look a little closer at what we want to accomplish and make this a year of new perspective. People are not bringing their best to the world because they're sick. There is so much potential in human relationship that is being sidetracked. We are so easily tempted by quick fixes and instant gratifications. If we understood our worth, we would also understand that we need to eat, physically and spiritually in alignment with our values. Not only do we need to understand the value of what we eat; if we know our worth, we should be compelled to find the food that maintains our value to fulfill our potential life achievements.
My encouragement to all of us is to evaluate where we are at. Take of stock of where we have succeeded over the last year and where we have fallen back. Evaluate outside influences, versus personal motivational issues, versus existing health issues, versus what information we need that we don't have. You may also evaluate if there is anything that needs to be removed from your life, goal list, etc. Once your evaluation is complete, then it's time to make a plan.
Begin with setting some goals. Make sure they're realistic in light of the evaluation you have just completed. Then give yourself smaller incremental steps and timelines that are realistic and obtainable. Under those incremental steps list the outside influences, then the motivational issues, health issues, resource needs, etc.
Next prioritize what is the key issue that is keeping you from your goal; then the next key issue etc. With this information you can begin to see what needs to be accomplished first and then the next steps in order to accomplish your goals. Laying this foundation will provide you with a better perspective. Though you may not be able to accomplish all that you would like in a short period of time, the little successes you make can carry you forward and I guarantee that as you gain forward momentum, you will see your successes come more quickly.
As for your health issues --- we are here to help!! I cannot stress enough that the more excellent your health, the greater energy and momentum you will gain in whatever endeavor you begin. If you need help with purchasing supplements, addressing specific health crises, need more information on specific health issues and alternative therapies, nutritional questions, getting your diet back to alkaline, taking the Intermittent Fasting challenge, learning how to use herbs, how to fight back your autoimmune problems ….. we can help. The list here is endless. You are each unique and your solutions will be as unique as you are!!!
The New Year is here. Let us help you prepare to be ready for long term success and the exciting life experiences that are waiting for you!!
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.