For us the benefits of gardening and growing your own vegetables go hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle. It's not just the time spent outdoors creating an aesthetically appealing garden that we love but also taking those steps towards healthy living and ultimately sustainability.
Getting into 'Growing Your Own' (GYO) herbs, vegetables and fruits is one of those steps. It gets you closer to nature, gives you more of an understanding about the seasons and really much more in touch with the earth. The rewards of being able to eat something that you have grown from seed or sapling is like no other.
It's important to grow what you love, or what you love to eat. If you are using the produce you have grown then this will keep the cycle moving. I love making a fresh green juice most mornings to kick start my day and make me feel alive. That's why I decided to grow Kale, Spinach & Parsley. Next season I need to grow cucumbers and celery too.
I vary the ingredients and quantities depending on what I have but most of the time this should make enough for two;
GROW YOUR OWN GREEN JUICE
KALE (Big handful - leaves not stalks) antioxidant, source of Vitamin K, calcium
SPINACH (Big handful, use both hands) high in iron, alkalizing, and great for skin
CUCUMBER (1) cleansing and good for skin health
CELERY (2-3 sticks) anti-inflammatory and alkalizing
PARSLEY (small handful) high in Vitamin C, B 12, K, A and folic acid. Good for your immune system, bones and nervous system.
GINGER (1cm gives it a kick) good for digestion and cleansing
APPLE (2) or PINEAPPLE You could be brave and try without!
LEMON (a good squeeze)
You could add 1/2 an avocado in from time to time for a creamy treat.
(You can tell I won't be writing a cook book anytime!)
I always felt wonderful after juicing up the products from our local market but now that I go out and pick the Kale, Spinach & Parsley fresh that morning I feel even more amazing! The juice is more delicious, I am saving money and the fact that I have grown those ingredients myself makes me beam from ear to ear. What a great start to the day.
If you have never tried a vegetable juice why not give this one a go? This juice reminds me of fresh, lush grass. As you like gardening that should help and I think the colour of this one suits you too. If you are feeling brave skip the apples and go completely veggie - it's so good for you.
(You do need a good juicer to do this. I currently use a Magimix. Yes juicers are annoying to clean but hey ho if you do it before you've even had a sip of the juice you can enjoy it all the more).