While an apple a day might help keep the doctor away, when it comes to fruits and veggies to keep you healthy, diversity is key.
Even better when that abundance can come from your own garden!
To help you fill your garden with foods both your tastebuds and immune system will love, we chatted with Shelley Levis, from Joya Garden Spot, White Rock and South Surrey’s newest must-visit destination for gardeners.
Joya Garden Spot celebrated its grand opening last Friday, with all manner of annuals, perennials, fruits, veggie starters, herbs, pottery and a whole lot more.
“All fresh vegetables are wonderful – especially fresh from the garden – but a few are true ‘superfoods’ because of the vitamins and nutrients they offer,” Levis notes.
Here are 5 favourites you can plant right now:
- Broccoli – Chock full of vitamins A, C and E, this cruciferous veggie is a cool-weather crop best planted now in a sunny spot for summer harvest. Seed again in early August for a fall harvest, Levis suggests.
- Cabbage – Whether you love the crunch of colourful slaw or pickling the versatile veggie for sauerkraut or kimchi, cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and packs a powerful punch for your gut health. (And, since 70 per cent of your immune system cells live in your gut, it’s important to give them the support they need, Levis notes). For cooks, cabbage offers a long shelf life, giving you lots of time to experiment with your favourite recipes! Like broccoli, plant seeds or veggie starts now in a sunny spot, and again in August.
- Garlic – Many locals will have planted their summer-harvested garlic last fall, but you might not know you can plant again now for a fall harvest, Levis notes. Super easy to grow, simply break the garlic head apart and plant cloves, pointy end up, about 10 cm (4 inches) apart. You’ll be rewarded with a delicious addition to your pantry and an ingredient with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Spinach – Another cool-weather favourite, spinach is a hugely versatile superfood you can eat cooked, raw in salads or as a nutrient-dense addition to a smoothie. Grown easily from seed, this leafy green is packed with immune-system-boosting antioxidants and beta carotene. Plant now to enjoy throughout spring, and again in mid-summer for a fall harvest.
- Peppers – Sweet, smoky or spicy, peppers are a colourful and versatile addition to any kitchen. Packed with vitamin C and carotenoids, a powerful phytochemical that helps boost health, peppers are hot-season fruits, so while you can start seeds inside now, be sure to wait for another month or so to put plants outside. Given the hotter growing season needed, these can be a good choice to purchase already started from the garden centre.
Located at the former MacIntosh Greenhouses, Joya Garden Spot will be open seasonally to help you get your garden growing! The Garden Spot is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1264 176 St, in Surrey.