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Superfoods to Grow in Your Garden

Why spend a fortune on buying organic superfoods from the supermarket if you can grow them yourself? If you are lucky enough to have a garden in your home, make sure you make use of it and grow nutrient-packed crops that will make a healthy and delicious diet!

Gardening is good for the body and mind alike – taking care of your plants has several proven mental health benefits, while eating organic fresh food is great to keep your body healthy. So, if you have the chance to grow your own crops, why not choose the ones that are the most beneficial for your health? That is right – it’s time to grow your own superfoods!

First, let’s take a moment to understand what superfoods are – these foods (mostly fruits and vegetables) have a very high concentration of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, making them fantastic health boosters. However, there is no set criteria to determine which foods qualify for this status – the term “superfood” is essentially an umbrella term for the foods that carry the most health benefits when consumed as part of an otherwise healthy diet. And what else is healthier than homegrown crops?

Plus, growing your own means that you can be sure that your food hasn’t been treated with pesticides, biocides or other harmful chemicals. And the good news is, you can grow a good amount of these superfoods even if you are short on space – as some of them can thrive in pots and containers, without the need for a dedicated spot in your garden.

So what are you waiting for? With the help of this infographic, you can decide which superfoods suit your gardening skills the most, so all you need to do is get planting! 

The difficulty levels are indicators of how much time and effort is needed to keep the crops thriving, as well as how sensitive they are to certain weather conditions. Some plants, like peas and zucchini, are more forgiving and can grow even in lower-quality soil. However, plants like blueberry bushes are extremely sensitive to the type of soil they are planted in – blueberries require well-drained and acidic soil in order to produce healthy fruit.

Some of these plants need to be protected during the winter (lemons and fig trees need shelter from the frost), while others don’t tolerate the heat. It is advised to research your preferred plant thoroughly, so you can be prepared for the possible problems and the ways to solve them.

Don’t forget – anyone can become a gardener, so don’t let the difficulty levels discourage you from attempting to grow a higher-maintenance crop – just make sure you have done your research and are willing to spend time in your garden. Good luck and happy planting!

Guest Article by: Dóra Pista

Dora Pista is a blogger and hobby gardener, with a passion for healthy eating and cooking. She created the infographic above to help beginner gardeners start their journey into superfood growing.

Find Dora on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

Share with us the Superfoods you love to grow!

The Best Growing Trays for Microgreen Success

Microgreens are a great crop for so many growers. Whether you’re looking to supplement your vegetable garden, wanting to add fresh veggies to your plate in the winter months, or growing indoors because you don’t have outside gardening space, microgreens are a fun and easy crop to grow. But finding a good microgreen tray can be challenging.

How to Choose a Good Microgreen Tray

A good microgreen tray should be food safe, have drainage holes, be non-porous, not be biodegradable, and be sustainable. In addition to the list above, it’s really helpful if all your microgreen trays are the exact same size and fit perfectly in your drainage tray below so no space is wasted and you can maximize your harvests.

“Too often I see students growing in trays that aren’t safe to grow food in or trays that don’t support microgreen growth. A good microgreen tray set up can mean the difference between a healthy harvest or a failed batch.” – Crystal Meserole, Commercial Microgreen Grower.

The Micro-Dream Tray

Recommended by commercial microgreen grower, Crystal Meserole, these trays are truly one of a kind! So many of the trays on the market are downright junk and you’ll be lucky if you get two plantings from them. Not these trays! Meet the most amazing microgreen tray on the market.

 

A perfect size for the home grower, these 5×5 inch trays are listed on their site as ‘Ultra-Durable, Top-Quality BPA Free Plastic Trays…Will last multiple seasons’. This is a serious understatement!

“I bought a batch of 800 of these microgreen trays 5 years ago. After 5 years, I still have most of them in near perfect condition. They’ve been in and out of kitchens, gone through dozens of wash and sanitize cycles, and just as many plantings. These trays are the most superior trays on the market.” – Crystal Meserole

Because these trays are all uniform, you can hone in on the seed amount you need for each planting. No more winging the amount or having to measure different amounts for different sized trays.
While the taller 5×5’s are best for larger rooted greens such as pea, nasturtium, and sunflower shoots, their shallow 5×5 mesh trays are best for small rooted crops like broccoli, kale, amaranth, and more. Don’t let the mesh fool you, these shallow trays are equally durable.

These extra strength 5×5 trays (called 801 inserts in the commercial world) are made of heavy-duty, BPA- free, FDA-grade, polypropylene plastic and guaranteed not to warp or break.

“These trays are so easy to use and clean. I can’t imagine growing my microgreens without them.” – Crystal Meserole

Perfect for Multiple Varieties

Not only are these trays safe and durable, they’re great for anyone wanting variety! Fitting eight 5×5 trays to one 1020 flat, these trays reduce environmental waste, AND save you money.

The design provides better drainage than competing trays, saving you even more with reduced crop loss. As an added bonus, they can be run through most dishwasher cycles with no problem. Say goodbye to flimsy non-sustainable trays for good with Bootstrap Farmers’ superior quality 5×5 Microgreen Trays.

In addition to your 5×5 trays with drainage holes, you’re going to want a flat with no holes to catch water draining out below. Use these for the deeper micro trays and these ones for the shallow mesh trays.

Humidity Domes

Bootstrap farmer also makes a seriously durable dome to fit over the 1020 flats to protect your seeds while they germinate. And the openings in the top allow you to slowly adjust your baby microgreens to your indoor environment.

From safety and durability to maximization of space, Bootstrap Farmer microgreen trays are where it’s at for anyone who wants to grow microgreens as a crop. Whether you’re a home grower or commercial grower, these trays are far superior to anything else we’ve found on the market. See for yourself! Get the 1020 flat and dome starter kit here and the microgreen 5×5’s here.

Share Your Thoughts!

How do you like these microgreen trays?

Microgreen Garden… indoors, fast, & DELICIOUS!

Do you have limited TIME and SPACE but want to grow fresh food? You can still grow! Learn to grow your own microgreens. The healthy fast food with flavors galore!

Check out two of my students who are are busting the myth that you need a lot of time and space to enjoy homegrown food. It’s just not true!

Even if you only have a closet or a few shelves, you can get TONS of fresh, flavorful greens on your plate.

Try the nutty flavor sunflower shoots in your next salad, spice up your soup with purple radish microgreens, or add a sprinkle of fennel atop your favorite meat dish—the flavors are truly endless!

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The best part about growing microgreens? It takes just a few minutes each day! You could have a non-stop supply of fresh greens, if you grow your own microgreens. 😉

A lot of people wonder what you can grow as a microgreen. They’re unsure about what plants can be eaten as a microgreen. An easy general rule of thumb is that if you can eat the leaves of that crop, then you can eat it as a microgreen. There are hundreds of possibilities.

What’s more is that there are endless ways to use microgreens. From adding a bit of tart to your salad with red veined sorrel, dusting your pasta with that fresh micro basil (because we all know dried basil just doesn’t cut it!), or adding a handful of that cilantro kick to your southwestern soup, microgreens are one of the most versatile crops you can grow.

Want to try your hand at growing microgreens?

Get Your Complimentary Guide to Growing 6 Easy-to-Grow Microgreen Varieties

Guide to 6 Easy to Grow Microgeens

Related articles you may enjoy:

The Best Growing Trays For Microgreen Success
The Benefits of Growing Microgreens & Ways to Enjoy Them

Share how YOU like to use your Microgreens!

How One Ugly Carrot Started the Grow Your Own Vegetables Movement

One ugly carrot changed Stacey Murphy’s life forever. Watch the video or read Stacey’s story below to learn how the seed for Grow Your Own Vegetables first sprouted! 

Stacey’s Story:

Years ago, I was working overtime as an architect in New York City. I was working on exciting projects like churches, libraries, and community centers. I had worked my whole life to get where I was, and you would think that I would be ecstatic. 

But every day, I was feeling a little bit more disconnected from everything. I felt like a tourist in my own life, like I didn’t belong. And I especially felt disconnected from my food and my body. 

I was trying to stay as healthy as I could. But to be honest, I was a little depressed and low energy. Maybe you can relate. 

I was grabbing quick, convenient food all the time and rushing right back to my busy day. It was “healthy” food, but it was still convenience food, and I was just grabbing and going without thinking.

On the weekends, I would go to the farmer’s market. I would load up on organic, fresh food. It would keep me happy for a day or two…until I went back to work and forgot about it again. 

Then on a crisp day in October, 2008, I bought carrots from one of the local farmers. The carrots were in a bag, and they were covered with a bunch of soil. Who does that? Who sells your food mixed in with a bunch of dirt? It’s so weird, right? Well, this farmer did. He told me that the carrots would stay fresh in the fridge longer and that they would taste sweeter.

The crazy thing is, he was totally right

These ugly, dirty carrots were a miracle in my mouth. And at that moment, I had a flashback to growing up in my mom’s garden. I was so lucky. She had a gorgeous garden, and I remember discovering carrots underground, digging them up, and pulling them out. Just, “Wow, look at this,” and I ate the carrots before they were even washed. They had little flecks of crunchy soil on them. 

How sweet and delicious those carrots from the garden were! As I sampled these carrots in this bag covered in dirt, I remembered my mom’s garden, and I knew that I had to get my hands dirty and start growing some food again.

To this day, I have to tell you, my mom says her memories of her garden are much different than my memories of her garden. She says that my memories are better. She still has this sort of garden shame around what it all looked like, and she was busy being tormented by tomato hornworm caterpillars.

But I saw something different. In my experience as a little kid, her garden was my own private science discovery show. It was full of mysteries to solve. It was where I learned to appreciate the finer things in life. I discovered the exact moment to pick peas for maximum sweetness. I chased butterflies, and I watched new seeds magically emerge from the ground into full-blown plants dripping with fruit. I watched and learned intently, and I asked lots of questions, like all curious kids do. 

Years later, there I was, holding this bag of soil and carrots. And I had so many questions for this farmer. I felt so much curiosity about these beautiful-tasting carrots. It was a delightful rediscovery of the feeling of digging up your own carrots.

Suddenly, I felt connected, I felt healthy, and I felt whole again in ways that I hadn’t a long time. And that’s when I knew I was going to grow my own vegetables and herbs. My whole lens on life shifted, and I could never go back to the way life used to be because I had this big realization.

What I realized in that moment is that a garden, it’s not a thing. It’s a lifestyle. But even more than your garden being a lifestyle, it’s a feeling. 

It’s not about what you’re actually growing. It’s not about your yield. It’s about who you’re becoming. And that day with the carrots, I suddenly remembered that I was this wild child and a part of nature. I loved the thrill of discovery in the garden. I remembered how great it felt to run barefoot. I wanted that feeling back. I wanted my own private science discovery channel again. I wanted to play in the dirt. I wanted to learn from my favorite teachers: the sun, the soil, the plants, and the insects. Simply making the decision to grow my own food, I already felt connected to the feelings of health, vitality, and most of all, peace.

Do you have a favorite vegetable story? Share with us below!

Too busy to water your garden?

Do you live in a place where your plants aren’t getting enough rain water? Or maybe you just don’t have the time to spend watering by hand.

Good news! With an investment of around $100 USD and a time commitment of only a couple of hours, you can put in a drip irrigation system to solve your and your plants problems! 😅

Watch this video to learn the ins and outs of putting in a drip irrigation system, then sit back and enjoy your freedom from watering!