According to Garden Media Group, who apparently chatted with gardeners across the nation, there are a couple of garden trends that are all about healthy food. Okay, I'll bite.
Super-foods are the new thing. Well, the foods aren’t new and the fact that they’re very healthy isn’t new either, so what is? That people are planting their own. Kale is one of those super-foods that’s easy to grow in Minnesota. It likes the cold, in fact, jack frost gives the leaves a sweeter flavor. There are a variety of cultivars to choose from including the most common, Curly kale to the gorgeous Redbor kale. By itself, it can be a tad bitter if picked when warm. However, when added to soups or stir fried into your vegetable mix, it's not only delicious but colorful. The leaves color intensifies with heat. I love it added to my salad greens.
Blueberries are an antioxidant super hero that I’ve talked about for years. There are some very tasty varieties for our climate but they do need acidic soil. That means doing a soil test and likely amending it. Blueberries preferred pH is between 4 and 5. Most areas of Minnesota are more neutral which means a pH level of 7. Blueberry bushes can live up to 50 years, so prepping your soil is a must. It’s not hard but it must be a part of their maintenance.
If you have a soil test done by the University of Minnesota they’ll tell you how to amend your soil. Adding organic matter with peat moss may be all you need. Elemental sulfur is also a recommendation. This is a great article on blueberries for Minnesota including cultivars developed by the U of MN. I had 'NorthBlue' and 'Polaris' in a former home. They are still producing prolifically. Blueberries also have wonderful fall color!
Drinking your back yard is another trend, they say. Use that healthy kale for a green smoothie. Or spinach, which is easy to grow too. I’ll have a couple of recipes on my website to get you started and a link to more. One has apple and the other coconut milk. Of course those blueberries would make great smoothies! Another fantastic garden trend is that millennials those 18 to 34 year olds are getting into growing.
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