With the threat of GMO's, pesticides and unsafe handling practices it's no wonder that more and more people are looking to their own backyards for their produce. Unfortunately due to lack of property, time or money constraints it's not feasible for everyone to do that. Not to mention the fact that some of us are house plant mercenaries and flat-out have difficulty keeping the little green guys alive.
No matter what your deterrents are, there's hope. With just a tiny bit of determination and a few seeds there are super foods that you can grow with no more than the basics: water, soil and sunshine.
The reason why these foods are guaranteed to grow? They're genetically wired to survive. They've been around, used for culinary and medicinal properties, for centuries. They grow even in the dreariest conditions, flourishing in fields unaided by humans. Simply put: they're weeds.
While it may not seem orthodox to cultivate weeds, it's certainly not unheard of. In fact there is an amazing seed company from here in Charlottesville, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, where you can find more information on growing conditions and purchase these seeds.
Clover: The cancer preventative.
Clover has many medicinal and nutritional benefits but the one that stands out the most is their ability to treat and protect against cancer. This is because they contain isoflavons. Aside from that, clovers-- particularly red-- contain high amounts of vitamins, proteins and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamins A, B-12, E and K and the nutrients niacin, thiamine and vitamin C.
The entire clover plant can be eaten raw or cooked, steeped in tea, sauteed, in salads or soups.
Dandelion: The ultimate detox.
With so many benefits to dandelions, it's a wonder that anyone tries to deter these from growing in their yards. Dandelions are rich in antioxidants like Vitamin-C and Luteolin (you may recognize those ingredients from miracle-working skin care products). They also act as diuretics and stimulants.
You can roast the roots of dandelions and use them as a replacement for coffee in the morning, saute the leaves like greens, eat the flowers raw. The possibilities are limitless for this wonder plant, rich in calcium, iron, protein, Vitamin A, C, E, K, and B Vitamins!
Sorrel: A taste of the tropics.
Sorrel is a powerhouse of Vitamin C all packed into little green leaves. Not only does it contain high amounts of Citamin C and A, magnesium, calcium, and potassium but it also contains nutraceleuticals and high levels of antioxidants.
Sorrel is comparable in appearance to spinach, and tastes sweeter when young, bitter as it ages. Eat it fresh or dried, cooked or raw, in salads, soups, or steeped in tea.
As with anything, too much of a good thing can be bad. Do your research. This information is not intended to be a replacement for advice from a licensed medical professional. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.