Indian cress

This plant is easy to grow and gives a lot of eat-able flowers, also the leaves you can eat! And from the seeds you can make capers (recipe is also on my blog) So it’s a multifunctional plant, but be aware this can take over the garden it grows quick and can get very huge. But also easy to take out of the garden no big roots….so just seed some!

How to grow
No difficulties, just put the seeds into the ground around March. Make sure that you have a lot of space between a next Indian cress seed (like 40 cm), because of the size they become. The ground doesn’t matter so much they do not need special food, but the seeds like the sun and they don’t like wet places
.
nice solution
If you buy the climbing version, you can make a nice wall of the colourful plant. It colours the garden and make it easy to get the seeds and flowers to pick off. And I heard if you put this plant next to radish and tomatoes, they can help eachother by growing or keep the plant his enemies away

when to eat
You can eat the leaves and flowers, just when you see them, they have a radish sharp taste, the seed boxes you can collect if you see a lot so you can make capers from it
vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins:A lot of Vitamin C
Minerals: Phoshor, iron and iodine

Medicine
Indian cress is a natural antibiotic and is often used  in (chronic) infections, especially to urinary and respiratory tract, without affecting the intestinal flora . It further helps with coughing up phlegm, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.Is also  invigorating and cleansing. In pregnancy should not be used.

watermelon……

Green peel outside, red and very juicy inside (with black and brown seeds). The perfect fruit in the summer when it’s hot and you are not hungry but only want to drink! Beware, because when I eat it I spoil a lot upon my hands, face and ground, like a ice-scream is melting in the sun. So don’t forget to take a wipe with you, to clean your face and so on

How to grow
In the Netherlands you can only grow this nice plant in a greenery. I don’t have one at the moment so I don not have experience from it.
When you are leaving around the Mediterranean Sea, you can grow them in the full ground. (I wish I live there ;))

nice solution

Buy in a shop or at the market. And organic and in the season. Seasonal fruit and organic is best for the body

when to eat
You can eat the melon when you knock on the melon and you hear an hollow sound.

Vitamins and minerals
vitamin C and vitamin A
potassium and magnesium*

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
Watermelon is considered sweet and cold, and is associated with the Spleen and Stomach meridians. The main active ingredient in watermelon is citrulline, a chemical that raises the level of urea in the blood and urine. The ground seeds are often incorporated with other herbs as a type of diuretic, and may also help clear up urinary tract infections. Another active ingredient in watermelon, curcubocitrin, may help to reduce blood pressure. **

* from this site and nice to read this site
** took from acupuncturetoday.com

Borage……….

Last year I seed this plant I never saw it growing, this year, wow,  it becomes huge, so many flowers. Great for the colours in the garden especially when everything is green!
Original, borage comes  from the Mediterranean.when to grow
You put in the full ground the seeds, when it’s not freezing anymore. So lets say in may in the Netherlands.

nice solution
I really don’t know they become very huge, so maybe you can grow some beans next to the  plant, you can hang them into the borage. But they don’t become 2 metres high.

When to eat?
You can eat the flowers if you see them, they are beautiful blue and sometimes pink, you can pick them while you get the stamp of the flower and pull it towards yourself. Wash and eat! Nice for on a salad, to make it more colourful (or a soup)

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin: very much vitamin A, C, B1,B3, B5, B6*
Minerals Iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper and manganese*

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
bitter, sour, sweet.Anti-inflammatory, cools wet heat of the bladder, strengthens lung yin.

*source mens en gezondheid
**qifood

nettle……………

Nettle grows everywhere in nature. You know it from the bite they give when you touch them, it itch.
Wear gloves, if you pick them and work with them so you won’t have to scratch all the time 😉

how to grow
I would say just get them out of the nature, otherwise you can get some seeds from the nettle and spread into your garden, it doesn’t need any care it grows everywhere is my experience, especially at nitrogen-rich, humus soils and are often found at semi shaded places and often on construction sites and abandoned waste sites.

nice solution
Just walk in the closest park/forest and pick some young nettle leaves (this are the little fresh leaves who are on top of the plant). Beware the park isn’t close to a high way. Or make liquid manure from it, so you can destroy louse on a animal friendly and natural way. And the soil gets better from it also! So double price.
You make the liquid manure from some nettle and water, put them in a bucket and let stand for 24 hours, it’s ready when it has a terrible smell like shit, stir once in a while! Spray it on the plants who has got louse.

when ready for eating.
You can pick them when they are young, so when the plants are little. Also when they are bigger, but only get the tops (the little leaves) they have the best taste
You can make tapenade from it, tea, or soup.

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin B1, B2, B3,B5, B11 C en K, and beta-carotene
mineral: Iron,  potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
Has purgative properties. Diuretic, helps to bring out the waste of your body, who are supposed to do with acne, gout and arthritis. Has effect to relieves chronicle diseases.
Nettle contains antioxidants, who is supposed to be a fighter against cancer.

strawberries….

Red, juicy, and let the summer inside your body. Mmmm the taste is delicious, put them on bread, in some dessert. or make jam from it…Strawberries to me, are the beginning of the summer and the sun. This year everything is very late (growing) and the strawberries are turning out to be red very late. But when you taste fresh from the garden a strawberry it change the world. Did you know originally it comes from north of America?
how to grow.
They definitely need sun! they like food also, so the ground must be soil rich, plant compost they like. I never made strawberries out of seeds, but it is possible they say, so you have a fresh mother plant. From the motherplant you can make more plants!
When you look very good you see long stems and on the end you see a little plant with roots, here you can make a new plant from, cut of the stem and put the roots in a pot with fresh soil.wait a couple of weeks and voila…a daughter plant (they called it here like this)
You can do this early in June or after the strawberries are eaten!
Also the strawberry must be moved next year or you must have a two years growing strawberryplant, becuase the change on disease is getting bigger if you don’t move them! So take them in the crop rotation program
Time of fruits depends on the race…

nice solution
we do not have  much space here to have strawberry fields, so we decided to make strawberrie poles. I made already a post about this so here is the link.

when to eat
Of course when the strawberry is very very red, brighten red and not dark. Because when they are dark they are almost old and the taste is the best when they are fire truck red

vitamins and minerals
vitamins:a little of B1,B2,B3.a lot of vitamin B11 and vitamin C
Minerals:Natrium,silicon, potassium, calcium, phosphor, Iron, magnesium, copper and zinc*

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
cooling thermal nature, sweet sour as taste, benefits the spleen-pancreas and improves appetite.
Moisten the lungs and generates body fluids.Used for thirst, sore throat and hoarseness.Relieves urinary difficulties including painful urination and inability to urinate. Useful for arterial and all connective tissue repair**

 

*http://www.voedingswaardetabel.nl/voedingswaarde/voedingsmiddel/?id=27
** healing with whole foods by Paul Pitchford

ground elder, herb gerard, bishop’s weed…..

Yes I didn’t know before what this (Aegopodium podagraria, commonly called ground elder, herb gerard, bishop’s weed, goutweed, and snow-in-the-mountain) was….a lady from the green market here in North of Amsterdam was bringing some raspberry plants to my home and she said I think you have ground elder in the garden when she looked at my garden…The only thing I knew about this plant was that is hard to get rid of in the garden, so let’s eat it!

How to grow.
I would say do not put it in your garden, you will get it without seeding. They grow in shadow places. They are really ground covers and they will get white tiny flowers
They are really spreading themselves around, and hard to get rid off! You can recognize them because they Always have 7 leaves, one on top, 2 on the side and two “double’ leaves at lowest on the stem! only when they are growing higher in the stem they have 5 leaves. they are darker green, and of course you can look at the picture I made from the plant (how it looks like)

Nice solution
Eat them!! They taste a little like parsley, if you don’t taste the parsley then you will have the wrong plant. Always take a little taste before using it in a dinner especially when you aren’t sure about having the right plant

When to eat
You can eat them every time, when you see the leaves! You can make pesto of it, make mash of it (use as spinach) or raw like parsley….

Vitamins and minerals
It contains vitamin A en  C.
Minerals: potassium, carotene, calcium, magnesium and silica

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
I cannot find anything about chinese medicine, but they say it is to releave the pain of gout/arthritis

basil

The smell of fresh basil let me think about summer, about nice pestos, nice pasta’s and so on.
Really the smell of basil I like the most of all the herbs I know, did you know flies don’t like the smell of basil. They say when you grow basil in your house the flies won’t come in, I have them now in the house, because it’s winter but not really a good test in the winter I never have flies in the house

When to put in the garden
Now I am making my experiment with growing inside, I never grow basil by seeds, It never works ( Yes no green hands for basil for me) but I buy an organic plant at the supermarket here. I put them in some planters with new soil. Now they are standing on the roof of the shed. Yes we are getting out of space for now at least.
I put the basil outside when it’s sunny, like spring and there is no chance of minus degrees in the night and day.

how to grow
First it never worked with me growing some basil, but my boyfriend really read a lot about the plant. And now I can say it’s still difficult but we are in progress to grow on and on the basil.
The first rule never give the plant water when it’s getting night, they want dry feet in the night. On the other hand you can pour the water in the morning on their feet (what I mean about there feet is they drink it with their roots, so don’t pour it in the pot on the earth, but let the pot stand in water!)
The second rule is be kind to them and cut them 1 cm off from the ground when you want to eat the leaves and stems.

nice solution
The fly trick you know now : )
But to make more basil plants just put a leave into the ground and pray there will become a next plant!

ready for eating
You can eat them all the time when the leaves are green, or red it depends which kind of basil you have. Cut them always one cm of the ground so they will grow again

vitamins and minerals
Vitamins: vitamins B1,B2, B3 and C
Minerals: zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphor and calcium

TCM= Traditional Chinese Medicine
warming temperature, induces sweating, harmonizes stomach, antidote for seafood. Wind-cold, vomiting, diarrhea.
Basil contains flavonoids that provide antioxidant protection. The chemical components of it’s volatile oil have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.*

*acupuncture.com

Ramsons, wild garlic, bear leek…..

walking through the park close to my house and what do I see, ramsons (Allium ursinum)) flowers, yes I have here  ramsons. It’ is in the Netherlands a protected plant, so you are not allowed to pick it, but I couldn’t resist, I only took a few leaves and a flower top. Just to taste. And yes it smells like garlic, very strong..Yammie.
So here some more information about the plant who grows in the wild…
A nice saying in Dutch:  ‘eet in maart prei en daslook in april, dan ben je heel het jaar doktervrij” translate in English:  ‘Eat a leek in may and ramsons in April, keeps the doctor a year away!’

How to grow
Yes it grows here in the park(/forest) in shadow sides, mostly on loam soil with some calcic in the lower ground, you can also put it in your own garden and it will come every year again and again (if you don’t eat all the bulbs).
It can wear eggs of the fox tapeworm if you get it from the nature (dogs and cats can wear it also), the chance to get it is very small here in the Netherlands ! (just like low hanging blackberries in the forest and other low growing plants)

nice solution
Grow at your own garden! They like loose, humus rich soil. Or look in the nearest forest if you find fields of it!
When you buy it you get the bulbs (what you can eat also).  or buy it as a plant and let them take over the garden. Did you know the ants (some other animals also) are responsible for spread the seeds of this plant? because the black seeds (in June you can see) wear ant bread (they take this to their community)

when to eat?
You can eat the leaves and the flowers/seeds.
The leaves you can eat before and after they get flowers, before they say they have more taste. And also I saw someone writing down after they get flowers the leaves are poisoning, but I must say I ate I didn’t get sick and it was only one persons who said it.
The flowers are beautiful on dinners and their taste is more garlic then the leaves, great discovering. Nice to know it has a garlic taste but you won’t smell like garlic! Don’t eat too much because too much can be a poison to your body.

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins: Vitamin C, B1, B2 and A
Minerals: sulfur, potassium, manganese and iron

phytotherapy
Ramsons is great for high cholesterols, high blood pressure, artery stenosis, disturbed intestinal flora, chronically skin diseases, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation, indigestion, intestinal parasites, flu, roundworms, cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, emphysema and infectious disease. It also cleans the arteries*

*genezen met kruiden

pineapple…

Exotic. With a nice headdress! It’s the pineapple. Very strong in taste.
I do not eat it much, but sometimes I like to make pineapple sticks of it and snack it away!
But what can I tell more about the pineapple and what did my search tells me?

How to grow?
I must say we don’t have the climate in the Netherlands to grow pineapples outside.They grow in south-east Asia , Hawaii, the Filipinas and in glass houses. The pine apple is a fruit from little berries who grows together.
But what did I just read, this is a nice experiment to do at your house, the top of the pineapple you always throw away, not now anymore!
Cut of the top with less flesh, this can rotten away, make a pot with soil and 30 percent sand, mix this well.
Dry the top of the pineapple, when it’s dry put it in the pot, cover the pot with a plastic bag, so you have a little glass house. Make sure it gets light and warmth, and put it in your house!
Now be patience they say, it can take a long time before something happened (months) and check once in a while if the plant is not rotten away or full of fungi!. Beware the plant can become huge so you also must have space for this plant in your house. The fruit will grow after one year! I am going to try this

nice solution.
Just buy it in the shop or go to a warm country where they can grow! Better to buy an organic pineapple, because on the pineapple plants they say the workers aren’t protected against the incentives of the pine apple, they sprays with poison and the circumstances are very terrible for the human who are working on the plants.

When to eat?
You can eat the pineapple, when you can poor out the middle leaves very easy, when you smell the pineapple very well.
And when it has tough and resilient flesh

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins: beta-carotene and vitamin E
Minerals: Potassium, magnesium, phosphor, iron, copper, manganese, zinc and iodine.

TCM=Traditional Chinese Medicine
neutral thermal nature, sweet sour flavor, removes summer heat, the bromelin increase the digestive ability and destroys worms. Is thirst-quenching, diuretic, treats sunstroke, indigestion, anorexia, diarrhea and edema. Pineapples must be ripe!*

*healing with whole foods by Paul Pitchford