Plant of the Month
Fresh spring greens have long been desired. Perhaps it’s the fact that they grow so quickly after winter that makes
them so sought after. The months of
dried, canned, and imported food make
the taste of something so fresh from the
garden outright delectable.
Throughout human history, people have
impatiently waited for the first fruits of
the garden in the spring. There’s even
a fairy tale in which a pregnant woman
wants them so much that she makes her
husband steal them from her neighbor.
Through the twists and turns of the
story, the baby ends up being named by
the neighbor with the name of the salad
greens that her mom craved. Maybe it
was that early infusion of greens that
made Rapunzel’s hair grow so long!
From the beginning, these tender sprouts
and leaves have been classified as food.
Genesis 1: 30 says: “And to all the beasts
of the earth and all the birds in the sky
and all the creatures that move along the
ground—everything that has the breath
of life in it—I give every green plant for
food. And it was so.”
Later in Scripture, green shoots are
commended in a backhanded way. We
need to rescue them before the heat
gets to them. From 2 Kings and Isaiah
(the same words in each) it says: “They
are like plants in the field, like ten-
der green shoots, like grass sprouting on
the roof, scorched before it grows up.”
And truthfully, if spring greens have any
problem at all, it’s that many don’t toler-
ate heat well. They love, though, a sunny
and chilly spring.
So, which salad greens should you plant?
The best answer is a variety. Each has a
slightly different mix of nutrients and
health benefits. Each one grows under
slightly different conditions so that you
can extend your salad days a bit longer
on either end. Just don’t become so
enamored with their fresh taste and
crisp crunch that you imitate Rapunzel’s
Our first star is spinach. Unlike the Pop-eye myth, it will not grow you amazing
muscles, but it will strengthen your
bones thanks to a hefty dose (987% of
your daily requirement) of Vitamin K.
To keep your bones in tiptop condition,
you only need to eat one half a cup of raw
leaves daily. We’re talking a microscopic
amount of calories for that nutritional
benefit since a cup of cooked spinach is
just more than forty calories!
By Susan Lyttek