Home grown: 7 vegetables to grow in your home
Why you should garden
As a a busy mom, you have enough on your plate with washing, childcare, coking cleaning home work. So I get it starting a home garden may not be at the top of your to do list (or even on it at all). But if you think about it for a minute or two, think beyond all the things that could possibly stop you from your busy schedule to your manicured nails, you will see that a garden is actually a really great thing to have at home, a little something to be proud of and bring a a little nature into your home. Research even proves that to get the maximum amount of nutrients from vegetables its better if they are eaten/cooked fresh. So the longer the veggies stay harvested the more compromised the nutrients will be.
Before you give it a thumbs down. Note that gardening doesn’t have to be a lot of stress, some plants are easier to grow than others,some ( like majority on this list ) require minimal attention to grow wonderfully. Something you take care of during weekends.
Time spent gardening according to research lightens your mood and relaxes your mind.
You can even make it an opportunity to bond with your kids and teach them a thing or two about soil, plants and how things grow, and why living things need nurturing, you name it (I ‘m sure my mum could even turn that scene into a sermon without trying ) . If nothing else your child will develop an appreciation for nature.
What should I plant in my home garden
Here’s a list of easy plants for you to nurture at home
- Aloe Vera:This will always be my number one because of all the amazing things that aloevera is capable of. Its high load of vitamins A, B,C and E makes it popular in the cosmetic industry. Imagine having the raw product in your backyard? You can use it as a moisturizer, to cure pimples and other skin infections, to treat wounds, minor cuts and sever burns simply because of its anti-bacterial and anti -inflammatory properties. I even use it to treat mosquito bites. Its stops the area from swelling and prevents scarring. I also use it to combat diaper rash. Aloe vera juice is used for weight loss and its gel can be used to stop jedi-jedi (stooling).you can even use it for your hair!! I’m not exaggerating its just that good! Google aloe vera and you’ll find even more benefits than I listed here. Ask around for anyone who has it grab a aleo pup and plat it in your home. It grows really quickly and it multiplies too. It doesn’t like TLC so you don’t need to do anything except weed the pot from time to time. See? Very simple
- Scent leaves: call it what you want, efirin, daidoya, nchuawun, ntong, ,whatever as long as you know what I’m taking about. This vegetable is known because of its distinct smell. It brings aroma into stews soups and porridge. Not only that it has numerous health benefits. Such as treatment of cough, malaria fever(when mixed with bitter leaf) and other infections. oral hygiene (for these of us who like to go the local way every now and then) pain relief,indigestion, lower blood sugar and combat infertility issues. You can even dry and burn the leaves as it serves as mosquito repellent. Plus it grows neatly and easily.
- lemon grass:whats that plat that can lower cholesterol,fight cancer cells, reduce headaches and cramps., eliminate body odor and makes the best tea(when mixed with pineapple and ginger). that’s right!! Lemon grass. You definitely need this in your home garden. Its anti fungal, antiseptic, insecticidal and will keep your home smelling fresh and keep insects away. This plant loves sunlight though so be sure to give it lots of exposure
- Taliluim triangulare:eh?! I mean water leaf. what you see there is actually the botanical name ( one of those facts you learn in biology class but never use). Because I’m Efik, I love, love, love, water leaf because of edikaikong soup and of course, editan soup. You have to eat this to understand my love. Yoruba use it in efo riro and vegetable yam dishes. It grows mostly during rainy season and grows really fast like weeds. Their pretty little pink flowers make them a cute addition to your home garden. Eating waterleaves is good for your family because its rich in mineral salts and amino acids which children need to grow. Buy waterleaves from the market and cut off those yellow buds that grow at the top and bury them in the soil. You can even replant the stems after cutting off the leaves.
- Tomatoes:is basically a staple in my house as I’m sure it is in most Nigerian homes. I use them in rice, eggs, stews, soups ,and even noodles. So I know how annoying it is to always have to go out to buy fresh tomatoes every time I need it. Just imagine how nice it would be if you had them growing right there in your very own backyard. Bringing along a splash of color to your gardening patch. For great info on how to grow tomatoes check out this article
- Ginger:Whether you’re using the whole root, paste, or powdered form, it’s a spice any seasoned cook will reach for, especially when they want an easy way to add a dash of flavor to their dishes. I add it to my baby’s pap for flavor and to prevent cough and cold. You can grate it and add it to your cup of tea. It has a lot of natural goodness that you and your family will really benefit from
So now you have a list of my top choice of vegetables to grow. There’s is no limit to what you can grow, ewedu, peppers, spring onions,curry leaf, you name it as long as you have the space and the passion
How to begin
A small corner in your backyard is enough to start with. Not enough space? No problem many of the plant on this list grow well in pots, buckets, tubs and tyres. Just plant your seeds in good soil, plenty of sunlight and your garden will bloom. So get your space ready if you’ll be using your backyard. Consider tilling the soil and adding some manure ( you can even get the men to help out) in order to get the best nourishment for your plants.
But don’t get too excited and plant more than you need unless you are planning to sell the leftover. Think about how much you and your family will eat and how often.
Although vegetable gardening can be rewarding even for beginners, there is an art to doing it well. There is also a mountain of good information and advice from other home gardeners like you
I’ve also compiled a lit of relevant articles that you can read to answer any questions you might have.
Finally, we end up where we started —should you start a vegetable garden? Its up to you. With all the natural benefits, healing properties of these plants we wouldn’t have to resort to drugs as the first solution.
Starting a home garden could be the first step to living a healthier life both you and your family.
So mums will you be growing a garden anytime soon? i would love to hear from you…… until next time