Are you tempted to plant a garden but wondering if you missed the window? April is a fine time to transplant seedlings, whether you just purchased them or started them weeks ago in “Nancysware” (those empty yogurt containers make perfect planters!). We say go ahead, get those hands in the dirt!
Tending a garden cultivates positivity as it fosters growth. Not only is it rewarding to see your efforts make a difference, but eating homegrown foods is also one of life’s pure and simple pleasures. Here, we’ll explore a few brave seedlings that can grow well in a home garden when transplanted later in the spring. We’ll also look at tending the microbiome – the garden in your gut.
ADDING HOMEGROWN PLANTS AND LIVE PROBIOTICS TO YOUR DIET
Just as many good things come from the earth, many aspects of wellness are aligned with our microbiome and its balance of bacteria, which supports immune and digestive health. Our mood is also impacted by this balance and tending to it can give us a lift as we tap into a natural feeling of progress.
Because the foods we eat are essential to a healthy microbiome and each person’s microbiome unique, it’s important to eat a variety of naturally beneficial foods to help our bodies find and keep that balance. Fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber, which beneficial gut bacteria thrive on, and foods like Nancy’s yogurt contain live probiotics to keep their numbers high. As you consider the fruits and vegetables your garden will yield this season, think about other nutritious ingredients you can pair with them in meals.
ZUCCHINI AND CARROTS
Zucchini and carrots grow heartily and add delicious fiber to recipes. When “spiralized,” they work wonderfully as a substitute for pasta. Our favorite Veggie “Noodle” Salad provides a nutritious rainbow of vegetables and a bright burst of flavor from homemade green goddess dressing made with Nancy’s Whole Milk Kefir. To give zucchini and carrot seedlings a strong start, put them in the ground once they have a few leaves and outdoor temperatures are steady around 60 degrees. Here in Oregon, it’s still a little chilly. You can provide some insulation by cutting the bottoms out of large Nancy’s containers and placing them over your planted seedlings. As temperatures level out and leaves begin to peek out of the holes, remove the containers and let your plants grow on their own.
Not only is broccoli high in dietary fiber, but it’s also loaded with antioxidants, plus calcium. We can work this powerhouse into all kinds of meals, but a Garden and Grain Salad is a bounty bowl of colorful and crunchy vegetables. Tossed with ancient grains and Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt, this salad has multiple bases covered, including protein and live probiotics by the billions. As with zucchini and carrots, transplant broccoli seedlings once they’re several inches tall with 3-4 leaves and hearty roots. They do like lots of sun but remember to allow for partial shade as the summer heat ramps up.
Have you ever wished for a garden of plump, juicy raspberries? Transplant a few canes in bright, cool conditions, and they’ll be rambling before you know it. You can even grow them in a patio container as long as the roots stay moist but drain well. Either way, celebrate your harvest with a little Sparkling Raspberry Sauce over Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt. One of the sweetest ways to load up on dietary fiber and vitamin C is eating fresh picked raspberries. And while the live probiotics in Nancy’s lend complementary tartness, their broad strains cover a range of benefits.
With a little bit of effort and a few conditions met by nature’s calendar, you can be harvesting your garden in time to picnic outside. There’s nothing so rewarding as the taste of homegrown and live probiotic foods, or the feeling you get from tending to your body’s natural balance. Have we inspired you to get growing? We hope we have inspired you to get growing and that your garden has its best season yet!
❤️ – The Kesey Family & all the folks at Springfield Creamery