Earlier this week I shared some pictures of our aquaponic gardens. We put the roots of a live butter lettuce in the water hoping it would grow. Voila! Yesterday it had 2 little sprouts. That means we will have butter lettuce and watercress as well as the romaine, Swiss chard and kale. Salads and more salads in our future.
We purchased some watercress and butter lettuce at the store this week and planted them in our large new pool. The hope is that the watercress will cover the pool, reduce the algae and provide food for us as well as the fish.
Hoping this year to have some great vegetables growing. Have you started your garden yet? What are you growing?
Since today is Earth Day, I thought you should see our gardens. A couple of days ago, Mac was clearing one of the aquaponic pools as the bok choy had fallen and taken over more than half of the pool. Guess what he found in the gravel – earth worms. Lots & lots. Here is a small video.
It was amazing how many worms were attached to the roots. The gravel pool is definitely well aerated with that many earth worms. Do your gardens have any worms?
I have learned to enjoy quite a few different vegetables like watercress, Swiss chard and kale. These are very good for you and can be eaten raw or cooked. Here are pictures of these growing in our aquaponics garden.
***They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives. Eat Your Vegetables Day is dedicated to getting people eating their veggies, and also in spreading awareness of their diversity and necessity in a healthy diet.
History of Eat Your Vegetables Day
The history of Eat Your Vegetables Day starts with an awareness of nutrition and the role it plays in a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables have always played an important role in the lives of humans, all the way back to when we were simply hunter gatherers. Vegetables were one of the hallmarks of civilization, and are arguably the reason we settled and stopped being nomads, we couldn’t travel anymore when we planted our crops, we had to be there to tend them as they grew.
As we cemented our ability to produce them they stopped being an opportunistic part of our diet, and instead became a foundation part of our culture and cuisine. As time went on we established that there were benefits to eating them, better health and growth, but it wasn’t until much later that science confirmed what we already knew.
Eventually it was established that yes, they were a vital source of nutrients that were hard or impossible to get form an animal source. These nutrients can help to prevent heart disease and decrease bone loss, offset diabetes, and even improve the health of your hair and skin.
How to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day
Well the easiest way to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day is to ensure that vegetables play a major role in your diet for the day. To make sure you’re getting enough ensure that you’re eating at least a half a cup of each vegetable you decide to consume, or a cup of a medley. Think vegetables can’t be delicious? We have the simplest recipe to prove you wrong. Just take an equal mixture of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots and steam them until tender. Then layer them in a casserole dish with seasoning salt, cheddar cheese, and sunflower seeds and place them in the oven to bake until the cheese is melted. If that doesn’t make you believe that vegetables are delicious, we don’t know what will! So get out there on Eat Your Vegetables Day and gobble down a tuber, munch on a leafy green, or serve up a nice bowl of legumes.
We decided to expand the aquaponics garden by adding 50 feet of 4 inch pipe along the outside wall of our carport. Mac has cut holes so we can place cups with plants.
We have 36 strawberry plants: 6 Loran, 20 Sequoia, and 10 Ozark Beauties. We didn’t know which ones we would like so that’s why we got 3 different kinds. We also got a 6 pack of asparagus roots and 1 cherry tomato plant.
Since we bought seeds Mac thinks that placing them in cheesecloth and then in a cup with an opening to the water will get them started. Time will tell. The seeds include Red Russian Kale, Rainbow Chard, spinach and green onions.
Now we wait to see how everything grows and how long it takes for them to start producing fruit or the seeds to get roots and become a real plant.
Mac introduced you to our aquaponic garden about a month ago and I wanted to update you on the growth. We have garlic, watercress and romaine continuing to grow.
Our cabbage only has 3 heads left – it was a 45 day cabbage plant so it’s a little different from what you get at the store but still tastes like cabbage.
You will notice that when we cut the whole head of romaine it grows back which makes this a never-ending salad bar. The watercress are cool because it spreads like a vine and continues growing. How cool is that?
Mac has designed this aquaponics bed with the 45 day cabbage and red romaine. They have been growing since November 2015. These are great for salads any time and very tasty. Isn’t it amazing how vegetables always taste better when they are home-grown.
We live in southern California and don’t get much weather. But when we do, it is often extreme. Yesterday (January 31st) a rain and wind storm came through our area. We got a little rain but the wind was vicious. It blew about our house all day and night and this is what our once lovely romaine now looks like. The 45 day cabbage did not sustain much damage as it is low profile. The only positive thing is that the romaine did not break just got a little bent.