Last year (2012) I was touched with cervical cancer. It was a physically and mentally draining journey that has left me questioning many things in my life. The two most useful things I have armed myself with to go into battle have served me well as I have been told I will live to fight another day. The two things I speak about are surrounding oneself with positive people and good organic nutrition. What we put into our body and soul plays an inaugural part in our health and wellbeing. I had an endless supply of support and love from family and friends and I focused on getting healthy in the physical sense and the mental clarity department. Gardening was my food for the soul. I spent time in the fresh air, hands in the dirt re-connecting with the earth and working on bringing the garden to the plate. I try very hard to eat fresh, eat local and eat in season. Much of this is so easily achieved in the humble backyard. The vegetable garden is a place to create and harvest and it’s simply amazing what you can achieve in a very small space.
Leafy greens are our saving grace and so many of these plants are the keys to fighting cancer, building the immune system and make us feel strong. My number one favourite plant is Kale botanically known as Brassica oleracea. Kale is high in iron, vitamin K, A, C and a powerful antioxidant.
This useful leafy green can be cooked in stir-fries, eaten fresh in salads and added to delicious juices and smoothies. Known as the ‘Queen of greens’, Kale should star in your leafy green vegetable plot. It’s dead easy to grow. The foliage can be green or purple and is planted in spring, mine is still growing now in winter and we have been eating it for two seasons. Kale seeds readily, always giving you fresh seedlings to re-plant or keep a plot going. Kale can be companion planted with baby spinach, silver beet, swiss chard, any of the lettuce varieties and Asian greens such as bok choy and choy sum. The complete salad bar and stirfry plot in one! Leafy green vegetables are hungry nitrogen feeders. Nitrogen provides the plant with the ability to produce prolific green foliage and new growth. Nitrogen can be found in chook manure, cow manure and rich composted soil. If you don’t have access to a chook yard or cows running around, products straight off the nursery shelf such as rooster booster, dynamic lifter and packaged cow manure can be purchased. I enjoy an afternoon walk collecting cow pats then bring them home to make ‘Cow Poo water’. Just place a bucket of cow pats in a hessian bag and put into a barrel of water. They slowly make this marvellous nitrogen based liquid fertiliser that is easily applied to all of my vegetable garden and other plants that need a good dose of nitrogen.
The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition. Quote: Thomas Edison