A Mini-Garden -
Big Nutrition In Tiny Spaces!
Many of us who live in
small apartments don’t
always realize we can
have a mini-garden,
and grow the finest
natural food there!
Sure, with a balcony or other outdoor space, you can have a lovely, productive patio garden. (Square-foot gardening is a great way to approach this!) But you can do it all inside, too! The key is to stay real -- grow what works in an inside environment. (Sorry -- corn and melons are out!)
SPROUTS AND WHEATGRASS
Old timers used to keep their chickens healthy in the winter by feeding them sprouted wheat, corn, and the like. In later times, people like Steve Meyerowitz, “the Sproutman,” asked themselves, Why shouldn’t we get the same benefit as the chickens? He realized that sprouting could be an “apartment garden” -- the core of natural health for many who needed the nutritional benefits but lived in a small space.
So Steve personally revolutionized the sprouting process, and made it more accessible for all of us.
Sprouting can yield fresh, organic vegetables on a year-round basis, without soil, even in a skyscraper, and with a minimum investment of time and money! (Now that’s what I call an easy way to mini-garden.)
Sprouts can enrich our diets, and provide tasty additions to salads, sandwiches, and more. But research has also shown that there are amazing health benefits from eating sprouts – more than from any other type of fresh raw vegetable!
Many types of seeds can be used, depending on your taste and convenience. The most common are members of the legume (pea) and cabbage families but sunflower sprouts are particularly good (and mild), for those who have difficulty with raw legumes.
In the old days, it could be a very careful process to keep up with schedules for rinsing, proper amounts of light, and other requirements, but improved systems have really helped. Steve Meyerowitz has done more than anyone to improve the mini-garden concept, inventing bags and baskets, as well as more elaborate devices such as self-watering systems that take away all the sting.
Wheatgrass is justly famous nowadays as one of the most nutritious, vitamin-rich health foods we can eat, and ongoing testing continues to discover more benefits for natural health. Growing wheatgrass is a form of sprouting, of course, but it has its own special requirements.
One of the most common ways of using it is in a health drink. This has led to the development of a new line of juicers, due to the resistent texture of the grass. However you use it, it’s an excellent form of raw greens. Personally, I don’t like the taste, but then, that’s not the point. As with most medicine, we must hold our nose, and swallow.
AND HOW ABOUT SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS FOR YOUR MINI-GARDEN?
Growing mushrooms has always captured a lot of interest, but many have found it difficult, because of the particular growing conditions required. Today, though, extensive research has been done into a certain variety of Asian mushroom called Shiitake (Lentinus edodes), which can grow in ordinary room light and heat.
On top of that, the flavor is a gourmet treat, and the nutritional content is equivalent to meat. Testing also indicates that it can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, deter HIV to some extent, affect cancer, and more! It has been rated “Excellent” on a list of the world’s healthiest foods.
Shiitake grows on a number of materials, including oak logs, wood chips, sawdust and spent sugar cane stalks. Getting started isn’t hard – there are plenty of inexpensive kits available to make it easy.
The Shiitake Mushroom Center
Lost Creek Shiitake Mushroom Farm
sell different types of kits suitable for your inside mini-garden, some of them including traditional logs for raising the mushrooms.
This is a fascinating and enjoyable project that could greatly benefit your natural health. Give it a try!
YOGURT -- ANOTHER MINI-GARDEN WINNER
Yogurt is something almost everyone should make, wherever you live. After observing its habits, I have noticed that none of the Lactobacilli seem to care how small or large your place is -- all they want is warm milk, and a quiet place to grow. (As I get older, I’m beginning to feel the same way!) But back to the point -- yogurt is a really healthy food, and it seems like new benefits are being discovered weekly. See our Yogurt pages to see how!
And here's another great option --
How about an indoor herb garden to cheer up your windows this winter?
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