Leafing Home: The Potential of Homegrown Greens

Turn over a new leaf with these nutritional powerhouses for your kitchen.

| June 2015

  • Walking Stick Kale
    'Walking Stick' kale (Brassica oleracea longata) is one of many options for growing healthy homegrown greens.
    Photo courtesy New Society Publishers
  • Winter peas and barley
    Winter peas and barley are delicious examples of edible leaf cover crops.
    Photo courtesy New Society Publishers
  • Eat Your Greens
    This innovative guide shows how familiar garden plants such as sweet potato, okra, beans peas and pumpkins can be grown to provide both nourishing leaves and other calorie- and protein-rich foods.
    Cover courtesy New Society Publishers

  • Walking Stick Kale
  • Winter peas and barley
  • Eat Your Greens

With more nutrients per calorie and square foot of growing space than any other food, leaf crops can be an invaluable addition to every yard or garden. As hardy as they are versatile, these beautiful, tasty vegetables range from the familiar to the exotic. Some part of this largely untapped food resource can thrive in almost any situation. Eat Your Greens by David Kennedy (New Society Publishers, 2014), provides complete instructions for incorporating these nutritional powerhouses into any kitchen garden.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Eat Your Greens: The Surprising Power of Home Grown Leaf Crops

Leaf vegetables are plant leaves (sometimes including the stems and shoots) that are eaten as food. They are also called greens, potherbs, leafy greens, or salad greens. A leafy vegetable patch growing in a backyard garden may strike you as an unlikely place to begin rebuilding a food system. In fact, the green leaf crop is a humble hero patiently waiting for its potential to be unleashed. It is an elemental and underutilized agricultural tool that adapts well to a vast range of circumstance, starting with the home garden.

Why Eat Leafy Vegetables?

Leafy vegetables are good for your health. They are low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The extreme diversity of leafy vegetables presents an interesting variety of flavors, colors, and textures on the plate. Simply put, leafy vegetables are the antidote to corn syrup in our food system.

In a way, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the logical conclusion and the ultimate failure of the industrial food system. It begins with the quintessential commodity: government-subsidized genetically modified corn. The corn is shipped to one of 26 corn processing plants in the US, and the starch is stripped from the kernels. This is followed by three stages of enzymatic conversion, then, by various steps involving filtration, ion-exchange, evaporation and blending, resulting in a perfectly uniform product. Just five companies produce 92 percent of this sweetener.

Corn syrup is extremely handy in manufacturing processed foods. It is cheap, colorless, flavorless, and extends the shelf life of many of the diverse products in which it is an ingredient. Because of these attributes, corn syrup is in a lot of products — from soda and pizza to health bars and yogurt. It provides sweetness and calories but none of the protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, or antioxidants essential to good health. Because it provides energy but nothing else, corn syrup is often described as “empty calories.”

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me