Alright! This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens having so much fun on a Segway tour today, touring the city of Oakland looking for things that are edible, and edible gardens. So I ran into this community garden here today and we’ve got to get off the Segway here, and let’s go ahead and give a tour of this garden. So we’re here at Lakeside Park Community Garden, now this is a whole garden. They have one section of a community garden. They have a Japanese garden, an herb garden, this is actually.
A beautiful garden here in the city of Oaktown! It’s actually right next to a lake, Merritt. Lake Merritt’s a nice lake especially on a nice sunny day here at the beginning of April. You can walk around, bike around or even Segway around. So we’ve been having a lot of fun on those Segways, but in any case we’re here in the community garden area now. And todays episode is going to be on the greens that people are growing here in the community garden and what’s growing currently in the beginning of April and I definitely encourage people.
To grow their greens after all my YouTube channel is called growing your greens, for one more important reason. In my opinion leafy green vegetables are the number one nutrient dense foods that you can be growing in your garden! Everybody should be growing nutrient dense leafy greens and eating and consuming them every single day, so that they can be healthy, wealthy, and strong just like Popeye. So in ay case let’s walk around the community garden and check out what greens are currently growing here in Oaktown. This is just one community garden plot and you can see here, they’re growing dino kale,.
Over a Dozen Leafy Green Vegetables You Can Grow in your Home Garden
Maybe called dino kale, latticino kale, or black kale. Also called Tuscan kale. So there’s many things they call this guy and these guys can actually grow like tress. Kind of like the tree kale, and this can be a long lived kale. Once it does go to the flower, you can see the beautiful flowers here and once again you can eat the flowers on the kale, and you can also eat the preflowering heads. So you can pick these off and eat them like broccoli, also eat the flowers. Once the kale plant goes to seed or that’s what’s happening now,.
It’s making the flower so that it can produce seeds, it pretty much only makes these small leaves to eat. Now these leaves are still edible, not quite as desirable. What you might want to do to encourage this to continue to grow is basically cut off all the flowering tips. It’s also called dead heading. Once you do that then it may throw out more leaves or it also might strive to push out more flower buds on you. Once again if you keep cutting them off judiciously it will finally get out of the mode and continue just to grow more.
Leaves for you to eat, so these can be long lived plants and live for several years. Once again this is the dinosaur kale. Let’s move on to another unknown leafy green that isn’t often eaten raw. Next here we have fava beans. They’re growing the fava probably for the nitrogen fixing capabilities as a Winter cover crop. You can also eat the little flowers which are quite edible and delicious. They look really pretty too. What many people don’t know is that sometimes I like to eat the baby greens off the fava.
Beans, so the baby fava bean greens. I personally wouldn’t have a whole salad of these but maybe a couple added to your salads is definitely going to be fine. In the bean family, in the bean class of foods there are some basically toxins in the beans themselves, so in some cases like fava beans that are immature beans should never be eaten raw. So there are toxins in the fava beans when they’re mature so you don’t want to eat them raw. You need to basically cook the fava beans so that they are edible and rid of the naturally occurring toxins.
Once again these toxins are also occurring in the leaves. Don’t go crazy on eating the raw leaves. Have a couple sprigs here and there if you want in your salads. Most days I don’t even bother because I have better greens. So let’s check out some of those better greens growing here in Oakland. So here’s some more leafy greens growing here in Oakland at the community garden. Once again this one’s called mache, and now mache you can direct seed and really close grow the nice patch. This is the mache here, this is a really delicious salad green. Kind of has.
A nice flavor, reminiscent of lettuce. Another one that we’re going to cover right now also is the chickweed. So this thing can grow as a weed. You can tell it’s chickweed by the little white flowers, that’s definitely some good chickweed. On the chickweed I usually just like to pinch off the tips and eat the tips as a salad. In this case it looks like the chickweed might actually be a weed because chickweed does grow as a weed. I have a lot growing in my front bed because I grew it intentionally there last year, but it came.
Back this year in full force, but it’s good because it’s all edible. Here’s another plot and there’s so many things growing in this community garden right here. We have some mustard greens. You know I’m not a big fan of mustard greens, you’ve probably never seen me grow a mustard green plant. That’s for a very important reason actually. If you take one of these mustard greens and try to eat it raw in a salad it’ll light your throat on fire like you’ve just eaten wasabi. It’s really hot and spicy. If you like that.
Great. Normally what you do with mustard greens is you take them and you cook them up and it reduces the heat intensity. I personally don’t like to cook my greens, I like to eat them straight up juice them or blend them, so I don’t personally juice mustard greens. But mustard greens once again are a delicious green you can grow here in Oakland this time of year. It also looks like they have some bok choy and I do plant a lot of bok choy. It looks like their bok choy here is getting nibbled on by some slugs and snails and some.
Other critters. They also have in this garden here some chard, Swiss chard. Yet another delicious leafy green. Behind me they even have more leafy greens. Some people would consider this an herb, but I would consider this a leafy green, this is parsley. Sometimes I pick a whole bunch of parsley and that would be my salad. I mean think about tabouli, tabouli is a salad made primarily of parsley. Yet more greens here in Oakland, this one is one of my favorites. This is a good variety to grow in the summertime. I recommend you.
Only grow dino kale or red Russian kale, they seem to do pretty good with the heat and once again you can pluck off all the flowering tops or the broccoli like tops and eat them and hopefully encourage more leaf growth. So once again this is the red Russian kale, it has a really nice flavor, I prefer the red Russian kale over the dinosaur kale you just saw. Next here we have a really common variety of kale this is known as the curly kale. I don’t like growing the curly kale too much because of all the frillies and bugs.
Seem to hide in there. These actually can grow for many many years, I’ve had one of these guys for a long time. We would basically just cut off the flowering tops and once again you can eat the flowering tops, use them just like broccoli. Cut them off and encourage more leaf growth. What I’ve found is that it will just grow smaller leaves, it will never make those super huge large leaves again. So you know have fun in your garden and experiment and let things grow and just see what happens. You can control when to harvest, when to pull.
It out when to compost it or whatever. Or just think of it as one big fun science experiment. I’m gonna grow this and just see what happens and continue to pluck off the flowering tips and see if I get more food, I don’t know see what happens. See if I can make it, see if I can keep it going. Anyway last leafy green we’re going to talk about in this bed here is the escarole. You might be thinking Hey John that looks a lot like lettuce. Well.
It definitely doesn’t taste like lettuce. I find that the escarole is more bug resistant than lettuce because it is more of a bitter green so bugs don’t like this as much as they like lettuce, where they’ll eat up the lettuce hardcore but they’ll leave the escarole alone. So if you’re having problems with lettuce, grow some escarole, grows just like it. You can also eat escarole as a salad green but, you better like bitter. With a lot of dressing it’ll cover it right up. I know you guys often see my tree collards.
And are in absolute amazement that they’re fifteen feet tall, nice big stocks, and frankly I am too! Nowhere else have I ever been to see tree collards do they grow like mine. Do I have a special variety Well no, it’s all in the soil stupid! You’ve got to basically grow in rich soil full of compost and rock dust. Give the plant everything that it needs so it can be as healthy as it can be and grow lush and bountiful. Actually also tree collards do like a lot of water. In any case let’s take a look at the tree collards here. I’m.
Happy that there are not only tree collards in this bed but I see other community gardeners have tree collards growing in their bed. You can see here these tree collards have been here a while. If you look down at the bottom it has a fairly nice thick stock, probably about as large as the stock on my tress, but unfortunately it doesn’t look as healthy. They basically encourage a lot of side shooting and on the top there there’s just a few greens on each of the tops of the tree collards. Now they may have been plucking some of these.
Leaves away to eat to harvest, but you know what, we can look at some of the other plants here and they just don’t look quite as big and bountiful and lush as mine. I mean you can definitely see here where they’ve been ripping off pieces of it to encourage side shooing, but you know to me this it looks cool don’t get me wrong but it just doesn’t look super vibrant and super healthy. I personally don’t know why that is. It might be the soil, or maybe not getting enough water, or you know there’s a lot of slug damage and maybe.
Some bugs in this garden, but I don’t think it would effect it this bad. The lesson to learn here is soil, soil, soil! Make sure you have good soil, nutrient dense soil, organic compost, and don’t forget the rock dust. The minerals really make it or break it. Add in the trace minerals, basically super charges your plants. They grow quicker, they grow faster. They taste better, they grow bigger and your plant is more bug and disease resistant because it’s just healthier overall. If you took your minerals you’re going to be healthier.
Too. The best thing is when we eat the plants that contain the minerals they taste sweeter plus we get the minerals from the plants from nature how we should in the first place. The other cool thing about this plot, the top story here are above the ground. They have a lot of the tree collards and they’re about four feet tall, and if we go to the bottom story, even cooler, they have all of these stinging nettles. Now these stinging nettles look like they’re doing really good. They’ve got some nice big leaves, I don’t know if.
They’re doing this intentionally or if they came in as a weed. The stinging nettles are another leafy green you can eat, they definitely are good. Besides the stinging nettles they have some mint. That probably did come up as a weed. They have a lot of greens growing on here in this community garden raised bed and I love it a lot. Let’s move on to another community garden raised bed and check out some more greens. Here’s another leafy green that you should pay attention to. This one is actually called.
The chicory. If you go into a Whole Foods market they’ll call it dandelion greens. This is closely related to dandelion you can see the leaf shape. If you go into Whole Foods they’ll sell you a bunch of these for like three bucks. You know what, you can easily grow chicory or dandelion greens for yourself. Now they are a bitter green and it’s said that they are good to help you detoxify. I love to eat my bitter greens sometimes. You wouldn’t probably pull all of these leaves and have a salad just out of dandelion greens.
Go right in your garden pick one leaf of kale, one leaf of lettuce, one leaf of dandelion green, one leaf of everything, chop it all up mix it in a salad put some nice dressing on it and eat it all up. You’re going to get more greens in so you can be nice and healthy. In this bed they’re growing rainbow chard. So by rainbow chard I mean they’re growing yellow chard, red chard, green chard, and you can tell the color by the color of the stems. Now once again you know I encourage you to grow chards and other plants of different.
Colors or varieties. All the different colors and their stocks, whether it’s a pink, a red, an orange, a yellow, a green. They’re going to provide you with different antioxidants so remember, eat the rainbow so that you can get all the antioxidants you need so that you can be the healthiest you can be. This is the last bed we’ll be talking about, and in this bed they have celery growing. It looks really amazing. Once again I’ve never got my celery grown in tight big heads like you see in the store, but that’s the fun of gardening.
You’re going to learn and find out what you get when you grow yourself. So you know what, the celery greens are also edible. Once again I wouldn’t pick a whole bunch of celery greens and eat the greens straight up, but I might pick a leaf or two and put them in the salad. Some of these greens look amazing and these are the celery stocks here. The celery stocks you’re going to grow at home and they’re probably not going to turn out like the store. They’re probably going to be harder, woodier but also have more of an intense celery flavor. The.
Celery I buy at the store always tastes so bland, not like the stuff I’ve grown which tastes super rich. Also in this bed they have this cool little trellis system. I don’t know what’s going on but it looks really cool. Probably in the summertime they grow beans or peas up it, and I can see the beans just climbing up and just filling this whole thing. It’s actually built like an X it looks really cool. Right know underneath it they have some dinosaur kale. This is the baby dinosaur kale, not yet gone to flower yet.
In the area below it they have some mustard greens. This contraption above it, besides being used for a trellis, maybe if they want to grow the greens in the summertime and it’s getting too hot they might be able to put a shade cloth over it to provide some shade for some of these greens that are growing below. Also below here they’ve got some bok choy growing too, underneath it so a whole trellis system. It looks like they’re making amazing use of this space here in this raised bed to grow a lot of plants.
So the plant spacing I don’t often talk bout too much, but I grow and use what’s called the square foot gardening method or bio intensive bed, where you plant things closer than what’s recommended on the seed packet. If you do that you know the recommendations on the seed packets are meant for farmers growing in rows not people growing in their backyard. For example I know on the dino kales and the kales I generally plant them one foot apart. Looks like in this bed they planted them maybe six inches apart. A little bit close for my liking,.
But you know what they’re still going to grow fine. The bok choy’s you can grow a little bit closer together. Looks like they have them every eight inches, that looks to be to be a good spacing. The mustard greens they’ve got those at a six inch spacing. Once again thee mustard greens can get real ltlarge. It also depends on when you want to harvest your greens. If you’re planting them more for the baby greens greens then you want to plant them closer together, but if you want them to mature up and get larger you need.
To give them a little bit more space. Once again growing them closer together is dependent on growing in a raised bed in highly nutritious and delicious soil for the plants. If you don’t have good rich soil then the whole spacing thing and growing plants too close together is really not going to work for you. One of the things I really like here at this community garden is that everyone is growing some greens! Hey maybe they’re all subscribers of my channel. In any case all of the greens here have been really wonderful and once again the word is.
Greens. Greens are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and you know what they’re going to keep you alkaline. I don’t know if you’ve heard that term before but things like blueberries for example, they like acidic soil. And they’ll thrive in acidic soil so you want to lower the PH of your soil by adding things like coffee grounds, but as people, actually our body for the most part likes it pretty much neutral. Our blood needs to maintain a pretty much neutral balance PH or else we’re not going to be living anymore,.
Just like if you have blueberries and you plant them in really alkaline soil they’re not going to make it. Once again, we need to be in this acid alkaline balance like pretty much right near the middle. If we eat a lot of foods that cause us to get very acid, like the coffee you would put on the blue berries to give them acid. If you drink coffee that also make your body acid and throws you out of balance. Processed foods, over consumption of meat and dairy also will basically get you too much closer to the acid side. To bring.
Yourself back to the alkaline side leafy greens are the answer. That’s why I’m really big up on leafy greens, so you can have that acid alkaline balance in your body. When you have that balance and you’re not too acid or too alkaline you’re going to have more energy and you’re going to run optimally. Once again really important to eat your leafy greens. I like to consume my leafy greens by just picking them and eating them in a salad, that’s the easiest way to do it. Another way I like to do a lot is to juice my greens right up.
Pick them, juice them, you can concentrate them into a juice from taking away all the fiber. You get the direct nutrition out of that juice and get alkaline. The final way I like to get greens in my diet is the blender by blending and making green smoothies. How that works is basically I take a blender, put some water in there and blend up some bananas for sweetness and you’ve got a nice mixture. Once you’ve got that mixture then slowly add in greens, a little bit at a time, depending on if you’ve got a powerful.
Or not so powerful blender. If your blender isn’t so powerful like from a department store you need to add like one leafy green at a time, you might want even precut it. So blend up the leafy greens to macerate open all the cell walls so you can get the best nutrition out of the greens. So you know what, we’re not really designed like a cow to digest our greens. They chew chew chew and most people chew three times and then swallow. It’s definitely important if you’re going to eat your leafy greens as a salad chew them up really well.
That’s why I really like the appliances, the juicers and the blenders that allow us to eat more leafy greens without having to chew so much. I hope you enjoyed this tour of the community garden here in Oakland, learning about all the stuff, we learned about. Primarily it’s the greens. Don’t forget, it’s the greens silly! That’s what my channel is called, growing your greens. I want you guys to grow your greens and eat them too because they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. I’ve got to get back and return this Segway so I don’t get charged extra money for overtime!.