One of the most important aspects of becoming truly self-sufficient is to grow our own food. Not only will it provide us with a source of nutrients for free, but these crops can also have value for trade or barter. If you’re in a position to grow a garden, consider planting some of the following greens in order to get the most nutrients per square foot as possible. This not only helps to get the most use of limited space, but it also gives us a steady supply of quality, nutrient-dense foods as well.
Arugula is a hearty green that has a distinctive flavor that has some bite to it, and it isn’t everyone’s favorite. However, it also contains high concentrations of a number of important minerals and phytochemicals that our bodies use to fight disease and promote optimal health. Arugula is one of the most-nutritious plants per square foot, plants only need a couple of months to mature, and they can grow in less-than-ideal conditions.
Before arugula became popular, kale was the favored green due to its nutrient content, heartiness and resistance to temperature fluctuations. Kale is loaded with iron, calcium, vitamins A, K and C, as well as containing high levels of antioxidants. It is known to support cardiovascular health, improve memory and concentration and detoxify the liver. It also contains compounds that help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Few greens are as nutrient-dense and robust as kale, and it is also a pretty low-maintenance crop that can be grown under a variety of conditions, and this makes it an ideal choice for any homestead or survival garden.
Endives are much-tastier than arugula and kale, but they don’t have the same concentration of phytochemicals as their darker green counterparts. Yet, endives are well known for supporting blood health and regulating bad cholesterol. Endives also contain the range of B-complex vitamins that support the nervous system and brain. Endives are also a good source of vitamin A and beta-carotine, and they contain high levels of fiber as well. All in all, endives provide us with a number of nutrients that may not be present in other greens, and they can be used as a substitute for a long list of other crops that may be difficult or impractical to grow.
Mustard greens provide us with many of the nutrients mentioned above, but they also are loaded with vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. These greens are known to help to regulate blood sugar, support cellular regeneration, and they assist in detoxifying the body. These benefits are in addition to those that we get from most other greens as well. The best thing about mustard greens is that they are easy to grow, the resist frost, and they don’t take long to mature. Consequently, you can get multiple harvests per season, and this can dramatically-improve the productivity of your garden.