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lettuce 1In the April 2015 publication of Spirituality and Health Magazine, Traci Pedersen writes about how eating leafy greens make for a sharper brain.  She states, “A new study has found that eating leafy green vegetables – such as spinach, kale and mustard greens – can have a dramatically positive effect on our thinking abilities. In fact, older people who eat one to two servings a day of leafy greens have the cognitive skills of a person over a decade younger.”  – See more at:  Spirituality and Health.

I am most pleased to be reading this.  My garden is based on the plants we like, and each year we add more raised beds and include new and different plants.  This year our son built raised beds in his backyard.  Being a vegetarian, he was most interested in choosing quality seeds and so ordered them online from Survival Essentials.  They claim that their seeds are, “the finest Non GMO, Non Hybrid Heirloom Seed Bank anywhere on the Earth!”  In fact these seeds, if placed in an airtight glass jar in a freezer, have an expected shelf life from 10 to 20 years.  And he got enough seeds to share with us.herbs

In addition to our kale which survived summer heat over 100 degrees and three snow storms and temperatures below 10 degrees this winter and our two rosemary bushes that never die, our flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, lavender, sage, and mint all came back or survived the winter.  We had to replace the spicy oregano and sweet basil in the herb garden and added amaranth; however we are now ready for our leafy greens to sprout.

Returning are Crowder peas, okra, cucumbers, yellow squash, green squash (zucchini), sweet bell peppers, tomato plants and lettuce.  But this year we planted red-tipped romaine, butter crunch, and Prizehead lettuce.  We also planted arugula, beets, radishes, and not just for the vegetable but also for the greens.

lettuce2For fun we created a corner for strawberries.  But the first rainfall we realize the runoff from the neighbor’s yard runs directly down the center of the strawberry patch.  We laid some small gravel and that didn’t work so added a stone wall to guide the water away from the strawberry plants; so far so good.

In total, we have sixteen raised beds.  Waiting for the ground to be warm enough to plant was hard because it was only a few weeks ago when it was close to freezing at night.  But having a garden filled with leafy greens is worth it.  I’m not sure if it is the work involved in taking care of a garden or if it is eating the leafy greens that keeps an older person young, but I’m willing to keep on enjoying our garden and all of its bounty.  Eating healthy and liking what I eat and having the cognitive skills of a person ten years younger sounds great to me!