A Garden for a Raw Foodist
I'm planning my garden now since I will be starting seeds soon for it. I have read approximate yield per plant and all but most plants regenerate new leaves/beans/fruit. I am wanting to have a garden largely to support my raw diet, so a lot of greens are in the plan. The problem is I just don't know how much to plant of everything. This is my first year of gardening so I am planning in some error but still I am unsure a starting point because most people with a garden don't plan on only eating vegetables but rather to cook that or this from it and not want as much as a raw foodie can eat in the garden.
So far my plan greens wise has around:
96 Turnips plants (I love the greens AND the turnips)
64 Spinach/Baby Spinach plants
24 Kale plants
20 Collard plants
20 Chard plants
Some Lettuce too, still planning!
I want to eat around around a pound of greens a day and put away some for the winter. I am using the square foot gardening method so thats why I have so many of each thing. I feel like I am overdoing it but I don't have a starting place for how much I will need of each thing. I do have some zucchini, tomatoes, beans, melons and other things in the plan but I feel like a lot needs to go towards the greens because I truly want a lot at the time to have then, to share, and to freeze/dry. I eat around a half pound of greens a day and I think that is too low because my hemoglobin is lower than I want it to be and I am pretty active but I am on a budget now so I can't afford all the greens I want. I want to grow enough that I won't have to pay for greens ever and save the money and use it to afford organic fruits all year around as I mostly buy coventinally grown things now.
So I want to hear from raw foodies with gardens to see how much you all plant to support your diet.
Well, I'm a gardener, but I'm not sure what I can say about the amounts because I don't try to preserve what I grow--it sounds like you will have a lot but I don't know if it is really too much or not, as my garden is year-round.
I do wonder if you might consider branching out to other greens like amaranth, edible chrysanthemum, miner's lettuce, celery (whether leaf or stalk), mint, italian leaf dandelion, basil? These all have different nutrients and can give you more variety also in the makeup of your garden. Turnips, kale, collards are all in the cabbage family and share the same pests (also spinach, unlike many of the plants I mentioned, has specialized pests) so you might end up with a lot of aphids and cabbage moths if you plant huge fields of them, but mixing around the species and including more aromatic plants can give some protection.
Just an unrelated tip, groundcherries (also called 'cape gooseberry,) a sweet orange berry that grows in it's own papery sack, can last for many months after it is harvested, if you wanted them to snack on through winter it would be easy.
I do plan on growing some amaranth, I think it would really add color to my garden, but I am usure of quantity and where I will have them so I didn't mention them. I do have a big patch already of mint growing it just went wild but I love mint especially in smoothies! Also there will be herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro dotted throughout for pest control. I am going to give celery a try although I have heard it is harder to grow. I plan on foraging too, especially dandelion. Also Nasturtium is going to be in the garden which I read repels aphids as well as marigolds I believe.
I just wanted to have a good starting point on knowing quantity of items to have really.
Thanks for the tip about the groundcherries, I think I have heard of those from a gardening forum I also frequent. And I think I saw seeds at my local gardening store last year. Are they really good? Wikipedia says it tastes like "unique tomato/pineapple-like blend". Definitely going on my list.
Curious, where do you live to have a year round garden?
Well, that all sounds good--I've used square foot gardening myself with success. I live in upcountry Hawaii, where I have a really big, diverse garden. I've been growing groundcherries for a few years now, and I'm glad you'll try them out--everyone I share with likes them. Cutting celery (the leafy kind with much thinner, smaller stalks) is much easier to grow then standard celery. I also love mint--I have apple mint and pineapple mint, as well as it's relative lemon balm, which is also good.