12+ Uncommon Leafy Green Vegetables You Can Grow and Eat


This is John Kohler with Growingyourgreens.com.
I have another exciting episode for you from The Woodstock Fruit Festival 2012. I know
some of you guys, or most of you guys, probably didn’t make it out here. I’ve met some viewers
here. I’ve been having a great time. Let’s see, we are out here at the lake beside the
talk that I gave — the talks that were here about eating a healthy fruit and vegetable
based diet. There is all kinds of activities; you can be at the lake swimming, playing on
inflatables they had earlier, little kayaks and canoes and whatnot or you can go to some
of the talks. So what I am going to do for you guys next
is actually put up my favorite talk that I gave and it is actually on one of my favorite
things to eat in the whole wide world. It is on the leafy greens and in this talk you
are going to learn about 9 specific leafy greens that I actually picked, harvested and
dehydrated and brought here to the event. I really want to share the information on
how important leafy greens are into your diet. The main thing to remember from this ; you
want to eat a wide variety from leafy greens, each and every day and eat , in my opinion,
a minimum of 2 pounds to meet as many nutritional needs as possible. So any way, let’s get in
the clip I named my Youtube channel Growing Your Greens
because I’ve learned that greens, next to fruit, is a very important food that we should
be consuming on a daily basis. It is my belief that we should eat a minimum of 2 pounds of
leafy greens– I am not talking about vegetables like broccoli. I am talking about the leafs.
Especially the young tender leaves, they are easy to digest and they taste a lot better.
I mean, how many people have eaten kale from the Whole Foods and get home and some people
don’t like eating kale it is so bitter. Does that happen to anyone here? Wow! Almost everybody!
Well that happens because the kale from the Whole Foods. I mean it is picked. It is cut.
It is hydro-cooled. It is put on a truck and shipped and then it gets to you. And as food
goes bad, it tastes worse. How many of you has this happened to a fruit; you get an apple
or peach, actually that is a very good example. Peach ripes; you miss eating it, it starts
going bad and you eat it and it is just not the same. Well, most people are getting their
greens in that state, and it is not the same. It is that overripe peach that is just going
bad. Leafy greens also go bad. When they go bad,
they taste bad too. But that is what most people get. I really want to encourage everyone
in here to grow your greens because they are so important. Now, why are greens so important?
We definitely know it is not for the calories. There are hardly any calories in leafy greens
but what there is, and that is where the fruit comes in, fruit is our main source of calories.
There is also some good nutrition in the fruit, but not in the concentration that the leafy
greens have. For example, things like Kale have properties in them that have been shown
to protect you from cancer. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to be protected
from things like cancer and other diseases so by eating a lot of leafy greens you could
definitely become disease-proof as Dr. Joel Fuhrman would say. He created what is called
the ANDI scoring- system and luckily Whole Foods has adopted this system, so if you go
to any Whole Foods in the country- I haven’t been to Whole Foods out the county, to see
if they are using it there. They have a system called the ANDI system and they score foods
around the Whole Foods Market. I wish they did it to everything because then it would
really be opening people’s eyes to what to buy and what not to buy. Hopefully it would
change the whole buying pattern. They are trying to change it gently because most the
Whole Foods business comes from none whole food items unfortunately. I don’t know why
that is. But so, if you look at the ANDI scoring charts;
they have most fruits and vegetables listed and then some processed food and a lot of
the greens and nuts are actually listed. But something like soda for example is a one and
it goes down to zero. Zero is like you guys shouldn’t eat it. It could be detrimental
to your health. The lower numbers are not very nutrient dense, they may be calorically
dense . The scoring system is based on the nutrition, phyto chemicals, antioxidants,
phyto nutrients, trace minerals and things like that. And at the top of the list is something
like kale. Kale is a 1000 on the list. Kale is the most nutrient dense food. We have a
tendency in America and other places to think “I only want to eat the best and highest nutrition
food” so then when you go to Whole Foods and eat a bunch of kale everyday; number one it
tastes really bad, number two if you are only eating kale day in and day out and every day
after day, you are getting the nutrients in kale , your body is going to be flooding with
those, but you are body is also so kind naturally creating toxins in every green and why is
this? One of my sayings in life is that I strive to model nature and in nature, nature
does things for a reason. These are natural toxins that they plants made so like all the
plants are out here and then there are animals. People are seeing chipmunks, squirrels, frogs,
and what other animals have you guys seen around camp? Fox! Wow! Foxes are cool. Cats.
There are all sorts of animals and some animals their primary diet are greens so if the plants,
food and some of the leafy greens didn’t have some toxins like all some may have alkaloids
some may have oxylates and then those are in there so that no one animal is going to
set there and eat all the spinach because if it does it’ll get too many oxylates and
it is going to get sick and maybe even lose its life. So those are all in there for a
reason so the plants can reproduce and stay alive. But if we eat only kale day in and
day out, we’re going to get a lot of those anti-nutrients that are in the kale. Where
as if we eat kale today, swiss chards tomorrow, lettuce tomorrow, the next day you eat something
like, red vein sorrel, malabar spinach, Huacatay , Egyptian spinach, the plantain the following
day; everyday you’re going to get a small amount of those anti-nutrients but you’ll
also get a lot of the beneficial, phyto nutrients and phyto chemicals and especially some of
the food that I actually showed you today. And probably they are not even discovered
in research fully. These are really uncommon food and some are from a certain countries
which they even use in stables. I know the watercress they use it in South America instead
of cilantro. But basically by growing your own food you’re
going to get a wider variety of nutrients that now you get to choose from because the
other thing that I often talk about is that if you go to a grocery store or a health food
store or The Whole Foods, even in many cases your Farmers’ Market, produce that is in trade
. In-trade produce has to meet a few requirements for the trade. Number one it has to be profitable
so it has to be something that is going to sell because the people that are growing it
are not doing it for love or to better your nutrients. They are doing it for the big old
mighty dollar unfortunately. Number two, because they are doing it for the profit, it has to
be something that can be picked, and then shipped in a refrigerated trucks and not go
wilty or bad. So for example some of the tropical green that I grow, if you cut them within
a few hours that will be wilted and it is not profitable to be selling those. So if
you really look at the produce that is being sold as leafy green in the stores, those are
the greens that I can grow during winter time when it gets down to freezing temperature,
and they’ll stay alive; things like lettuce, spinach, kales and those are all the leafy
greens we’re getting so we’re getting a very small percentage of all the leafy greens in
the world because we have to rely on the system that grows food for us than for each person
to take responsibility back to themselves and grow at least a portion of their own food.
Whether it is sprout — I mean, I’ve been growing these sprouts in my cabin here this
whole time and they are maybe a few days past the optimal time of harvest but I wanted to
save them for this talk but I mean if I can grow them in a cabin without hot water, you
can do it in your apartment in Chicago or New York city, or wherever you live. You don’t
have to have a big garden like I do. But I am going to talk about that later if you want
to grow greens outside have it setted up. I have about 700 videos on Youtube that also
explain growing the green and many of the videos I have are about some of these specifics
foods and you can see what the plant looks like, what is actually growing vs. the dehydrated
ones. Unfortunately I brought dehydrated samples for you today; I don’t like to do that, because
I don’t like to eat dehydrated food; only when it is absolutely necessary. It is always
best to eat fresh. One of the things that I say is “freshtest is the bestest” I am not
an English major because I know it is not totally grammatically correct.
So I like to eat fresh things but in this case I really wanted to show you guys like
some of the varieties. Just a day before I left I harvested 9 different greens from my
garden that I am currently growing and put them in dehydrator at 105 and then I got them
out and brought them for you guys. So at least you’ll get a sampling of what they can taste
like. They taste better fresh of course. If I was traveling and I did want to eat my greens
and I was going somewhere where they don’t have my greens, dehydration is an excellent
tool to perceive your food. I’d probably rather eat my dehydrated food during a neutral dense
nutrient soil that is really rare vs. some lettuce from a conventional grocery store
that is not organic. Because I know those are all organic.
You also want to hydrate these back with some water. One of the things I like to do sometime
is take green syrup and I’d just put them in the vitamix and power it, run it on full
speed and then I’d put them in a bottle and literary I am doing my own green powders You
guys know how much green powders sells for, like 30 dollars for the little bottle. You
can bottle all these stuff and make a crazy bottle that is worth so much money. Now that
I am advocating doing that, in a situation where you are traveling or you can’t be home,
this is an alternate option for you to have some of your own grown stuff.
So if greens are so good for us, how much should we be eating? How many greens do you
people eat a day? 6 ounces? 1 pounds? 2 pounds? 5 pounds?
– 2 to 3 pounds – From 0 to 3 pounds
– A pound of always the same roots, like 3 to 4 types.
I have a question: They organic juice places in New York have__________ raw and they say
6 pounds of juice. I drink 2 of those but I don’t think it is 6 pounds.
John: Yeah, you’re not getting 6 pounds of leafy greens. It is very strong. A lot juice
places they may not be using a lot of green cause that jacks up their price. They are
probably using a lot of celery and cucumber which adds a lot of juice and lowers their
cost. It is always better to do it yourself obviously.
So based on my research I think we should eat a minimum of 2 pounds of mixed varieties
a day. Keep trying to switch it off. Even if you don’t have anything else but the Whole
Foods you could buy a whole bunch of different varieties and try something new; new greens
that you haven’t eaten before. You may have to start off small; some of the things like
the dandelion that is sold is actually______ but it is closely related to dandelion. You
can try that or escrow or ___________ and all those different ones little by little
to get all those different nutrients in you. I really encourage you guys to support your
local farmers if you aren’t growing your own food, at least they might have more varieties
because at least if they are harvesting it in the morning they could bring it to the
Farmers Market and by then it won’t be wilted, you’ll buy it and a few days later some of
those greens will be wilted. But it is really easy to grow some of your stuff so hopefully
after this talk you’ll be motivated to at least try to grow some yourself. A lot people
say “look John, I got brown thumbs”. My thumbs, they are still not too green. I’ve lost many
plants but one of the things I’ve learned it that to be a success you have to have more
failures than success. So I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded but I just get back
up and keep growing some stuff. You learn as you go. If you’ve been into raw food for
just a period of time, you get on the wagon and then fall off; you figure out I’ve messed
up this time what did I do wrong, lets correct that and move on. You can master the raw food
but you could also really easily master growing food because literary all it takes is the
seed. The seed has and knows everything you need to know. You put it in the ground and
give it some good soil, a little bit of water; not over water or under water, and it knows
what to do. Another gardener that I know; he says people intentionally kill their plants
because if the plant was out there; grass is growing and people are not doing anything.
People are over watering it, not watering it enough, and then they don’t make it. But
it goes out in Nature: it totally thrives and survives. So what we really need to do
is somehow take a handoff approach just give it everything it needs, provide it with the
right conditions and it is going to take off basically
So based on my research I think you should eat a minimum of 2 pounds of mixed leafy greens
a day. How you do you get those into you. Some people might be able to maw into 2 pounds
of greens; chew them and eat them. I probably eat maybe a pound of green at night by myself.
It takes me 2 hours every night to eat my dinner because I chew well. If you don’t chew
well, maybe it will take you half an hour. But then you are not getting optimal digestions.
We’re not setup like a cow that eats grass. but if you do, you really need to masticate
it and chew it really well because our bodies are not designed like other creatures in the
planet to digest and extract the nutrients out of the fibers when they are locked in
the fiber. So chewing by far is the best way to do it; the best and the free way to do
it. But the problem is that most people don’t chew. I hate it when I go to my parents’ house
and my dad is the best example of someone who doesn’t chew well. I got him on a30 day
water fast years ago for his thyroid, and it actually helped his condition. But better
than my dad fasting for 30 days, he went to a fasting clinic called True North in Northern
California. During his 30 day water fast, he got classes from the doctors. One of the
doctors that was there was Dr Rick. The staff gave classes and educated my dad on the right
way to eat. So after he came out of the program, beside just the water fast which is an amazing,
I think what was more important to me was that he made the dietary changes that I had
been telling him for at least 10 years. But you know, he is not going to listen to his
son who he saw in dippers, but he is going to listen to these doctors that are getting
excellent results. But when I go to the house, I wish my dad
would also mix up his diet instead maybe I’ll send him this link to watch this video. He
eats like a spring mix; and that is great, it is better than McDonald. I also strive
and desire everybody to go further. But he’d take his spring mix and shove them in the
mouth; chew, chew, and sallow. So literary if I am sitting across the table from him,
it makes me uneasy to sit next to people that aren’t chewing their food. It is not just
about chewing your food, it is about being conscious when you are eating and not just
unconsciously shoving food in because that is what you’re supposed to do. Aren’t we eating
to get the nutrient out of the food not just to shove it in and then processing it and
have it go out. So, I like to sit and take my time because when you are stressed, you’re
not going to digest well either. I am not like mediating while I am eating. I am one
of the last people to finish eating, I am taking my time, chewing well, enjoying everything,
and taking everything in. My body is in a good place to digest well. And that is especially
important when you’re eating the greens. With the fruit, I still recommend you treat your
fruit well and mix them with your ____________ it is going to digest a lot easier because
we are much better able to digest our fruit specially the leafy greens.
So, eat 2 pounds a day, if you don’t chew, which it is the best way so chew it well.
Some other options that you could do are blending. Actually this morning I blended my little
smoothie here. And in my smoothie I blended a quarter pound micro-greens and some bananas
and some coconut water and papaya. So I’ve been drinking. And that was 64ounces and that
is what I got left. And that is an easy way. Sometimes I’d blend literary a pound, like
a spring mix box of greens into an orange juice or into coconut water and banana, or
whatever fruits you like to do. I really like to keep my ingredients down to less than 4-
5 ingredients at the most whenever I am making something. That way I digest a lot better
so I don’t start throwing everything in the kitchen sink in there because I’ve also made
some nasty things. And in using all your organic produce it tastes nasty; so do I dump it out
or do I hold my nose and drink it. I usually go for the “hold the nose and drink”. Eating
food should be pleasurable and enjoyable; you shouldn’t have to hold your nose.
So if blending is a good way. I talked about this yesterday, while you can blend ; blenders
run at incredibly high RPM like the vitamix runs at 27,000 RPM, that is really fast. Every
time it spins, it creates a vortex that sucks air into the blender that gets it to mix up,
basically. And every time it is pulling air in, it is actually introducing oxygen into
your mixture which is basically oxidizing your food; so if you cut an apple and it turns
brown, well this is happening at very high rate; much more than cutting an apple when
you are blending things. So I always recommend if do you choose to blend, to only blend for
as long as absolutely necessary to get the desired consistency you want. If you over-blend,
you can do extra damage and oxidize some of the important nutrients in the food. But for
example if you take and just blend bananas and some water smoothie; you can blend it
and then drink it, it tastes one way. But if you leave it sit out for about an hour
or 2, you come back to it and then you drink it, it will taste nasty because it is all
oxidized. The other thing that it does also when you are blending and fill it up to here
(to the top), and then you turn on the blender, then when you are done, the blender is not
up to here! Now did you just create food somewhere? No, it put all that air into your blended
mixture, so now there is extra air. Also, when you are drinking it, especially if you’re
drinking fast, you could get belching, burping or gas because of the extra air.
So we got eating, chewing; and don’t forget chewing really well. You get blending. What
else do we have? Juicing is another excellent way to get the nutrients out of the green.
I prefer low RPM juices that run the slowest. Once again, the higher the speed, the more
oxidation and the more nutrients you are potentially and probably losing. But with the lower speed
juicers it is going to do the minimum amount of damage to the vital nutrients and chemicals
that are very important for us. And also it is going to separate the fibers which is something
else that the blender and the juicer does. Some people here might not advocate juicing
because they will say it is processed food because there are no juicers in nature. And
that is completely true, I agree with that. But we all need to make the decisions for
ourselves as to what we feel would be best for us. If you can’t eat 2 pounds and get
it in because it is such a large quantity. I can literally easily juice a pound of green,
take out most of the juice and the nutrients and separate the fibers and drink that. And
literary 32 ounce in mason jar of juice with no problem. There is one pound, it was so
easy to get my 2 pound. If I do it again, there is 2 pounds. You’ll have to keep going
up. It also makes it so much easier for us to digest. I tend to believe if we lived like
200 years ago, we’d have had all those environmental talk. I’d probably be cool with just eating
my food. I don’t think they even invented blenders back then. So I’d have had to eat
my food. And if you do want to juice without a juicer, you can just take your food, chew
it and then just spit the pulp out. It is all liquid. You are the best juicer. You don’t
need to buy a machine but it makes it a lot more convenient.
Something else that I like to do to get my greens, which is really fun, I like to do
grazing. So grazing is not allowed in Whole Foods but it is allowed in my garden if you
are me. I don’t want people coming into my garden going “John, you said grazing in your
garden is cool, man” and just show up and eat stuff. So I just go out a little to my
garden some days, take a break from work and walk outside and just start eating leaves
and greens and tomatoes and bell peppers, or whatever I have. And that to me is the
funniest thing. Now I got the greens growing, I pick it fresh, put it in my mouth ; there
is minimum nutrient loss because it hasn’t been put in a truck, it hasn’t been shipped
for seven days, it hasn’t been under refrigeration. And I can choose which leaves I want to select.
For example, if you are at Whole Foods and you buy kale, you always get the large leaves.
And those leaves when they get older, beside getting bitter when they are shipped, they
also get stronger taste –I don’t want to say bitter, but they get a stronger taste
than when they get more mature. So I’m going out to my garden to graze, I’m going to pick
the baby leaves to eat on the top of the plants and those ones are much tender because the
fiber hasn’t been fully developed and so they are easier to digest.
Now if I am going to be juicing, I am not going to waste my precious baby leaves. I
am going to go down to the bottom of the plant and pick those nice large leaves that may
have some snail holes or bug holes because I am not spraying anything in my garden. And
that is fine because the juicer doesn’t care, it will still juice up the stuff with the
bug holes and then I’ll get the nutrients out of the big leaves. So, that is one way
I like to do it; by grazing. Another way you can include more leafy greens
into your diet is by eating them with fruits. Especially I’ve found that people that have
blood sugar sensitivity; too much sugar, you can take a nice romaine leaf , take a banana,
put it under there and roll it up. Now you’re eating the banana with the greens. So number
1; you’re getting more greens. Number 2: you’re diluting the sugar with extra fiber which
is going to slow down the absorption of that sugar into your blood stream. Sometimes when
I don’t want to be so fancy, I just eat a bite of fruit then eat some greens. For every
bite of fruit, I take 2 bites of green. So then you are getting some dilution now.
The other way; every day I eat large salad at night so during the day, my general diet
is either smoothie juice or whole fruits usually Moderate meals then at night I eat a big salad
and what order is it depends on what I feel like because I am more drawn into eating what
I feel like at the time instead of planning whatever I am going to eat 2 days in advance.
I just buy a ton of produce; I have it all laid out nicely really so I can see what is
going ripe and then I can make the decision. I had this and this and this, this morning
for breakfast; what do you want? What do I feel like? And then I just go for it and eat
it. So the best way to get your greens is to grow
your own. That is by far the best way and it is really easy. Why should you grow your
own? As I talked about it earlier, the taste could change, and the nutrition could go down
within 24 hours of harvesting, up to 50% of certain nutrients can be lost!. And that is
just within 24 hours. There is a study that shows that 60% of flavonoids were lost after
7 days of harvest in broccoli. So most broccoli you buy in the store are 7 days old so now
you’re getting food that is half as nutrient rich as it could be. And people don’t know
this. That is why some people might be on a raw diet and be deficient because they are
eating whole produce once again, if we are modeling nature back 700 years ago, there
was no refrigeration. People would go out and get things fresh; animals always eat their
food fresh. They go to the bush and start chopping away. They don’t but it in refrigerators
and then store it unless it is nuts for the winter. But then the nuts, they store fairly
well. Another reason is that it tastes better. I don’t have to say anything about that.
Another reason is that it costs less money. Sometimes when I visit South Florida; I like
to go to South Florida for the winter, I am not from New York, I am from California. South
Florida is one of the most expensive places I’ve ever been for greens. You go into Whole
Foods in California, the lettuce I think it might be $1.99 a head, but in South Florida
it is 2.99 or 3.99 a pound. That is insane. Growing your own is really inexpensive. You
can go to Walmart- I got kicked out of Walmart actually. They have 20 cents seed package;
not that I recommend growing those seeds but growing 20cents seed packages is better than
going to the Whole Foods and buy minimum 7 day old produce. Obviously they have different
companies that sell heirloom seeds and some of the other varieties that will cost more.
But none the less, you can grow a lot of food for a little bit of money.
Another reason for me it is important to grow food is that now you are able to have much
wider, like almost unlimited varieties. If you go to the store you got: lettuce, and
brassica family for the most part, there are other ones too. But those are the ones that
are cold________ that are would make the shipping Another reason is that you can selectively
harvest the leaves that you want for the task you want to do. So, if I am juicing; I am
picking the big leaves. If I am eating them fresh; I am picking the small baby leaves.
If you go to Whole Foods I guess you have a selection on Bok Choy sometimes you get
the small ones, sometimes you get the large ones. But that is about it. I think that unless
you are buying the micro-green, you might grow green kale on some Whole Food or you
can get the big leaves. But there is no in between. Earth Bound is now selling baby kale
but they are crazy expensive. So harvest tender young leaves; less fibers
and they usually taste better and sweeter. Next I am going to get to the portion where
I am going to talk about some of these different foods that I grew in my garden; also some
fresh ones here and share them with you guys. To let you know some of the varieties and
let you experience some of the taste of them as I send them around you get to taste and
also talk about them a little bit. Some are fresh and some are dried. I actually
brought them from my garden. So the one that I actually grew here was the
sunflower greens. Once again, every different green has its use and usefulness. If I lived
in an apartment, which I’d never choose to do, you can grow something like sprouts in
your kitchen without a patio or anything. I did a video on growing sprouts and there
was a warehouse in South Florida that actually grows sprout in a big warehouse building about
as much light as in here with the florescent light and they are very successful. This is
their business. They have been doing it for many years. Luckily I know the owners so I
actually went in there and filmed a video that takes you step by step to show you guys
and teach you guys how to exactly grow your own sprouts at home. So I am not going to
stand here and give that lecture, but you can go online and see it. It is available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to grow sunflower greens. Also, in that video I talk about growing
other sprouts just in water not in soil. Overall, I prefer the soil grown spout whenever possible
especially if you’re growing it in a good rich compost and adding trace minerals segmentation
to the soil. I think it is very key and very important.
I always recommend whenever you eat something you are growing don’t just go “my sprouts
are ready. I am going to harvest them all”; put then in the fridge then take them out
of the fridge and use them. No, you are going to let them grow till you need them, then
you’re going to harvest them. The next thing we’re going to send around
are red kale micro-greens. Just like the sunflowers that are growing in trays; you can grow micro-greens.
Generally they just need water in little mat. Those are actually red kale micro-green at
the back of the kitchen. I like micro-greens a lot because once again these are the most
tenderous form of the plant. A few of these are not a lot of calories, but they pack some
good nutrients and they are very simple to grow. The problem is; to grow as many micro
greens as this, you need to have a lot of seeds, because every seed only turns into
one leaf. So unless you have unlimited amount of space, I don’t necessarily recommend growing
micro-greens unless you live in apartments. One other thing I do is I let my kale plants
grow up and grow really big and then they grow their seed. They make those green bean-like-paws.
When they are ready, they split open and all the seeds would drop on the land below. And
then next season when the time is right, they’ll sprout automatically. And to me, I can’t have
as many plants growing so close together. So I take my scissors and cut them off and
then I’d harvest my own micro-greens. I didn’t do anything to grow it. They are just there.
And I leave some of them to grow up into full plants for next season. They have a unique
flavor and there are many companies now that are starting mirco-green businesses around
the country, so that is great. But the problem is for some of the micro-greens you are going
to pay like $4 for an ounce or half an ounce, 0.75 of an ounce. It is insane. But you can
easily grow them yourself, they are really good.
The next thing that I am going to pass them around is plantain. Aside from growing your
own food, another way of getting your green is by wild harvesting. I am by no means the
wild harvesting expert; I know a few ____ that get me by. What I’ve done is actually
I went out and wild harvested certain greens and brought back the seeds. This is actually
the seed stock to the plantain. This is a large seedstock and this one is when it is
much younger. And then when these get brown, that is when seeds are mature and you can
take the seeds and take them home to grow. One question that I got at least half a dozen
times since being here is “John, I got rabbits, deer and woodchucks at my house and I tried
to grow lettuce and they always find a way in past my things and eat it. What do I do?”
I say number one: build a better fence. You can build a fence down below the ground and
go higher up and make tighter so they can’t get through it. That is one option. The other
option is outsmart them. How? Surely in your area wherever you live there are wild foods
growing that you can’t eat raw from any bush you can, and I encourage you guys to be 100%
sure before you eat anything; that it is edible. So you need to find a wild_____ person in
your area and go out on a tour with them, and have them show you what it is and actually
collect the seeds when you’re out with them, beside eating it, bring the seeds back to
your garden and plant those things in nutrient rich soil in compost_________. There by you
are planting native things that is out in nature. The animals are not crazy enough to
break through the fence to get the stuff that is already out in nature. But if you are growing
things like lettuce and kale, those are like delicacies to them. They are like schmorgesborg
“there is no lettuce out in nature, but in this garden what I’ve eaten is really good”;
it is like eating durian seed. That is a real treat. So outsmart them instead of growing
food for them. So I want you to notice on some of those leaves,
especially on the larger leaves, there are much more fibers and it can be hard to digest.
I’ve picked some smaller ones here so just maybe try to get a small taste of the small
ones and feel the texture. Now definitely some of the leafy greens can
be very strong tasting even if you are used to it. That is why you want to eat a little
bit this and a whole bunch of romaine if you are not quite used to some of the strongest
of these guys because they are also detoxifying. The next one we’re going to talk about is
buckhorn plantain, that was the common plantain. This is not a good presentation because now
we’re getting to my dehydrated stuff that I grew. The buckhorn plantain is actually
grown in France. It has those little horns or offshoots of the leaf. They are really
good because have the same center thing and it rapidly reseeds. So another thing that
I strive to do when I am growing a garden is that I grow things that I can just grow
once and it will actually grow a seed, drop the seed and then they’ll come back automatically.
So I really like a garden that would do that for me every year so that one day I’d wake
up and the gardens is growing without me even planting anything. And I am getting there.
It has to be a long process. But this is something that I’ve actually that had reseeded on its
own. This one is really fun. It is called red-veined
sorrel. These leaves look amazing when they are fresh. When they are dry they still look
pretty cool. It looks kind of decorative. This has a nice lemony flavor. And I’ve found
that the best use of these is when they are– the youngest. They are the tastiest when they
are fresh. When they get older they are not quite as good because they get a bit strong.
But I like to juice them. It adds a nice lemony flavor to my juice. The thing that I found
that was cool—I was actually doing a recipe contest on-line. I actually dehydrated some
of them instead of using kale to make my kale chips, I dehydrated red variegated sorrel
chips. And you can do that. You don’t have to make kale chips or leafy green chips with
kale. You can use any of these greens that you have, so iff you don’t have kale make
plantain chips or whatever you want to do. Or just dehydrate the leaves and eat them
without any of the high____ sauces that they put on there. When you dehydrate them, they
actually get very salty, so then you don’t have to use salt to make it taste good. You
can just dehydrate this and it tastes salty on its own. And this one is another one that
really reseeds readily really well. The next one is called the New Zealand spinach.
It does have a fairly high levels of oxalates so some people like it, some don’t. I recently
had a visitor from Brazil visit me in my place. I gave her a tour in my garden and made a
video on that. And she said if you go to Brazil in the market, this gets sold as spinach.
So if you buy spinach it is this stuff. Because Brazil is tropical so they have a hard time
growing the cold-weather spinach that we know. But they have no problem growing this. And
this is another thing that grows for me year round with no problem although I don’t eat
it too often. But I have friends and visitors who come over and they love those stuff
Next is a plant that I really love. If you live in South Florida there is no reason you
shouldn’t be growing this. This will grow year round in South Florida in a big long
vine; you can transcend it over a big fence and it will just take over. It makes these
nice purple berries that are definitely__________ and I eat as many as I can. I spit the seeds
out so that they’ll grow next year. It will stain your skin. If you’re a lady and want
to you to do makeup, you can actually break them open and they be a nice purplish color
that you can put on your eyes for an eyeliner. But I like the leafy greens because they are
suckily and leafy green; you’re not going to get that texture because I dehydrated them.
Their texture is maybe different from the other ones I passed around because this is
really like a succulent type leaf and it just tastes so good when they are fresh. So that
is tropical so in a place like Hawaii or South Florida they’ll grow year round, no problem.
Unless you get a freeze one of these years otherwise grow them in the summer time and
this is another plant that I’ve grown. You have to give it a place to vine up or a fence
to grow up and it can grow up really tall. And it produced leaves for you throughout
the whole summer. It starts growing pretty slowly but then it gets established it takes
off. It is called malabar spinach. I’ve written the name on every plate.
The next one is really fun. It is called edible chrysanthemum. So many people know the Chrysanthemum
flower, but there are certain varieties of chrysanthemum where you can eat the flower
and also the leaves; this maybe available at a local Asian market near you. So while
our culture really will eat lettuce, kale, and bok choy, other Asian cultures have different
greens because of their environment. In the tropics there are different things with their
different weather pattern than we have here. If you go to most Asian markets they should
have edible chrysanthemum. So that is another way if you don’t choose, and I highly encourage
you to choose to grow your food or a portion to it, you can go to Asian markets to even
open up a wider varieties of greens that Whole Foods won’t have. Obviously they probably
won’t be organic but at least you’re going to get a wider variety and that is a good
thing. The other thing I want to talk about really
quickly is on those guys, the leaves are really small so what happens when the plant starts
to grow the leaves are really large because now the leaves are basically pulling in nutrients
to allow the plant to grow bigger. And as the plant gets bigger, then it goes through
its life cycle. As it goes on, the plant is into its reproductive cycle. It is in the
growth cycle, then its reproductive cycle it is working on making the flowers which
I also encourage you guys, besides your leafy greens, to eat a good portion of edible flowers
every day. They are very high in anti-oxidants; another virto-chemical and vitro-nutrients
that may or may not have been researched. They have been official _____ for example
I know specifically in the marigolds they have zeaxanthin and lutein. And if you go
down to the health food store, you can buy a bottle of zeaxanthin and lutein extract
from the marigolds flowers. Why should we buy bottles of pills when we can eat the flowers
and get those nutrients. The problem is most Americans are not eating their flowers to
get the nutrients, so their eyes are jacked up because they are on a diet that is really
poor in anti-oxidants so now they are taking supplements. But if you eating the right food
then you don’t need any supplements. So with that you can eat the flower on the
edible chrysanthemum and at this point right now, my plant is in its flowering stage. Once
it goes to flower, the next stage it makes new seeds so I can save them to grow them
next year. So you can make a onetime seed investment, grow it to maturity, harvest those
seeds and save them for next year and even having appendence of extra seeds that you
can sell or give to friends so then more people can grow their food and that plants actually
puts off a lot of seeds. But when it goes to seed the plant gets more bitter. Some people
say “when the plant goes to seed, don’t eat the greens anymore” because they are too bitter
and probably there are other properties in there ____the plants is really focused the
seed instead of the greens. I don’t really have a problem with eating the seeds. I also
go and eat what is desirable to me. So I go to my garden and taste one of everything and
go “ok, what did I like the best? What am I really needing right now?” well that one
tasted really good so I am going back to eat malabar spinach and not the other things.
But I always like to give my body the chance and the opportunity to figure out what it
wants. This one is a strong one so you have to be
really careful. So I don’t recommend chopping off a whole leaf; maybe take just one little
leaf of the whole cluster. I was really concerned I was going through the TSA. When you look
at this leaf you may look like some other medicinal herbs that I actually don’t grow.
And if you look at the plant it actually looks kind of similar if you don’t know what you’re
looking at. But this is Watercress and this is the first year I am growing it. I don’t
know if I consider it a leafy green. It is kind of more of an herb. For me herbs and
leafy greens, it is kind of a cloudy line. Like for me, for many people they consider
cilantro or parsley an herb, right? For me I consider them leafy greens because I go
out to my garden and harvest a whole big bowl of cilantro or parsley and that is my salad
for the night. Many people won’t do that because for them it is a flavor. This one is definitely
more of a flavor for me because I haven’t eaten a whole bowl of it; it gets too strong.
One of my favorite things to do is to do a dressing in my blender and have it in a bowl
then walk out to my garden and take a leaf of whatever; dip it in my salad dressing and
eat it. I can sit there at one plant eating leaves of the same plant or go around to different
ones. That is the best way to eat a salad in my opinion. I actually have a really good
video where I do and you can see how much fun I have. They use it in South America kind
of like we would use cilantro as a spice or flavor and not as a whole meal.
The next one is one that I also started growing this year. It is called stradolo. It is another
unique and rare. It is actually hard to find the seed for these guys. It is a green from
Italy. They use this in Italian culture and it is green fresh. It is going to taste a
fraction of what it does fresh. Because we took all the water out, it is all fibers,
it has no flavor. But fresh, it is pretty much a nice chewy leafy green that doesn’t
have a flavor either way; you can use it like lettuce. And that one rapidly goes to seed.
It also makes those beautiful flowers that you can also eat.
The next one we’re going to talk about is called _______. This is another one from Europe.
I like this a lot and really you’re not getting the full experience because it doesn’t look
like this on the plant. Have you seen how coral looks like a wose with the little things
going everywhere? That looks like this but imagine the corals is just blades of grass
now and it just spreads out. And this is a cool plant because it can be grown in sandy
and salty soils. So say you have a lot of salt content in your soil—you live in South
Florida near the beach and you can’t grow anything else; this is going to grow really
well. The other unique thing about it is that it is also kind of a salty plant because it
can’t tolerate the salt it actually pulls the salt and the minerals into it and it tastes
really good. I really like to put the sprigs of this on my meals, into my salad and sometimes
I just sit there and eat it. You can look at my Youtube channel; you can actually see
the plant growing. And this is another plant that actually has a short viability of the
seeds from what I hear; it is the first year that I grow it. And once again it is slow
to start growing but once it did it is a full bush now and right now it is about flowering
and I am going to have a bunch of seeds so I don’t know how they are going to do next
year. I am really excited about this plant; another unique plant.
The last one I am going to talk about is probably my favorite. I’ve saved the best for last.
I like to do that. This one is called Egyptian spinach. I talked earlier about the ANDI scoring
system, I said kale is the most nutritious thing on the ANDI scoring system, and I’ll
bet you dollars to ______ that if this was scored, it would be over a 1000; it is that
important. But nobody knows about it so I’ll read a couple of statistics. So Egyptian spinach;
also known as molokhiya, is known as the king of vegetables. Its carotene contents are 4.6
times more than spinach and 19 times more than broccoli. Its calcium contents are 9
times more than spinach and 10 times more than broccoli. Even vitamin B1 and B2 are
5 times more compared to spinach. It contains much more vitamin E, C, potassium, iron, and
other vegetable fibers than any other vegetables. This stuff is really cool. And how I learned
about this is a unique story. So every year I go to the Health Food Industry tradeshow,
it is mostly all supplements and I have a few videos where I actually do review the
tradeshow and one of them was this package food product called Eat Your Vegetables. I
took the pack, I dropped it and I kind of stomped on it. If you want to eat your vegetables
don’t have some packaged crap; eat your real vegetables. Occasionally I do find some cool
products and I am able to teach others about those products and I do put those in my videos
every year when I go to them. But one year I went there and there was a booth from Japan
selling these little tablets; they are like little green tablets. Every booth I am always
curious about what it is, if it is something that could be applicable to me or not. They
give those pamphlets it shows the nutritious compared to kale and it was off the charts.
So asked them what it was, and it was the Egyptian spinach. They grew the Egyptian spinach,
then dehydrated it, then powdered it in little tablets that you can eat now. Because that
is the way we’re suppose to get out food, right! In little tablets! So I was so excited;
I learned about this. I was like Wow! I have to learn what that thing is and I have to
start growing it myself, because once again we want to go back to nature. If there is
something in a bottle; how did it get into the bottle, what is it derived from? What
don’t we just get the real food? So I started growing it. This is my third year of growing
this now. It is a really cool plant. Once again, you’re not going to get the same exact
flavor, but it has a very mild flavor and it is so delicious fresh. Hopefully you guys
get that when it is dry. That is how I learned about it in the trade show because it was
so nutritious. But you know me; instead of sitting here and selling you bottles, I am
telling you to grow your own food, because truly it can’t get better than this.
Now you’ve tasted all the different things that I’ve brought. I see that some of them
are quite____ better than others. That is good; you are getting to know what they taste
like. And once again, they taste different when they are fresh because I took all the
water out. These are also new food to you so you’re introducing yourself to new food
so whether it is during here and you have joined for the first time and you have to
start slow and kind of work out till you get used to it. Everybody is also going to have
their individual preferences. Let’s say you want to grow some of these things,
how do you do it? The easiest thing that I recommend is that you start with a raised
bed garden. For raised bed garden you simply take a couple of pieces of lumber, I’d say
a minimum of 6 inches. You cut them to 4 feet long. If you don’t have a saw don’t do that,
just go to a Home Depot and buy some wood and say cut that to 4 feet. You can buy some
2x6s or 2x8s.They’ll cut it for you there. You take it home and put a couple of screws
or nails; I recommend screws, to make a little box. Once you got that box you’re just going
to fill with a mixture of things like compost, vermiculite, coconut, peat moss; 1/3 each.
That is a standard ____ mix out of the Square Foot Gardening book. You’re going to buy a
book about gardening, I recommend you get that book as a beginner; it will take you
through everything you need to know. Then you’re going to start planting it. Basically
how you do is you segment the 4×4 foot garden to 16 squares; each square is one specific
planting area. And in one square you can plant one pepper plant or in one square you can
plant 6 bok choy plants because they don’t need as much space as bell peppers. Or you
can plant like 10 radishes. You can grow the radishes for the root but there are some varieties
of radishes; the greens are actually quite editable and delicious. So I’ve also researched
a lot of the different plants like radishes to grow radishes for specifically the greens.
Actually there are some turnips that actually make them amazing tasting green that actually
aren’t too strong but it doesn’t make any turnip roots into the ground because I am
more interested in eating the leaves than the roots although I do eat the roots but
not many; there isn’t a lot of roots that you can eat raw although I have a video on
my favorite ones online: daikon,__________ and Chinese_______, which are 3 _____ that
are really mild flavored. daikon is fairly sweet; they call it earth apple. In general
I don’t eat a lot of _____ but it takes up some space. There are different varieties
of radishes that you can grow specifically for the greens and daikon is not one of them.
So if you can’t make a 4 foot by 4 foot raised bed then another easy way to do it is to get
half a wine barrel or half a whiskey barrel. You want a barrel or a container or a pot
that hass actually really nice wide surface area. It doesn’t have to be deep; just 6 inches,
maybe 12 inches if you are growing carrots. But 6 inches is plenty for most things. And
you want to have a lot of surface areas so you can plant and fill in as many plants as
you can because each plant is going to produce food for you. But you don’t want to pack them
too tightly because the plants need some room to move their elbows. And that is a container
if you have a patio or you are in an apartment, if you don’t have space to put a nice large
container. Let’s talk about the requirements of the plant. Mainly plants need a few things;
they need good nutritious soil to grow in, they need some water, and one of the most
important things is sunlight. If you have a really shady spot, then you don’t want to
plant any kind of fruiting crops; like cucumber, tomatoes, and peppers, anything that makes
a fruit; that takes up full sun to do. You can do it in some shades but you’ll get poor
results and I’d not waste your time. You’d want to grow more leafy greens or herbs. You
can have a herb garden in your window cell or the kitchen. Or grow some leafy greens
because those are the plants that are going to do well in more or little light conditions.
Another thing I strive to do in my personal garden is that I want to grow things that
I can be really good at and that is going to save me a lot of money. Of course I am
talking about much kale is and it is really expensive. I can easily grow 6 leaves of kale
and I am saving like 3.99 or 2.99 depending on where you live and how much it costs. 2
carts of strawberry in California is $3, but to grow that many strawberries takes a lot
more space to do that. So I am going to buy my strawberry and grow my leafy greens. I
am going to grow things that are really productive for me and just buy some other things that
are a bit more challenging. For example, celery while I do grow, celery it is a crop that
takes a really long time to maturity. I buy celery but I also grow some. It is a lot better
for me to grow greens instead of celery because I know I am going to use those a lot more
and celery; I’ll juice the whole head and boom in one juice and if I am growing it,
I won’t have enough. But I can easily grow enough leafy greens to keep me satisfied.
So if you can’t grow in a container or a raised bed, then the next way is in the trays. You
can easily grow in trays like this the green sprout, the mirco-greens and you can also
do standered sprouting which I also consider leafy greens. So those are the ways to grow
and how to do it. I’ve showed you guys the unique things I’ve brought so hopefully it’d
open your eyes to the wider varieties that there are and hope they also encourage you
to just go home and start growing something; you’re just going to start sprouting today.
I have a lot of videos for support to show you guys how to do it .And at this point I’d
like to take any questions. So the question is: do you have something
that you can just plant once and it just keeps growing and you keep taking leaves and leaves.
Many crops as I talked about earlier, you have to plant once and it actually goes through
its life cycle and it goes to seed. And when it goes to seed it pretty much doesn’t put
off any leaves anymore. So you got to start all over. But there are many Perennial crops
and I have many specific videos on them; it is actually one of my biggest areas of interest.
Much like__________ if you plant it once, it is going to live for a long time and continue
to give you fruit every year. Unfortunately vegetables aren’t set to do that; most of
them anyways. So if you do live in a tropical area, there are many tropical editable vegetables.
I have a video where I go to Echo in South Florida; Four Miles are where I show some
of those and you can grow those in the summer time and put them in pots and take them out
in the summer and in winter you can take them in. You may have to put some into lighting
because once again, they are tropical plants, they like it warmer, humid and they like some
sun. So you may need to put them in the winter and take them out in the summer, and I’d probably
not harvest them a lot in the winter when they are not getting as much sunlight as they
should. For those of us not lucky enough to live in
Hawaii or South Florida, there are only a few plants that I found to be true Perennials
one of which is my favorite is called the Perennial tree collards so these are tree
collards that you plant once and it grows up to like 15 feet tall and it is really growing
like a tree; the stock or the steam is like that thick and I can just go out any day of
the week and just harvest leaves. In the summer time I get _____ and ________ but it doesn’t
grow as much because it really likes the cooler temperature. But in winter time, it really
puts out a lot of leaves and it is actually quite sweet and delicious. And it is fairly____
so it grows in Las Vegas and even in summer like now in Las Vegas it is doing great provided
my redundant watering system is going off everyday
Other than that beside the Perennial that you only plant once; for me I always considered
Perennial if you like plant them once and they go through their lifecycle , they drop
seed and then they reseed. So the red vein sorail for example; you plant it once it grows
into a little plant and it is making leaves the whole time and what happens it grows the
seeds, it drops seeds, and by that time it grows through its life cycle but the roots
don’t put out new baby shoots so I just cut off the old stuff and it is still growing.
So it is kind of the same plant but not on a full tree. So if you have areas where you
grow certain crops, they can reseed their own and still produce for you without having
to replant. So I am currently in the research and I am doing a lot of experiences like that.
Maybe one day I’ll have a video specifically on that cause I know it is an important subject
to me and also to other people who don’t want to have to spend a lot of time in their garden.
The next question is about wild editable and how they are really strong because they are
growing in nature and they have to deal with nature and the animals eating them and maybe
the soil conditions which are maybe good or maybe bad and if that is something that I
want to include more of in my diet. So I think number one the genetics of wild
food is actually really good because they’ve had to survive out in nature and they have
had adaptations to survive. And some of the adaptations end up in the form of anti-oxidants
and nutrients that are good for us. On the same token; I don’t want to spend my life
wild harvesting stuff because that could be a pain and also wild harvesting; hopefully
the soil is good where you are harvesting the food, you’re not out on Brooklyn and picking
dandelion greens from the side walk cracks. But even though you’re in nature, you still
don’t know the quality of the soil. Does it have the whole speck of minerals that the
soil should have or is that_____ de-mineralized because of all the rain and all the erosions
,what does it have, which composts. Plants could survive in many different conditions.
We survive in big cities on junkfood, does that mean it is the best! What I strive to
do is to get the genetics from the wild, bring the seeds back into my garden and grow them
in what I know is nutritious rich soil and compost and all the other beneficial host
of micro-organisms in the soil and then eat them. So that is really what I am after instead
of just wild forging. And once again wild forging is way better than probably going
to your Farmers Market or anything else that most people can do. But you can do better
than that; getting wild genetics and growing it under your specific conditions to have
the highest quality food The first question of this part is do I recommend
a place for the seeds sources. I do have a video online it has my top 5 favorite seed
sources. I’ll name my top 2 because those stuck in my head and those are the ones where
you’ll find the widest varieties. But even yet some of these crops that I’ve shown you
today, the seeds may not be available at those 2 sources because I had to go to some weird
places in Italy and I had to mail-order some seeds to get them back to me. No one seed
seller has all the seeds in the world. So the 2 ones that I recommend are rareseeds.com
they have over 1400 varieties of different seeds that are heirloom and open pollinated.
If you are really into growing heirloom there is going to be an upcoming heirloom expo in
Santa Rosa California coming up in September 11th ,12th ,13th. You can visit the website
theheirloomexpo.com or you can search for the heirloom expo. I am going to be there.
I’ll be speaking there about growing stuff. I’ll also have some of my tree collards for
sale I was there last year; I made a video on it as well. There is going to be over 3000
different varieties of heirloom crops there. There is going to be also The California Rare
Fruit Growers. They’ll be having their annual meeting there; or their annual conference
there integrated into it. So they’ll be giving some farm tools and farm tours and also they
will also have a big large display of all those different variaties of apples; it is
kind of different fruits that you probably never seen before. They won’t let you taste
it but they’ll show you. The second one that I recommend is bountifulgardens.org ; they
are like a nonprofit and they have a lot pf the ones that are pretty rare as well.
The last part of your question was regarding soil sedimentation and what I recommend. I
mainly recommend growing in good organic compost. Compost quality can vary widely. The stuff
that I get in California is different than the bagged stuff you’re going to get at the
Home Depot. So once again you have to do the best you can. So I recommend using trace minerals
sedimentation; whether using rockdust under the brand name___ of azomite or _______ which
I use. They can actually be very difficult to get. If you go to _______ to buy it and
ask for it, they’ll look like you’re crazy because they have no clue that it is. Most
of the time you won’t be able to find so you can get something like Ocean Solution or Ocean
Grown; it is basically seawater that comes in a bottle that you can dilute down and feed
your plants with, and that is another source. If you go to my Youtube channel and search
for rockdust you’ll see a whole bunch of videos where I talk about the alternatives. So the
microbes that you put in your plants; there is a company called Plants Excess; I like
their products a lot. And those you have to actually go to ___ to buy or buy them online.
And that is just a mixture of ____________Also it has a very wide spectrum of beneficial
bacteria for your soil. I hope you guys enjoyed this clip; learning
more about the 9 different leafy greens that I’ve brought from my house plus some of the
ones that I harvested locally. I definitely want to share with you guys that people undoubtedly
really liked the Egyptian spinach. Everybody, or most people came up to my and said “I love
that Egyptian spinach. I am going to start growing it” so if you guys are not already
growing Egyptian spinach, I highly encourage you to grow that leafy green plus many of
the other ones that I grew to see if they are going to do well in your area. I had a
lot of fun at the Woodstock Fruit Festival and if you are interested in eating a diet
rich in fruits and vegetables you have to come to the Woodstock Fruit Festival 2013.
You can visit the woodstockfruitfestival.com for further information.

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