Tips from Vancouver's Earthbites school gardening and nutrition program
This Earth Day, EarthBites founder and Rocky Mountain Flatbread owner Suzan Fielden is encouraging families to reduce their carbon footprint and eat local. "It's fun for the kids to send them outside to pick some fresh kale and herbs from your garden for their school lunches and salad bowls each night," she says. "Or you can make a smoothie with spring greens for a healthy delicious snack."
Holistic nutritionist Brendan Young adds there are great nutritional benefits. "Spring greens help you detox from toxins that build up in our bodies."
Here's a Quick Guide on how to grow greens
- Prepare your containers or beds with nutrients for healthy growth. When growing in containers, make sure you use 3/4 potting soil and 1/4 sea soil (organic fertilizer that can be bought at any home hardware store). Add a good few inches of organic fertilizer to beds. Plants need essential minerals and nutrients to grow (just like us) and spring greens need a lot of nitrogen.
- For instant gratification, pick up a few starter veggies (lettuce, kale or arugula). Spring herb starter plants are great too (parsley, cilantro, mint). Easy spring seeds include radishes, snap peas, and spinach—just follow the instructions on the back. Make sure you do not plant the seeds too far down. Beet and radish sprouts are great too—just scatter slightly and lightly cover with soil. The sprouts will be ready to harvest in 2 to 3 weeks.
- Keep the soil evenly moist. If it hasn't been raining, water your containers or beds at least two to three times a week.