Grow Your Own Superfoods

Growing your own super foods at home is a great way to fuel the soul, both inside and out. Super foods are crops - fruits, grains or vegetables that have a high concentration of nutrients, anti-oxidants and minerals.

5 Superfoods to Grow at Home:

Goji berries

  • Are exceptionally high in antioxidants. They also contain high levels of beta-carotene, vitamins B1 and B2, minerals and amino acids. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicine they are reputed to strengthen the immune system, help eyesight, protect the liver and improve circulation.
  • Planting Tip: The plant forms a small shrub, plant in spring, summer or autumn and harvest berries when ripe.

Quinoa

  • This ancient grain, is one of the best whole grains you can eat as its high in protein, fibre and a good source of iron. It also has high levels of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Planting Tip: Sow seeds in spring directly in the garden, scattering them on top of the soil is fine too as they readily germinate. It is a taller crop, maturing to 90cm-110cm – so give it plenty of room. (Image: quinoa temuco)

Spinach

  • Packed full of iron, high levels of potassium and calcium; it’s a good source of fibre. It also contains beta carotene, folate (naturally occurring folic acid) and vitamin C. Spinach is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which helps out those people who are not so fond of fish oil.
  • Planting Tip: Being a hardy crop it can be grown all year round.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin c (better than oranges) it has more vitamin A than most other foods and it also a good source of bone-building vitamin K. Plus it’s full of fibre as well. Did you know the leaves and stalks can be eaten as well? Grate or chop into salads, soups and slaws.
  • Planting Tip: Sow seeds in spring, autumn and winter, seedlings can be planted all year round.

Kale

  • Is a green leafy member of the cabbage family. It is a ‘super food’ because it is high in vitamins A, K and C. On the mineral side it is a brilliant source of manganese, magnesium, and calcium. Some nutritionists say that it is almost a complete protein. It also has excellent levels of tryptophan which helps make the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin.
  • Planting Tip: Seeds and plants can be grown all year round.

Planting: Tips and Tricks

Choose a position in full sun in the garden to plant your super foods. The more sun your crop gets will help ensure its ability to flourish and feed you.

Prepare soil by digging in Tui Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets. To complete the soil preparation add in a good reliable fertiliser like Tui Vegetable Food or Tui Novatec Premium - these fertilisers both provide the necessary nutrients the plants need.

Sow seeds in trays of Tui Seed Raising Mix and transplant once seedlings are about finger size. Limit transplant shock and speed up the growing process by applying the seaweed based plant tonic Seasol. Watch out for slugs, snails and birds, lay pellets of Tui Quash Slug and Snail Stoppa to prevent the munch bunch from attacking. And cover crops with netting while birds are hanging around.

All these crops appreciate regular and effective watering, water stress is one of the most common reasons for crop failure, too much or too little water can be fatal. Deep watering every few days is better than a light sprinkle every day. To optimise water usage, blend in Saturaid at planting time to enable the soil to hold onto more moisture.

By Rachel Vogan.

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Grow Your Own Superfoods Comments

  • So glad to know you cangrow goji and qinoa . I also want to know if you can buy stevea sugar plant. Thanks, Debbie

    Debbie Patel

  • Hi Debbie, stevia is widely available from garden centres, but it is frost tender so may not be available until after labour weekend. It is also available from Kings Seeds. Thanks! Gemma (Tui Team)

    gemma

  • I can grow Quinoa but how do I get the seeds clean? Is there a husk that needs to be removed? Regards Barbara

    Barbara

  • Hi Barbara, dry the seed, strip them off the stem once they are dry, and push them through a fine sieve with the mesh big enough for the seed to fall through. Some may need to be rubbed to get through. Thanks, Tui Team

    jenna