7 Edible Plants You Can Grow In Pots To Support Your Immune System
GUEST POST BY NICOLA CHATHAM.
Before I had 1.5acres to play with, I grew food in pots down the back-steps of the house I was renting. And I ate a whole salad from my little garden at least every other day.
The satisfaction of eating home grown food only increased when friends came to visit. I adored saying, “I grew that!” pointing at the lettuce, rocket, baby spinach and herbs. It was a great game for this ‘achiever-type’ personality to play.
Now, I’m revisiting those balcony growing days as I prepare to teach a new online gardening course called ‘Grow Organic Food in Pots’. My newly painted (green, purple and pink!) balcony has been transformed in to an edible flower and herbal smorgasbord.
Drawing from my personal experience, I want to share with you the top 7 edible plants you can grow in pots to support your health and immune systems (& that taste delicious as well!)
What once was used for decorating smorgasboards, has become the focal point of many a healthy salad, juice and meal!
Full of vitamins and minerals, kale is one of the most nutritious greens you can grow and eat. I love the flavour and add it to pretty much everything, including my eggs in the morning. It can sometimes be difficult to find the seedlings in stores, however, so you may like to sprinkle some organic seeds from Green Harvest or Eden seeds into the pot you want to grow them in, then thin them out by eating the tiny shoots until you have a pot with a lovely green crew-cut that will continue to grow into tall, living, (edible!) sculptures.
2. Lemon Thyme
I seriously just about have kittens every time I use lemon thyme in my salad. It has a flavour all its own. Smokey. Yet zingy. I love it. A few sprigs of lemon thyme will transform the whole flavour of your salad and lift it to a new dimension.
I recently bought a variegated variety of lemon thyme, with lovely mottled green and cream leaves, which sits beautifully in my little window box. Beauty, flavour and health. Gotta love that.
When I grew spinach in pots in Brisbane, it only ever remained baby spinach before it ended up on my plate. I love the tender leaves when they are young, and provided I kept feeding the plants with liquid fertiliser (such as worm wee and liquid seaweed) they kept producing new leaves for up to six months. After a while I simply sprinkled fresh seeds on another pot of soil and watered gently until the following generation grew up to replace the grandparents.
Popeye has given us all a pretty good idea of how healthy spinach is, so I don’t think there’s a need to go into that here
4. Rocket (or, for our American friends, Arugula!)
If you like a little bit of bite to your salad, rocket has you covered. Its unique peppery taste makes lettuce seem quite bland in comparison. Gorgeous with an olive oil and balsamic dressing (or apple cider vinegar for optimum health benefits!), rocket makes an appearance on my plate usually at lunch and dinner.
When I was growing rocket in pots at the rental house, I’d treat it the same way as spinach. Harvesting the leaves while they were still small (like, say around 7cm long) and mixing them with the baby spinach leaves. This formed the green base of most of my salads, wraps and garnishes. Then, when they were getting a bit long in the tooth, I’d simply sprinkle fresh seeds onto another pot of soil and let the young grandkids take over.
Easy to grow. Loved by many. High in vitamin C. Versatile. Delicious. Enough said.
If you love herbal tea, do yourself a favour and grow fresh common mint in a pot. When I started drinking mint tea at my friend’s house, she’d mix in a tablespoon of sugar per person to the teapot which was stuffed full of mint leaves, as they do in Morocco. But I’m not a big fan of too much sugar, so I experimented at home without sweetener. And you know what? Mint leaves, fresh from the garden, have a natural sweetness all of their own! There’s no need to even add honey.
When I’m trying to impress visitors and motivate them to grow some of their own organic food, I make them a fresh cup of mint tea. So far I’ve converted dozens of people into gardeners all over Australia. My mission? The world! Lol.
7. Gotu Kola
This plant is one of my favourites for reducing inflammation in the body, alkalising and supporting my immune system. It actually grows like a weed where I live, but I don’t complain. I eat the leaves raw and fresh every day in salads or straight off the plant and with each mouthful I can feel it supporting my health. Plus, it tastes pretty good too. Think of how green grass tastes, and that’s pretty much how Gotu Kola tastes. But in a good way!
You can check out this video I made extolling the virtues of Gotu Kola with my friend Dee Humphreys, sharing how it has helped both of us get rid of chronic back pain. If you’re in Australia, you can order Gotu Kola online and have it shipped to you from Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm.
Want to learn more about how to Grow Organic Food in Pots?
Check out my FREE video ‘The 5 Secrets to Growing Abundant Organic Food in Pots’ to celebrate the launch of my new online course, Grow Organic Food in Pots. There are tons of other herbs and greens I love, but those seven listed above are a great start. Not only for their flavour, but also their health benefits.
Do you grow food in pots? What have you had success with and what makes your heart sing? Share your experience in the comments below
Have a beeaauutiful day Wellness Warriors!
Positive affirmation for the day: Amazing things are brewing in my world right now.
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