Fruits and Vegetables

Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

It is a proven, indisputable fact, how healthy and essential it is for fruits and vegetables to exist in abundance in our diet.  Unfortunately, most store-bought produce is already days, and even weeks old after it arrives the grocery store, and is usually not vine-ripened.  This is why one of the best options is to grow your own garden produce!  You will discover and experience most delightful flavors, unlike anything you could ever experience with conventional store-bought produce!

Additionally, if you have proper soil, you will maximize your nutritional content in your food!  With organic, wholesome fertilizing, you can create a serving which will provide you with up to 100% or more of the U.S. recommended daily allowance of certain vitamins and minerals, as opposed to only a minuscule percentage via conventional produce.

By the time you purchase a fruit or vegetable and take it home, you do not really know how old it is, or when it was severed from the vine.  This long delay significantly breaks down the nutritive value and flavor of the produce.  If it is severed from the vine before being fully ripe, the healthy, essential sugars will not be present, and the flavor will be quite bland.  Many savvy, health-conscious consumers also do not like the pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides used by commercial growers.  Not to mention, the genetically modified (GMO) and/or genetically engineered (GE) produce widely offered in typical supermarkets is now actually banned in many other countries, due to scientific research which shows some staggering, debilitating health consequences  from certain GMO’s.

In addition to being less healthy, they can also be quite expensive.  You can save a considerable amount of money by growing them in your own backyard.  If you use organic gardening and classic seedlings, you can provide a very highly nutritious, extremely delicious, and pure food source for you and your family.  After all that, you will also be making your garden and landscaping efforts look beautiful and unique with the different colors and varieties of healthy fruit- and vegetable-producing plants available.

Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy, organically grown fruits and vegetables offer so many benefits.  How important is your health?  We would all agree, it is most universally important!  With your own organically grown, fresh produce, you will be maximizing the nutritional content of your food, and in turn for the well-being of your very life.  For example, young, organic greens (baby lettuces, kale, etc.,) can have up to 20 times the nutrition as fully matured produce as fully mature ones.  They are actually “SUPER FOODS”!  Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.  Eating them reduces the risk of chronic disease, may prolong your life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t.

Some superfoods are organic, vine grown tomatoes, blueberries and other berries, kale, baby greens, greens and more greens (!), black beans, broccoli, avacados, cucumbers, sprouts, and more.  The taste you will find to be most delightful!   To really enhance the mineral and nutritive content of your garden produce, use fire place ash or wood chips in your garden soil.  These have a more complete mineral profile, as opposed to synthetic, commercial fertilizers, which usually only contain potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus.  New studies have shown some of these chemical fertilizers to have radioactive elements as well, which can cause cancer and serious damage to cells they come into contact with.

Edible Landscape – Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit trees, especially citrus, are very popular in the Phoenix Valley of the Sun.  We have a very long growing season, (Phoenix is in USDA plant hardiness zone 9) and the low desert zone enjoys warm winters, followed by wonderful springtime temperatures and then hot summers.  These types of trees add beauty to any residential garden.   Some will take a while to grow, such as apple or orange trees, while others will be ready within a season.  Certain fruit trees require a certain amount of chilling hours to produce fruit, and since we do not consistently get enough cold winter weather to meet the requirements for these particular fruit trees you may find only in other parts of the country with more frigid winter seasons.  You will, however, find varieties of peaches, apricots and apples that grow well here.  Also, you can find figs, pears, persimmons, plums, quince, grapes, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries and pomegranates are other fruits that can be grown here.  Of course, the choice is completely up to you with what you grow.  These will add even more beauty to your landscape, as well as provide you a larger variety of edible produce.  Think of it as an “edible landscape!”

 

Vegetable producing plants also are very popular in our climate zone.  Since the majority of vegetables grow underground, it offers the chance to create raised, or slightly elevated gardens.  With a beautiful, defined border, this will allow you to keep your vegetable patches separate from your other landscape features.  We recommend mineral-rich organic soil, so your produce offers you the maximum health benefits.

Some of the fruits and vegetables work better for certain times of the year.  There are certain types that have a “season”, such as the summer for when strawberries are produced while grapes are considered to be more of a fall or winter fruit.  Their preferred season is when they will grow best, and is something that you need to consider.  We have two growing seasons here in the Valley of the Sun gardens – the cool season and the warm season.  For a range of optimal dates, see University of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s Vegetable Platig Calendar for Maricopa County, ag.arizoa.edu/pubs/garden/az1005.pdf.  Just about everything delectable grows here, with few exception.

Plants with edible fruits are warm-season crops, such as corn, cucumber, eggplant, jicama, melons, okra, peppers, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes.

Plants with edible leaves, stems and roots are cool-season crops, such as beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, carrots, onions, parsnips, radishes, salad greens turnips and peas.

In summary, having fruits and vegetables growing in your garden offers beauty and attractiveness to your landscape design, significant money savings on produce, and will make you so much healthier!