starting the spring growing season at home

Let’s Spring into the Growing Season!

Melanie Communications

By Mélanie Préfontaine-Darius, Communications

Spring is the purification season, as we typically eat more fresh foods, especially greens, and take in more liquids. Start each day with some stretching exercises and 2 glasses of purified water, 1 with half a fresh lemon squeezed into it. This is a good time to lighten the diet and get things in proper perspective for the year; clean up all areas of your life and make new plans. It’s also a perfect time to give your workspace a fresh look; get rid of the congestion around you, hang a plant nearby to clean the air and get started on those projects that you will reap the harvest from in the Fall.

boy watering his vegetable spring garden

AlberTA’s Short Growing Season

Alberta’s growing season is relatively short, so taking advantage of local fruits and vegetables requires some planning ahead. Perhaps you can organize outings with the family to a few different U-Pick farms – it is a great way to get fresh air, spend quality time together and support our local farmer’s and their families.

Now is the time to start planting our seeds in indoor greenhouse trays, and when it’s time, transplant our germinated plants to the outdoor garden beds. How exciting and rewarding it is to grow your own organic food! FYI, July to October is generally considered Alberta’s harvest season. Did you know that eating our seasonal organic whole foods and spending time outside in our environment is a great way to keep our innate (natural) immunity (non-specific antibodies that attack and kill any and all invaders) thriving and naturally evolving, this is how we were designed. Remember that the innate immunity responses are the first line of defense against invading viruses, bacteria, parasites etc. (aka pathogens), and are required to initiate specific adaptive immune responses down the line. Our innate immunity is strengthened and evolves over the years with exposure to our natural environment. Please keep your innate immunity unharmed – this is your FIRST line of defense

boy watering his vegetable spring garden
boy watering his vegetable spring garden

Below is a list of Spring Foods

Fruits

Avocado
Date
Grapefruit
Jicama
Lemon
Olive
Orange
Plum
Strawberry
Tangelo
Tangerine

 

Vegetables

Artichoke Chard
Asparagus Chicory
Beet Chives
Beet greens Cilantro
Bok choy Collard greens
Broccoli Comfrey
Brussels Sprouts Dandelion greens
Cabbage Green garlic
Carrot Green onion
Cauliflower Green peas
Celery Kale

Sprouts

Leek
Lettuces
Mint
Mushroom
Mustard Greens
Nettle
Parsley
Radish
Rhubarb
Spinach
Watercress

Seeds

Barley Alfalfa
Buckwheat Clover
Corn Radish
Rice Sunflower
Rye  
Wheat  
Adzuki  
Fava  
Garbanzo  

Lentil

 

Mung

 
planting for spring garden

Readily Available Fruits & Veggies In Alberta

The following list outlines the most readily available fruits and vegetables in Alberta.  These are the best times to look for them in your local Farmers’ Market, buy them at the farm gate or ask for them at your local grocery store.

 

Produce

 Available

Apples Mid-July to October
Asian Pears August to October
Asparagus May and June
Beans July to September
Blackberries Mid-July to August
Beets July to mid-October
Blueberries Mid-July to August
Broccoli June to mid-October
Brussel Sprouts September to November
Cabbage July to November
Cantaloupe July to September
Celery July and August
Carrots July to November
Cherries June and July
Cucumber July to September
Eggplant July to September
Gooseberries July and August

 

 

Produce

 Available

Greens June to October
Herbs June to October
Nectarines July and August
Pears August to mid-October
Peas July and August
Peppers July to September
Potatoes June to mid-October
Rhubarb June to August
Raspberries Mid-July to August
Pumpkins September and October
Summer Squash July to September
Winter Squash August to October
Saskatoons Mid-July to August
Strawberries July and August
Sweet Corn Mid-August to September
Tomatoes July to September
Wild Mushrooms Spring to fall

Remember…

Remember that with greenhouse growers, cold storage, canning and freezing, it’s easy to extend the growing season and make Alberta fruits and vegetables available for eating year-round.  That said, when we incorporate the concept of eating seasonally with seasonal decluttering of our workspace and home-space, we will feel a lighter load while working, which can help set the mood/tone for a good start to each day and can translate into a more productive environment and result in more favourable outcomes.

Healthy wishes!

Sources: Alberta Famer’s Market, NCBI and Staying Healthy With Nutrition – by Elson M. Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD

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