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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Fruits of our Labor - 2013 (Harvests #1)

Gardening takes a lot of work to take care of different plants and vegetables and maintain the area.   Every time the Great Gardener has to take another role as a Welder,  I’m left to take care of everything – watering, harvesting, and weeding.  Besides these, I have to look around the area if there are fire ants and bugs on the leaves of every plants, so I can apply powder to kill them.  But I can’t  totally control all of the fire ants and bugs pestering every plants in our garden.  At least, minimizing them is already an advantage knowing that a good harvest is something great to look forward during harvest time.  Being under the sun for 3 to 4 hours makes me feel conscious of my skin.  I have to apply my favorite facial moisturizer, L’Oreal, on my face and neck day and night everyday, even though I’m wearing long sleeves and a covered hat (-.-) I saved the jar and that’s why I made a Jewelry Pouch with Jar project out of it.  These harvests were supposed to be posted last year, but because of time constraint to do other things, and my scheduled travel, they were postponed.  Even my crochet and knit projects that I have been planning to do were postponed, too. I’m a do-it-all woman whatever and whenever I can do, if possible. But I also get tired and stressed under pressure especially, if I can’t be able to accomplish what I need to do.  At least, I was able to do my greenecraft projects, Coffee Can Hanging Planters and Flower Pot Racks and set them up in our front porch.  It took me more than three weeks to finish them, but my feeling was great  afterwards.  Now, so much of this stress feeling,  I need to continue my garden story (-.-)

Cruciferous Family of Vegetables

The following vegetables belonging to Cruciferous Vegetables or Brassicaceae family of vegetables are widely considered to be healthy foods and eaten worldwide.  There are many kinds of vegetables that belong to this family like, Chinese Cabbage, Collard Greens, and Mustard Greens plants. The family takes its alternate name “Cruciferae” for “cross-bearing” from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.  Though they belong to one family, they still have their differences. I try to distinguish each one from another by picturing their respective leaves. Let’s take a look and see.


Chinese Cabbage plant is known as Brassica Rapa Pekinensis that grows best in cool temperature.  The key to gardening this plant is regular watering and fertilizing to promote rapid growth.  It should be harvested in dry weather before the seed stalks appear.  


Chinese Cabbage leaves have soft, broad light green leaves with white petioles.  Its edge is somewhat a little bit crumpled or wrinkled.  Being a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables, they are *good sources of Vitamin C,  soluble fiber,  and multiple nutrients and phytochemicals.  


Chinese Cabbage are excellent for stir-frying or mixing in a tamarind soup base with chicken, fish, or any other meat as main ingredients.  It can also be mixed in a plain soup in can to serve as an appetizing vegetable soup.  Other food recipes will vary. They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.


Collard Greens plant is called Brassica Oleracea that do well in both hot and cool weather. Choose a location that will receive full sunlight at least half the day.  Avoid a low-lying area as good drainage is essential.  Harvest only the outside leaves as they mature, leaving the main stems undamaged. They live longer than the Mustard Greens and Chinese Cabbage plants.


Collard Greens leaves are thicker, harder, and darker in color than either of the Chinese Cabbage or Mustard Greens plants.   Collards are *good sources of Vitamins A, C, calcium, manganese,  and moderate sources of riboflavin and folate.  They are also a good source of Vitamin K (the clotting vitamin) and should be eaten in moderation by individuals taking blood thinners.


Collard Greens can be good for stir frying, but it must be cooked longer than the Chinese Cabbage and Mustard Greens.  It can also be mixed in a soup in can to serve as an appetizing vegetable soup.  Because of its thick leaves, it can be used as a wrapper for any ground meat to be cooked either by steaming or mixed with coco milk. Other food recipes will vary.  They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.


Mustard Greens plant is called Brassica Juncea that can last long as the Collard Greens plant does.  It can grow so fast and form many leaves when matured.  When fully matured, they can grow tall and flowers and seeds will form. Harvest them before this happens. They are more pungent in taste than Collard Greens and Chinese Cabbage and that’s why, its seeds are used for making mustard sauce.


Mustard Greens leaves are also soft and curlier at the edge than Chinese cabbage leaves. It provides *antioxidant benefits to our body in the form of Vitamins A, C, E, and manganese.   It also provides anti-inflammatory benefits in the form of Vitamin K.  It also provides cardiovascular support because of its cholesterol-lowering ability. 


Mustard Greens are also good for mixing in a soup in can or in a tamarind soup base mixed with any meat or fish.  Others pickled them while, other food recipes vary.   They can be stored longer in a refrigerator by wrapping them in a paper towel after washing them.

To summarize,  I love them all.  I love eating vegetables.  They are good for our bodies because they enhance our metabolism and help develop a good immune system. 

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