How to Boost Immunity in your own Backyard
Look no further than your own backyard to boost your immunity. At a time when the whole world is washing their hands and social distancing, we can fight diseases with plants in our organic gardens.
You can turn gardening into a Homeschooling lesson for your children by studying the vitamins and nutrients in each plant. Learn more tips about gardening with your children here.
4 Immunity Boosting Plants
Lemons provide vitamin C and potassium.
They are delicious squeezed over sauteed greens, broccolini and in homemade salad dressings, including a double lemony homemade caesar dressing.
Most people could benefit from drinking more water, and adding lemons can make water more appealing. Throw in a sprig of mint to make it even tastier.
To learn more about the benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning, check out this article: Lemon Water in the Morning: Benefits and Myths.
This herb is commonly used to reduce the symptoms of colds, flu and other illnesses.
According to the USDA plant guide, the Plains Indians used Echinacea for coughs, colds, sore throats and even snake bites.
It is a perennial plant that is about 2 feet tall when mature.
Garlic is a low-calorie immunity-boosting superstar. According to WebMD, “One clove contains 5 mg of calcium, 12 mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds — powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection (it was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars).”
We harvest green garlic all spring long and use in a similar fashion as a scallion or leek – chopping and mincing the white stem and green stalk and using in place of garlic. We add to soups, sauteed veggies, and make our own fire cider.
In the Lowcountry, we plant garlic in the fall for a late spring harvest. Garlic bulbs are harvested in late April and early May. Garlic varieties are categorized in how they grow.
- Hardneck varieties have a hard, woody stalk that forms in the center of the bulb and gives way to flowering stem, or a scape. They tend to have fewer but bigger cloves to the bulb.
- Softneck varieties are the most popular variety smaller, more numerous cloves to the bulb that tend to be spicier than the hardneck variety.
- Asiatic garlic is actually in the leek family and is the mildest in flavor with huge cloves, mostly known as elephant garlic.
Elderberry, the dark purple berry from the European elder tree, is high in Vitamin C. Historically, people grew it for medicinal purposes throughout Europe and among the Native Americans of North America.
Elderberry was used to treat respiratory illnesses, such as congestion and allergies. The berries are used in pies, jellies, syrups and wine. Just be sure to cook them prior to consuming.
The flower cluster can be dipped in batter and fried while petals can be eaten raw or made into a fragrant tea.
Gardening Boosts your Vitamin D
No matter what you plant, spending all that time outdoors gardening will boost your levels of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D, known as the sunlight vitamin, may protect against many diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers.
Return of Victory Gardens
This pandemic has many people pondering what food security really means. Knowing how to grow our own food is more vital than we ever thought.
The increased interest in gardening during a global pandemic is not surprising. Historically, people have turned to their backyard gardens as a solution in times of crisis.
When the economy is unstable, and people start to worry about their loss of income, growing their own food is one way to cut expenses and become more self sufficient.
The term “victory garden” was created in World War I when Americans were asked to grow their own food. Creating a self-sufficient garden, no matter how small, became a symbol of patriotism and the American spirit.
According to a New York Times article, “Food Supply Anxiety Brings Back Victory Gardens” gardening is on the rise in response to this global pandemic.
“With panicked shoppers cleaning out stores, and basic foods like dried beans and potatoes becoming increasingly difficult to track down, even those with no gardening experience are searching for do-it-yourself YouTube videos on how to build a raised bed.” ~New York Times
Learn to Garden FAST
With the recent increase in interest in growing your own food due to global uncertainty, we have designed a pop up Garden Set Up class to get your growing FAST.
Let Rita Bachmann of Rita’s Roots talk you through the steps of setting up your organic vegetable garden the right way. We want your efforts to result in FOOD on your table!
Topics discussed: Sun, Soil, Garden Type, Planting in pots, Fertilization, Watering (yes, it’s tricky!), Plant Spacing, What + How to Plant, Local resources for materials.
We have been taking the Guesswork out of Gardening since 2011. We will host classes on Zoom. 1 hour presentation, 30 minutes Q+A. Learn more about our 3-part Virtual Class series.
Growing our own food has never been more important than now. With so much uncertainty in the world, one thing IS certain: It is time to plant our gardens if we would like a harvest for the Spring, Summer and Fall.