A wise man once said, “I’m strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach.” Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, this green, leafy super-food should be a staple in any garden. Spinach likes cooler months, so direct- seed in late April to early May. Add baby spinach leaves to a salad, or sauté larger leaves in butter. Replant in late summer for a nice fall crop.
Mashed, baked, or fried, potatoes are a very versatile vegetable. High in potassium, iron, and vitamin C, the potato is a healthy filler on any dinner table. Growing potatoes is easy and fun. Just cut a large potato into smaller pieces with at least two “eyes” per section, or plant smaller potatoes whole. They do not grow well in hot summer months, so plant early, and be sure not to over-amend your soil.
This familiar root crop makes a great snack or side vegetable for any meal and can be easily grown. Carrots are a cool weather crop so direct-seed in late April to early May in an organic rich soil. Thin emerging sprouts to three to four inches apart, and continue to plant new crops every few weeks. To harvest, simply pull from the ground, rinse and enjoy. For added fun, try different colored varieties. The kids will get a kick out of eating a purple carrot.
Green beans are among the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. They are easy to care for and can be eaten right off the stalk. Green beans do best in warm soils, at about 70 degrees, so plant later in the spring or early summer. Another option is to start the seeds early indoors and transplant as the weather warms. Plant in full sun and use a trellis or small fence for support.
There is a reason Central Oregon is home to an annual rhubarb festival. This perennial vegetable is very cold-tolerant, and easy to grow. Plant rhubarb roots in early spring when soil is workable, and watch them thrive. To harvest, pull stocks from plant, but only after the first year, when the plant has had time to establish. Rhubarb is delicious in pies and jams.
–The Broadside Staff