We are excited to bring you this special gardening feature from our gardener Keith, who manages the 2+ acres of organic garden spaces we have here at our farm! We know you will appreciate his seasoned advice….

Growing your own food is one of the great joys of reconnecting to what you eat and where it comes from. And in many cases it is shockingly easy! Whether you live in an apartment or have a piece of land, you can enjoy food on your plate that you grew yourself.

Greens are by far the easiest crop to grow. A balanced potting soil and regular watering are all that’s necessary for indoor baby greens like lettuce or any other mix for braising and/or salads.

However, if you want to go bigger and plant in your garden outside, there are a few more things you can do.

Here are tips in 3 key areas, to help you grow great greens (with a little alliteration to help you remember)…

Soil

In general, a semi-rich, well draining soil is ideal for growing things like Brassicas and Beta Vulgaris – your kales and mustards, your chards, your beets. Lettuces do well with semi-dry soil (dry about an inch or so down). Mustards (that includes Asian cabbages) and the greens from spring root crops like radishes and turnips are even easier. Your soil can be pretty sub-par, and these seeds will germinate and thrive, cool or hot, rain or shine!

Sowing

Greens do well in cooler temperatures, so if there is a day in early spring where the sun has dried out the top inch or so of topsoil, go ahead and gently sow these seeds into the ground. Even if it isn’t that dry, pelletized forms of these seeds can just be surface sown. Do not surface sow “naked” seeds, though, because they may simply rot or be eaten by larvae and birds while lying dormant. Make sure you water them in. Cover them with a sheet (or Agribon, for all you aspiring pros out there) if any heavy frosts are predicted. Keep plants evenly spaced two to three inches apart. You may not have the prettiest leaves around due to the ubiquitous cabbage beetle and leafminer, but keeping the plants well spaced will help.

The seeds will germinate in the cool soil and grow according to the weather. Luckily, a lot of precipitation in temperate to sub-temperate zones in the early spring months will save you time and effort, and the purified rain water will be absorbed by plant tissue much more readily than the heavily treated municipal water coming out of your hose. You will get early harvests if you play your cards right.

But do not fret if you aren’t able to get your seeds in during early spring! Greens are very forgiving and generous plants, so you can sow them at virtually any time during the growing season. Just be mindful that growing speeds will vary with the weather and temperatures, and extremely hot temperatures are harder on greens. Watch for greens to start going to seed and be sure to harvest them before they bolt for optimal flavor.

Succession Planting

Make sure that your beds are consistently dressed with finished compost after every harvest and try not to plant the same crop in the same bed one after the other. Plant diseases build up when the specific compounds required for a certain crop are drained with intensive and repetitive cultivation. Diversification is the name of the game!

Greens are not only easy to grow – they’re easy to cook with!
Toss them in a salad…throw them in a stir-fry or pasta…or enjoy in a smoothie!


Fresh or cooked greens add loads of nutrients to this delicious smoothie using our organic, 100% grassfed whole milk and yogurt. Did you know that your body actually absorbs and uses vitamins and minerals better in the presence of good fats? So including some yogurt, milk, or healthy oils in your smoothies will do your body an extra favor! The almond butter packs an extra protein punch for staying power.

Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen sliced banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Traders Point Creamery plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 cup Traders Point Creamery whole milk
  • Up to 4 cups baby greens (spinach, kale, mustards, etc)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

*yogurt and milk quantities can be adjusted to your desired consistency