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Gardening for Good Nutrition:
A Guide to Growing Your Own Healthy Food

Endives. Mustard. Which Type is Right for You? Container Gardens If you don’t have a lot of space or a yard. Berries •VERY LOW lead uptake: Beans. Check for dry soil with your fingers. We also provide gardening information and nutrition education. Melons. If you plant directly into the ground..GARDENING AT HOME.. consider planting in raised beds filled with fertilized. Because of this. Each year. Our goal? To encourage people to grow their own vegetable and herb gardens. glean and donate about 25 tons of fresh. IMPORTANT: Never use a container that held anything toxic... If you do have a yard but your soil is (or might be) unsafe because of lead or other contaminants. Containers vs. Water dripping off buildings and paint chips from houses can put lead into the soil — which can be absorbed by your plants and cause lead poisoning. garages or busy roads. Potatoes. •Be opaque/NOT see-through (can cause root rot and fungus when exposed to light). Asparagus. Carrots. Testing is the best way to know if you have lead in your soil. and connect people to free gardening resources in the Seattle area. Cress. you may want to grow only plants with a low lead uptake in a yard garden. Cauliflower. Your containers should: •Hold 1-5 gallons of soil. Celery. we mobilize hundreds of community volunteers to cultivate... locally grown organic fruit and vegetables for people in need! We distribute produce to food banks. Peas. Be sure that the containers you use allow proper water drainage so the roots don’t rot. use containers. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: Gardening at Home Starting Your Garden Containers You Can Use & How to Build Fertile Soil All About Compost Different Ways to Compost Yard Gardens… Protect Yourself from Lead Encouraging Self-sufficiency through Gardening 6-7: Nutrients & Their Health Benefits 8-27: A Plant-by-Plant Guide 28: Local Gardening Resources Sources for This Guide Inside Back Cover: Each year Lettuce Link distributes seeds and plant starts to more than 1. Punch/drill them in if needed.. Beets •MEDIUM lead uptake: Onion. We hope you’ll use this guide to grow your own delicious organic food! If you choose to plant a yard garden. if you are unsure about the quality of your soil. Fruits 1 . Container gardens do need to be watered often — sometimes daily. plants with a high lead uptake should only be planted in containers. organic and “safe” (contaminant-free) soil.. Tomatoes. Spinach.000 food bank clients in Seattle. If soil is contaminated. plant away from houses. sheds. Certain plants absorb more lead than others when planted in contaminated soil. ABOUT LETTUCE LINK. •HIGH lead uptake: Lettuce. Containers are portable and can be moved into the sun and shade as necessary. Yard Gardens. poisonous or inedible!!! Plants will absorb the toxins and be toxic if you eat them. consider starting a container garden. •Have drainage holes in the bottom (so roots won’t rot). Radishes •LOW lead uptake: Corn. INsIDE THIs GUIDE. Connecting Gardeners to Food Banks Lettuce Link is a food and nutrition program that coordinates with Seattle-area gardeners to grow and donate fresh organic produce to their local food banks. We give out seeds that both grow well in our region and meet culturally-diverse diet needs. meals programs and shelters across Seattle.

3 . cover the ground around plants with mulch (newspaper.. •Use stakes. 8-27. •Plant seeds directly into the soil-filled containers. they make a great weed barrier. Use stones. •Choose containers. strings and trellises to hold up plants as needed. wait until mid-March to plant cool weather plants and seeds and mid-May/June for hot weather plants. p. Put in drainage holes if needed and fill with organic soil (which can be purchased at most garden stores).) •Build raised beds. You can scrape off the whole leaves and put them in your garden paths. Leave at least 6” between rows of all vegetables.2543) •Yogurt tubs (transplant to larger containers later) •Dish pans/wash basins. •Build fertile soil. wire baskets.g. (See pp. clay pots. Transplant to larger containers if necessary. Choose a sunny location. 3. •Start your outdoor garden on a dry day. strings or trellises to support heavy and/or viney plants. In Containers •Plan your garden. Be sure to give plants plenty of room to grow.) •Weed as needed. 3. If you are certain your soil is lead-free. If you are just starting out. 3) Put compost or straw on top. tomatoes and peppers) need support. then water. you can start them indoors as early as February or March. 2) Moisten a few sheets of newspaper with water and lay the paper on the soil. (See instructions. In the spring. Use stakes. As a general rule. Decide what you will grow and how much space you have for containers. compost or straw) to help keep weeds away and the ground moist. buckets and plastic tubs with holes for drainage •Baskets lined with paper bags •Planters. 5) Add a few more layers of newspaper. strings or trellises to support heavy and/or viney plants. you might want to grow in containers your first year and use your organic soil in raised beds the next. Start hot season plants indoors. concrete blocks or branches as a border and fill in beds with organic soil (about 12 inches deep) mixed with 2-3” of compost.) •Weed as needed. dig a few inches deep into the ground. 6) Top with coffee grounds (your local coffee shop will likely give them to you for free) and a layer of black plastic. plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. 1) Dig a few inches deep into the ground and mix up the soil.) •Plant seeds and starts directly into the soil. As a general rule. 7) You can also leave a thick layer of leaves (1 foot deep) on your planned garden beds over the winter.. p. p. 4) Water. plant seeds twice as deep as they are big.sTARTING YOUR GARDEN. Once plants are established. (See lists. •Use stakes. 3. 2 How to Build Fertile soil It takes 6-8 weeks to build fertile organic soil that’s ready for planting. Wait 4-6 weeks before moving them outside. ceramic pots •Unpainted/untreated wooden boxes or barrels •Cement blocks •Newspapers (for planting seeds) Which Size Container for Which Plant? 1 gallon: •Basil •Cilantro •Dill •Garlic •Parsley •Most herbs 2-3 gallon: •Lettuce •Beets •Mustard greens •Bok choy •Peas* •Carrots •Peppers •Chard •Radishes •Collards •Green onion •Spinach •Kale *Viney plants (e. mix in the leaves that have broken down into soil and top with compost. (See pp. add 2-3” of compost and mix. compost or straw and water. •Water seeds and plants in the early morning or at dusk. If your containers are portable. then water.) •Water seeds and plants in the early morning or at dusk so the most water is absorbed. To avoid frost. Wait until mid-March to sow seeds in outdoor containers and/or move cool weather plants outside so seeds and starts won’t be caught in frost. Plants need 4-6 hours of sun each day. Decide what you will grow and where to determine how much space you need.782.g. 5 gallon: •Beans •Broccoli •Cabbage •Cucumber* •Eggplant •Leeks •Squash* •Tomatoes* •Turnips •Zucchini* In the Ground •Plan your garden. (See lists. Containers You Can Use •Free pots from the pot exchange bin at Swanson’s Nursery (9701 15th Ave NW. 8-27 for the best times to plant different vegetables. Plants need 4-6 hours of direct sun each day. •Start your garden on a dry day. Choose a sunny location. Some plants may grow larger than expected. 206. wait until May or June to move outside to give plants enough time and hot weather to mature before the end of summer. flower pots. and transplant to larger containers if needed. peas) need to climb and heavy plants (e.

•Helps retain moisture in soil. •lime. you can shovel out what you need and add another layer of leaves to the top. By forcing biodegradable products to break down faster and using them to add nutrition to soil. •meat. Fill the worm bin with bedding such as leaves. vegetable scraps. IMPORTANT: Do not add any of the following to your compost as they might attract pests. Keep covered with a pizza box or large piece of cardboard to reduce odor.0190). When worms die. leaves. and compost inside it. Push it to one side of the bin and add more bedding on the other side. •bones. shredded cardboard or newspaper. (See p. straw and newspapers — best topped with leaves to help retain heat. flowers. Add about 1 pound of red worms (can be purchased at gardening stores) to the bin. . •plastic. •metal or •ashes from coal. which help to break down the contents. Where Can You Find Compost? Gardens stores sell pre-made compost. Bury food scraps in the bedding so there is at least 1-2” of bedding over the top. and then soak it in water until the bedding is as moist as a wrungout sponge. You can also make your own out of wood — or use a plastic bin with a lid and drainage holes drilled in the bottom. You can buy it or make it yourself. get a metal garbage can and lid.ALL ABOUT COMPOsT. Worm compost bins work faster. If you plan to add kitchen scraps. Different Ways to Compost 1. At that point. It can take a year or two for the bottom of the pile to decompose. charcoal or painted/treated wood (such as from a building) 4 5 What’s in Compost? Compost is a pile of biodegraded organic materials such as grass clippings. you choose to support the health of plants and the earth. 2. add straw. Make a 3-sided compost bin to house your pile (about 3’ x 3’ x 3’) out of chicken wire or wood pallets. Seattle Public Utilities sells them for $25 (call 206. •grease. but you can make it yourself by creating a pile of organic materials (see “What’s in Compost” above) in a partly shady area. After 3-4 months. •fat. If your compost pile starts to smell bad. •Gives texture and nutrients to soil. A 4’ x 2’ x 1’ worm bin will compost about 8 pounds of food scraps a week. 3. Build your own worm compost bin. create bad odors or be toxic to you: •Animal or human droppings. The container should be at least one foot deep and have a tight fitting lid. •fish. Compost is an inexpensive way to fertilize your garden and help the soil retain moisture. which plants’ roots require for healthy growth. 5 for how to build your own worm bin.. You can get worm bins at most garden stores. tea bags. Green Cone Composting Bins are also small for faster composting and help keep out pests. coffee. most of the bedding will be composted. The decomposing pile attracts microorganisms and worms. shredded newspaper and grass clippings and turn the pile with a shovel. Bury food scraps in the new bedding until all of the worms have migrated to that side — then you can add the worm-made compost to your garden. drill holes in the bottom of the can.684. they become part of the compost. you’ll need to keep out rodents. •oil.. Worms are another essential part of composting. It also reduces the amount of trash you produce. Compost creates a balance of nitrogen and carbon in the soil. Keep a balance of moisture and dryness — damp like a well wrung-out sponge.) Why Does a Garden Need Compost? •Makes your garden grow bigger and faster.

A woman’s need for folic acid increases during pregnancy because the fetus is constantly growing. Some types of fiber can help lower blood cholesterol. Vitamin C Vitamin C is essential for life and good health. nerves and muscles work. If a pregnant woman does not get all the folic acid she and her baby need early in her pregnancy. and it may also help prevent certain types of cancer. 7 . so we must get it in our diets. throat. insomnia and muscle spasms. so we must get it in our diets. It has been shown to prevent common colds. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Without enough oxygen. It is also important in muscle contraction. the fetus will not develop properly. polio. Humans cannot make Vitamin C or store it in the body. selenium Selenium may help fight certain types of cancer by enhancing the body’s immune system. We need it for healthy eyes.NUTRIENTs & THEIR HEALTH BENEFITs. Magnesium Magnesium is essential for human life because of its role in our cells. lungs and intestines healthy. Not getting enough in your diet can lead to anemia. A diet higher in carbohydrates than protein or fat can help reduce the risk of heart disease or obesity. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also increase a woman’s need for iron.. certain types of cancer and heart disease. It carries oxygen from our lungs to our cells. diseases of the nervous system. also called folate or folacin. 6 Folic Acid Folic acid.. Women are at risk of iron deficiency because they lose blood and iron during menstruation. muscles and organs. They are also vital in immune system functioning and blood clotting. is important for making blood and building cells. B Vitamins The B vitamins work together to help your body use the energy you get from food. our muscles and organs cannot work properly and we will feel tired and weak. It may also reduce the risk of colon cancer. Potassium Potassium is an essential micronutrient that maintains fluid and electrolyte balances in the body. Muscle cramps occur because of a lack of potassium in the body. Magnesium deficiency can cause high blood pressure. mental confusion and diarrhea. Humans cannot make Vitamin A ourselves. nose. Calcium Calcium is an important mineral for building strong bones and teeth — and a very small amount is needed to help our heart. Vitamin A Vitamin A keeps your skin smooth and the linings of your mouth. Fiber Fiber is important for keeping the digestive tract working smoothly. Iron Iron is a mineral which is an important part of our red blood cells.

•Place basil next to tomatoes to benefit both plants. •Beets: Steam. Serving Size: ¼ cup Beets 8 •Plant March-August. •Greens: Steam. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. boil or grate raw into salads. Folic Acid. They should snap easily. etc. (These baby greens are great to eat. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •When plants reach about 6” tall. •Soil and night temperatures must be warm for basil to thrive. Beans Great source of Vitamin A. alone. •Often served fresh with tomatoes. •Seeds will sprout 2-3 weeks after planting. •Depending on variety. Cooked beets freeze well. Basil Serving Size: ¼ cup Good source of Potassium. 6” apart in rows 3’ apart. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Leaves can be eaten any time before flowers develop. •Snap variety: Pick the bright. 9 . but also goes well with onions. digestive problems & insomnia. garlic and olives. fresh. 2-3” apart. •Overcooking destroys nutrient value. Serving Size: ¾ cup •Pods usually mature 2-2½ months after planting. •Some varieties are vine plants and do best when they can climb stakes or trellises. should be used within 4 days of picking. •Water every day during the first 2 weeks after planting. •Eat while still crisp. •Wash well to remove sand and grit. Highly perishable. •Plant May-July. •Refrigerate. Use greens within 4 days. then water every other day.) •Pick plants 2-2½ months after planting when beet is 1-2” wide. Wrap in a damp paper towel to help basil stay fresh longer. •Become tough when left in the ground too long. •Shell variety: Let dry on the bush. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big in full sun. use in soups. Also contains Vitamin C & Iron. thin to 2-3” apart. Believed to be good for the blood. Can be shelled and stored to use in winter. peel beets after cooking. Calcium & Fiber. •Pick leaves individually to allow plants to grow and produce more leaves for a constant supply. beets store well but taste best if eaten within 2 weeks. Will keep for 2-3 days when stored in a plastic bag or a tightly sealed container in a cool place. •Grows well in pots or a window box. PLANTING TIPs •Plant indoors in May. tender young pods with immature seeds. Store beets and greens in separate plastic bags. dips. cool slightly and rub off skins.PLANT NUTRIENTs Contains Potassium & Vitamin A. salads. •To retain maximum flavor and nutrition. •Nutrient-rich greens can be picked individually — or you can pull out the whole plant. sauté or eat raw in salads. Vitamin C. •Refrigerate. Space starts 4-6” apart. Boil for 35-55 minutes. Helps fight migraines. •Transplant outdoors mid-to-late June. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. •Add fresh basil at the end of cooking a dish. •Water frequently. bake. Believed to cleanse the blood.

Also contains Vitamin A. Eat as soon as possible and never allow heads to yellow. marinate. but best when used within 2-3 days after picking. sweet. Press soil down well. •To remove a head. Use within 2 weeks. Also contains Potassium. •Pick 3½-4 months after planting. •Nutritious raw or cooked. •Seeds should begin to sprout 1-2 weeks after planting. Boil. Tender. •Great with potatoes. •For a steady supply. ½ cup raw •Plant February-July. Serving Size: 1 small bunch PLANTING TIPs •Plant in March after the last frost. •Water often until heads begin to mature. sauté or add to casseroles. •Both stalks and leaves can be stir-fried. •Wait to cut entire plant until 1014” tall or about 1½-2 months after planting. •Wash well and remove wilted leaves. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Refrigerate. •Refrigerate. when heads are good sized and compact. Bok Choy Great source of Vitamin C & Potassium. soups and stir-fries. Store in a plastic bag. •If started indoors. crisp and delicious. or sow directly into the garden after danger of serious frost (late Spring). lightly steam. then in late summer for a fall crop. 3” apart. steam or sauté for about 9-12 minutes (until bright green and tender). Ideal in salads and stir-fries. •Plant seedling roots deeply and about a foot apart. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. carrots and onions. Best when used within 3-5 days. Iron & Vitamin B6. •Wash well and remove tough outer layer of stems. •Start seeds indoors in pots if planting in early Spring. 11 .PLANT NUTRIENTs Contains Vitamin C & Folic Acid as well as Calcium. •Cut heads when tight and fully formed. •Cut the large central head with 6” of stalk. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Matures in 1½-2 months. •If you leave the roots intact after first cutting. Cabbage 10 •Plant February-July. •Eat raw in salads. •Keep soil damp. Use/eat as soon after cutting as possible for best nutrition and taste. plant every 2-3 weeks until weather gets hot. Serving Size: 1 medium stalk Broccoli Great source of Vitamin C & Folic Acid. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. before they begin to flower. •Leaves are excellent in salads. thin to 3” apart and replant young plants 3” or more apart. cut the stem just above the outer leaves. •When plants are 2-3” tall. •Stalks can be sliced into salads like celery. move to pots once 2 leaves form — or transplant outside when 5 leaves form. •Cabbage can also be salted to make sauerkraut. Cook stalks first then add the leaves at end of cooking. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Serving Size: ¼ cup cooked. 1” apart in rows 2’ apart. •Do not overcook. 2-3” apart. •Cut outside leaves first when the plant is still young. side shoots may develop which can be picked as well.

•Remove central stem and discard unless very young. Carrots Contains Vitamin A. •Refrigerate. Good for the skin. •To prolong harvest. Serving Size: 1 tablespoon raw •Leaves may be picked anytime. •For a constant supply. Serving Size: ½ cup cooked •Plant March-April and again JulySeptember. lightly steamed or boiled — or use in stir-fries. •Wash leaves under running water to clean off sand and grit. In the cabbage family. Believed to be good for the eyes. Best if used within 1-2 weeks. Keep in a plastic bag to retain crispness. •Wash well. •Likes direct sun. •Refrigerate. 13 Collard Greens 12 . •Plant seeds anytime after the last frost. plant new seeds every 2-4 weeks. thin out to 6-10” between plants. plant seeds every 2-4 weeks. Peel outer skin if desired. soups or salads. light soil and regular watering. in rows 15” apart. pull when fully mature (2½-3 months after planting — before they become tough or cracked). remove leaves from stems. when leaves are young and full with rich green color. Serving Size: 1 medium carrot (3 oz) PLANTING TIPs •Plant April-July. Store in a plastic bag and use within 4 days. Calcium & Potassium. Cilantro Very good source of Calcium & Vitamins A & C.PLANT NUTRIENTs Rich in minerals. •To last longer in the refrigerator. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Use young leaves raw in salads. •For best results. pick individual leaves without cutting entire plant. •Sprinkle seeds and cover with 1/8” fine soil. 2-3” apart. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Use promptly. keep the roots attached and store in a cup of water with a plastic bag covering the leaves. but for highest nutrient content. •Lightly steam — or use in soups. •Eat raw. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Can be eaten at any stage. Highly perishable. •Grow best in a sunny location with rich. •Once flowers develop the leaves lose their rich flavor. •Seeds sprout in 1½-2½ weeks. stir-fries and casseroles to increase a meal’s nutritional value. but does not transplant well. •Once plants grow 2-4” tall. dig soil up to 12” deep and loosen/mix well. •To prepare. •Great in salsas. •Keep soil moderately moist during germination. stews or casseroles. juiced. •When 3-4” tall. especially high in Vitamin A. thin to 2” apart. •Grows well in pots. soups. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate and remove green stems before storing. but the seeds can be dried and used as a cooking spice (coriander). 1-2” apart. For a constant supply. •Ready to pick 1½-2½ months after planting.

sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. Goes well with seafood. and medium or dark green in color. hang upside down in a dark. •When stalks begin to yellow. sauces. 1 plant per 2-5 gallon container. dressings and marinades. •Dry bulbs in a warm area but out of sunlight. •To dry. Serving Size: 1 teaspoon fresh •Ready to eat about 2 months after planting seeds. •When plants are 2” high. dry location for several days until all moisture is gone. Serving Size: 1/3 medium cucumber PLANTING TIPs •Plant May-June. •Cut off seed heads as they start to form on top of the long stalks. Space seed piles 3-4” apart. •Plant seeds from Spring to early Summer. October and/or February •Break each bulb into individual cloves and plant cloves pointed side up. twice as deep as they are big. •Can be juiced after removing skin to add a cooling flavor to other juices. •Use in soups. •To keep fresh for several weeks. •Flesh should be firm with small. Dill Great source of Selenium & Vitamin C. dig or carefully pull up bulbs. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Harvest when firm. •Seeds can be dried and used as well. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. well shaped.PLANT NUTRIENTs Contains Vitamins A & C. put in a small jar with enough water to just cover the bottoms. Cucumber Believed to aid digestion. •Leaves can be picked anytime before flowers develop. and place a plastic bag loosely over the tops. trim the roots. •Grows well in pots. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. fresh. immature seeds. slice or press. •Start seeds indoors in gallon containers. •Store in a dark. •Eat raw in salads. Used as an antibiotic & immune system booster. •Plant sets and seeds March-April. Can be used immediately or dried for later use. stir-fries. •Sow directly in garden in an area protected from wind after danger of frost has passed. •Seeds will begin to grow 2 weeks after planting. •If planting directly outside. dry. slightly warm place. Serving Size: 2 cloves •Best to refrigerate. thin to 6” apart. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. 3-4” apart. •Garlic’s uses are almost unlimited! •Chop. Garlic 14 15 . with dips or sliced in yogurt and lemon juice. 1” apart. Transplant the thinned plants. •Ready to pick in about 3 months. •Transplant seedlings outdoors after 3 weeks. place 2-3 seeds in one ½” deep hole. •Roast and eat cloves whole.

Vitamin C & Folic Acid. •Grow best in cooler temperatures. 6-10” apart. but use before it gets limp. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate in a plastic bag. When done. •Keep soil damp. Use within 4-5 days. plant every 3-4 weeks. •Grow rapidly in cool temperatures. •Fully grown 6-10 weeks after planting. Serving Size: ½ cup cooked Kale (purple) Good source of Folic Acid. 1-2” apart. Potassium & Calcium.PLANT NUTRIENTs Good source of Potassium. start cutting outer leaves when plants are about 8” (new leaves will grow from the center). •Plant April to early May. Green Onions Good source of Vitamins A & C. Can start indoors and transplant outdoors after last frost. •Wash well to remove sand and grit. •Produces well for a year or more — or until the plant flowers. 1-2” apart. Serving Size: 1 tablespoon PLANTING TIPs •Plant in early Spring after last frost. stir-fries and some juice combinations. •Refrigerate. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Serving Size: ¼ cup •Plant March-April and July-September. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Pick any time before leaves begin to dry out. Store in a plastic bag and use within 4 days. Good for the skin. •If eating raw. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •For extended harvest. but best when stems are between ½ and 1½” in diameter. Keeps well. Iron & Potassium. •Thin when plants are 3-4” tall. •Best used in soups. Said to aid digestion. 2” apart. or sprinkle over a meal. pick leaves young for easier digestion. •Overcooking destroys nutrients. plant every 3-4 weeks. kale is slightly sweet with tender leaves. •Cut leaves at any stage to promote new plant growth for continued harvest until plant flowers.) •Serve raw in salads and sauces. before the greens wilt. •Excellent (milder) replacement for onion. •For a constant supply. •Pull roots up with leaves. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. (Will not store as long as yellow onions. Leeks 16 17 . •Plants do best in relatively moist fertile soil and during the cooler part of the growing season. •Refrigerate in a plastic bag. •Both the white and green parts can be eaten. •May be harvested at any time. •Often added raw to miso soup. broths. For a constant supply. •Eat raw in salads or briefly steam/stir-fry with other vegetables.

For best storage freshness. Serving Size: ½ medium •Bulbs mature about 3 months after planting. Vitamin C. keep in a sealed container or plastic bag lined with paper or cloth towels. •Plant March-April and July-September. •When 4” tall. •Grows best during the cooler parts of the growing season but can handle some heat. Vitamin A & Fiber. •Pull bulbs up when long tops have fallen over and dried. Serving Size: 1 cup raw PLANTING TIPs •Plant March-May or September-October. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Fully matures 2-2½ months after planting. sandwiches. •Chopped onions may cause eyes to water. •Best raw in salads or slightly cooked with other vegetables. •Seeds sprout 1-2 weeks after planting. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Likes cool weather. Continue picking as leaves grow. casseroles. in rows 6” apart. •Leaves are mild flavored. Contains Potassium. •Leaves can be picked at any size. •Wash well to remove sand and grit. •Plant sets and seeds March-April before the last frost — or start indoors to allow for long growth period. Boosts the immune system. 19 Onion (yellow) 18 . leaving inner leaves to grow out. Replant thinned bulbs. moist. thin plants to 5” between bulbs. Pick outer leaves when young for best flavor. stir-fries. •Seeds should sprout 1-2 weeks after planting. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. salads. Believed to stimulate the appetite. •When 3-5” tall. •Dry in warm area out of sun until neck is dry and skin is papery. •Prefers fairly rich. well-drained soil. Folic Acid & Fiber. pick leaves without cutting entire plant. •Peel papery skin off and discard. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Store in a burlap or paper bag in a cool and fairly dry place (basement or garage). •Greens can be sautéed or added to stir-fries and soups. Add dressing just before using to prevent wilting. Best if used within 4 days. Use within 3-5 days. Iron & Potassium. believed to stimulate the appetite. Mustard Greens Serving Size: ½ cup raw •Refrigerate and store in a plastic bag. •Easy to grow. •Keep soil moderately moist. 2 seeds per inch. •Good in everything (except desserts!) such as soups. smooth and dark green.PLANT NUTRIENTs Good source of Folic Acid. Good for the skin. •Gradually thin plants to 6-10” apart. •Commonly used as a base flavor. Plant more seeds every few weeks for constant supply. •Scatter seeds and cover with ¼” fine soil. •Lettuce is almost always eaten raw in salads or on sandwiches. •Don’t cook! Wash well and pat or spin dry before using. Lettuce Good source of Vitamins C & A. etc. •The darker outer leaves are much more nutrient-rich than the pale inner leaves. 1-2” apart. •Individual leaves can be cut at any stage. thin plants to 6-10” apart. •To prolong harvest. •Plant matures 1½-2½ months after planting. or use as green onions. Keep soil moderately moist during germination.

and avoid watering mature leaves and pods. transplant outside. Serving Size: 1 tablespoon raw PLANTING TIPs •Plant February-May. before the last frost. in rows 1½-2’ apart. juices and as an edible decoration. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. •Soak seeds overnight before planting. Stores well. •To last longer. •When seedlings are 2” high. Pepper (green bell) 21 .or west-facing wall — or transplant to the warmest part of your garden. thin to 4-8” apart. •Soak seeds overnight before planting. Parsley Good source of Folic Acid. slice and eat with a dip. •Plant February-June.PLANT NUTRIENTs Good source of Vitamins C & A. put in a small jar with enough water to just cover the ends and place a plastic bag loosely over the tops. especially when eaten with a grain such as rice. •Refrigerate. Potassium. •Seeds start slow but sprout in 2-4 weeks. Also contains Vitamin C & Iron. •Refrigerate. •Ready about 4 months after planting. •Leaves can be picked at any stage but become more bitter once stems begin to elongate before flowering. in rows 16-18” apart. Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. trim ends. Folic Acid & Potassium. use stakes or a trellis. allow them to turn red or orange on the stalk. Serving Size: ½ medium pepper •Harvest when green and plump. •Needs heat to grow. casseroles. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Best if used within 3-5 days. soups. •Grows well in pots or window boxes. •Discard yellow or limp leaves. •Use in salads. •Dried peas are a good source of protein. Do not over water. tightly covered. •Avoid adding salt. Best eaten raw to maximize Vitamin C content. stuff and slightly bake. •After 1½-2 months. •Chop into salads. sweet. fresh and tender as their nutrient value and flavor is highest then. but does not transplant well. which destroys greenness. •Peas require little work while growing. •Peas need lots of room to grow. •Eat raw or steamed. Also contains Vitamin A & Potassium. Keep in 1 gallon containers and place against a south. Magnesium & Protein (when dried). 20 BEsT TIME TO EAT •Plant matures in about 2-3 months. in a very sunny area. Move outdoors May-June. •Best to start seeds indoors in yogurt containers. •For a huge increase in Vitamin C and amazing sweetness. Peas Serving Size: ½ cup Very good source of Vitamin C. •Plant indoors March-April. •Pods should be bright green and filled out with well-developed (but not bulging) peas. •Best picked when young. food value and digestibility. 4” apart. •Seeds sprout 1-2 weeks after planting. in minimal water. To save space. or use as a pizza topping.

•Plant May-June. Do not peel. Believed to prevent a variety of infections and aid digestion. and well but not overcooked.) •Remove any green spots before cooking or eating. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Serving Size: ½ cup Pumpkin Great source of Vitamin C & Potassium. Radishes Serving Size: 7 radishes 22 23 . •Do best in cool weather. or use as pie filling. •Grows best in full sun and warm weather.PLANT NUTRIENTs Good source of Potassium. 1” deep. •Will be heavy for its size when ripe. •Fully grown about 4-5 weeks after planting. •Scrub and rinse well with cold water. •It’s OK to dig early. •Plant small potatoes whole. thin to 2” apart. •Sow indoors 3 weeks before transplanting. •Plant February-September. Best if used within 2 weeks. •Cure warm and dry out of the sun. •Easy and fast to grow. with a good bright orange color and a hard rind that’s difficult to scratch. •Pull when 1-1½” across (before plants flower or the roots get tough and crack). •Water plants once a week in dry weather. place each half face down on a baking sheet in ¼” of water. and leave them out to dry 1-2 days before planting. •Best baked or steamed. but avoid watering directly onto mature leaves. crisp and tender. Potato Source of Vitamins A. •Microwave for 5 minutes to soften enough to cut in half. Bake at 350º until soft (about 45 minutes). •When plants are 1-2” high. •Radishes add zest and color to tossed salads. plant seeds 6” apart in mounds 3-4’ apart. poke a few steam holes in potatoes with a fork. from flowering time on. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Dig up when the majority of tops have withered. Also contains Vitamin C & Iron. and store at 50º in moderate humidity. Need plenty of moisture to grow sweet. Or. (They lose nutrients as they soften or sprout. Then. blend into soup. Also contains Folic Acid. or marinate in herbed vinegar for a great snack. •Trim tops and bottoms. but it can disrupt the plant and slow future growth. •Refrigerate. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. 1-2” apart. C & Fiber. •Eat raw with dips. •Seeds will begin to grow in about 1 week. 1 seed per 3-5 gallon container. then bake at 400º for 1-1 ½ hours. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Best to store mature potatoes in a cool. Serving Size: 1 medium potato PLANTING TIPs •Plant early Spring to early Summer. •Best prepared unpeeled. •To sow directly outside. •Loosen soil up to 1 foot deep before planting. •To bake. Eat plain. you can cut large ones into block pieces (leaving 2-3 “eyes” on each piece). dry place out of light. Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks for a constant supply.

Serving Size: ½ medium squash (½ cup) Squash (winter) Great source of Vitamins A & C. •Can take more warmth than other greens. etc. •Eat raw in salads or barely steamed. store in a plastic bag and use within 4 days. •Sprinkle seeds and cover with ½” of dirt. •Water plants once a week in dry weather. pick leaves young for easier digestion. Store in a plastic bag and use within 5 days. but grows best in cooler times of the season. Swiss Chard 24 •Fully grown 1½-2½ months after planting. in stews or in soups. •Steam or bake and eat alone. •Plant March-April and July-September. •Refrigerate. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate. •When 3-4” tall. •Plant seedlings 6” apart in mounds 3-4’ apart. •Also ideal as cooked greens and in egg dishes (such as omelets). Serving Size: ½ cup cooked •Plant May-June.) •Has a hard rind or skin when ripe. acorn. •1 pound of fresh spinach cooks down to about 1 cup or 2 servings. •Slice young greens and white stalks in raw salads. Also contains Potassium & Vitamin A. •Wash well to remove sand and grit. 1 seed per 3-5 gallon container. •Add vinegar or lemon juice near the end of cooking time to avoid bitterness. Spinach Serving Size: 4 oz (½ cup cooked) High in Carbohydrates. thin to 3-4” apart. 1-2” apart. Like lettuce. •When 2-3” tall. Good for the skin. Good for the skin. •Grows best in relatively moist fertile soil in the cooler part of the growing season. dry place like a basement or garage. start cutting outer leaves when plants are about 8” tall (new leaves will grow out from the center). •Leaves may be picked at any stage and will promote new plant growth for continued harvest until the plant flowers. •Wash well to remove sand and grit. prevents anemia and replenishes minerals. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. Iron & B Vitamins. •Produces well for a year or more. •Comes in many varieties (butternut. •For extended harvest. directly on the soil. 25 . •Cut leaves at any stage to promote new growth for continued harvest until plant flowers. Avoid watering onto mature leaves. •Stores best in a cool. Fiber & Iron. •Does best in full sun and warm weather. Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Overcooking destroys nutrients. plant every 3-4 weeks. Or briefly steam or stir-fry leaves and stalks with other vegetables. thin to 6-10” apart. •If eating raw.PLANT NUTRIENTs Great source of Vitamins A & C. •For a constant supply. PLANTING TIPs •Plant February-May and September. •Best to sow indoors 3 weeks before transplanting. BEsT TIME TO EAT •Plant is fully grown about 1½-2 months after planting.

Helps cleanse the body of toxins. but it’s great in soups or baked into breads and muffins. •Store at room temperature to help ripen. in salads or cooked. •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. •Needs warm weather and grows best in full sun to partial shade. •The cooler parts of the growing season give them their best flavor and texture. Also contains Folic Acid. •Great sliced fresh in salads or on sandwiches. easily scratched rind. Use stakes as needed. •Larger zucchini tends to have less flavor. •Slice or cube and cook in a small amount of water for 10-20 minutes. Serving Size: ½ cup Yellow/summer Squash & Zucchini •Usually ready when 4-6” long. •Often produces large amounts. •Green/unripe tomatoes are great lightly breaded and fried. •Steam. Serving Size: 1 medium tomato (4 oz) PLANTING TIPs •Best to start indoors.) •Can also be picked before fully ready and left out to ripen.PLANT NUTRIENTs Good source of Vitamins A. — or until the first frost. Lasts 7-10 days. (Some varieties are yellow or orange. Best if used within 1-2 weeks. •Plant outdoors as soon as soil is workable in early Spring or late Summer for Fall harvest. after the last frost. 26 BEsT TIME TO EAT •Ripen about 4-6 months after planting. in rows 15-18” apart. For cherry varieties. •Begin harvesting roots when turnips are about 3” across. •Stems need support for the heavy fruit. they ripen from Aug. •Wash well and peel. •Roots: Excellent for storing. Vitamin C & Folic Acid. April-May. 27 . •Easy to grow. neighbors or your local food bank. Tomato Good source of Vitamin C & Potassium. cooked in sauces or juiced along with other raw vegetables. then fried or baked. C & Potassium.) •Refrigerate. 1 plant per 2-3 gallon container. Leave 3-4’ between seed piles. Turnip Good source of Potassium. to Oct. thin to 4-6” apart. •Pick zucchini when skins are dark green and still soft. Serving Size: ½ cup •Refrigerate. Transfer plants outdoors May-June. •Greens can be picked individually — or you can pull up the whole plant. •Need heat to thrive! •Plant seeds twice as deep as they are big. stir-fry or grate into soups or sauces. so it’s great to share with friends. •Can be eaten raw. •Water 1-2 times a week in dry weather. •Best eaten at room temperature. •Ripe summer squash is heavy for its size. •Greens: Eat raw in salads or cook in stir-fries. •Flowers are good stuffed with cheese. •You can also pick some of the flowers — they’re edible (leave some on the vine so the plant can produce fruit. •Avoid late blight disease by keeping foliage dry under house eaves or plastic tents. canning or freezing and can be eaten raw or cooked. •Plant May-June. •Zucchini and squash are vine plants that take up lots of room in the garden but produce lots of fruit. but best eaten fresh. •Let ripen on the vine and pick when fully red. •Place 3-4 seeds in a ½” deep hole and cover with dirt. but avoid watering directly onto the leaves. sTORAGE & EATING TIPs •Refrigerate only if fully ripened. In the NW. 2-4” apart. with a tender. •When 2-4” tall. cut vines with fruit still on them and hang up to let ripen.

.633.seattle.694.org • www.org • www.0264 •Seattle Tilth’s Natural Lawn & Garden Hotline can answer specific garden-related questions.ca • www.6754 lettucelink@solid-ground. For additional copies. www..org •The City of Seattle’s Website lists local resources to help you compost.lead..org sources Include: • Interbay Garden.gov/util/services/Yard/Composting/ sOURCEs FOR GARDENING FOR GOOD NUTRITION.0224 or email: help@garden hotline.greenup.seattle.GARDENING REsOURCEs.15th Avenue West & West Armour Street • www. This guide was written and edited by volunteers and staff of Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link Program — including master gardeners and professional nutritionists..gov/util/services/Yard/Composting/ 28 . Call: 206.684.journeytoforever. please contact: Lettuce Link Program Coordinator Call: 206. In the Seattle Area •Seattle’s P-Patch program periodically offers free classes on organic gardening.on. Call: 206.

MailiNG address 1501 North 45th Street.org Reasonable accommodations for disabilities made on request. Seattle. we must undo racism.1. we can build a community free from poverty. will and ability to end poverty. social justice and opportunities. prejudice and neglect in which all members stand on Solid Ground with the skills and confidence needed to achieve their dreams. We believe that together.694.Lettuce Link is a program of We believe… • Our community has the resources. • Racism perpetuates poverty. To end poverty.1 eMail lettucelink@solid-ground. . shelter.org WeB 7.694. • All people have the right to food.6754 tty faX 206. WA 98103-6708 lettuce liNk iNfo 206.6777 solid-ground.

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