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Growing up

No matter what the weather – come winter or summer – rain or shine – seeds will grow!!! I still get excited when I see my seeds sprouting!! It has taken two weeks for them to go from seed to sprouts! The amazingness of nature!! So every two weeks I should be sowing seeds! Wow, I would have a harvest garden for all to envy! I still have to get to that perfect balance of harvesting food from my garden to sustain us on a daily basis and some for the family and lots for the chickens and compost heaps. I know that with all the knowledge I have gathered since gardening and blogging, I can have this perfectly harmonious vegetable garden. But it still takes enormous effort, energy and time to get the balance right!  I am just pleased that I can have this piece of paradise that I call my garden (and home) and that I can share it and what I grow in it will those I care about! I have grown up, along with my seeds, and through my failures and my achievements I am still here! I still make time to go and listen to my plants and play with the chickens and to enjoy heaven on earth – come rain or shine!

[one_half]Sweet Rocket[/one_half]


It is so interesting to see the seedlings of Kale – Chinese Cabbage – Sweet Rocket all look alike. I was not aware that Sweet Rocket was of the same family!!

I have been looking for Kale seeds for ages!! I am excited to grow it because of all the power-packed nutrients and it looks pretty! This is what I found in my research:

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and is beneficial to your health in many ways. One cup of kale has zero fat and only 36 calories and is high in vitamins and antioxidants. You can eat this green raw or cooked.

Detoxification and Weight loss

The fiber (5 grams in one cup) and sulfur in kale aid with digestion and liver health. The Vitamin C it contains hydrates your body and increases your metabolism, leading to weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels. The fiber in kale also lowers cholesterol.

Strengthen your Immune System

Kale’s impressive concentration of nutrients strengthens the immune system and fights viruses and bacteria. Kale has more iron than beef, making it a great source of this valuable mineral for vegans and vegetarians. It helps more oxygen get to your blood and greatly helps those who are anemic.

Healthier Hair, Skin & Nails

The healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids keep your body strong, healthy and beautiful from the inside out. Kale’s concentration of major nutrients gives your skin’s health and appearance a boost.

See Clearly and Stand Strong

Kale’s Vitamin A content helps keep the eyes from optical disorders that come with age. It also helps store vitamins in the retina. The calcium and vitamin K and D keep your bones strong.


The omega-3 fatty acids in kale help fight and alleviate arthritis, autoimmune disorders and asthma. The vitamin C content helps relieve stiff joints.

Fighting Disease

Kale, like other dark green veggies, may be helpful in preventing various cancers such as colon, prostate and ovarian. Its abundant vitamin K content is important for bone health, forestalling the effects of osteoporosis. And the folic acid and B6 provide cardiovascular support and prevent heart disease.



[one_half_last]Seedlings in trays[/one_half_last]

In my seedling trays are: Kale, Chinese Cabbage, Sweet Rocket, Swiss Chard, Peas and Cos Lettuce.

Arugula, also known as Sweet Rocket or Garden Rocket, is a nutritious green-leafy vegetable of Mediterranean origin. It belongs within the Brassicaceae family similar as mustard greens, cauliflower, kale…,etc., and has the scientific name: Eruca sativa.

Fresh rocket is a very good source of folates. Like kale, salad rocket is an excellent source of vitamin A.  Carotenes convert into vitamin A in the body. Studies found that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in green leafy vegetables help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.

This vegetable also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.

Fresh rocket leaves contain good levels of vitamin C, a powerful, natural anti-oxidant. Foods rich in this vitamin help the body develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

Salad rocket is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K, which has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Arugula leaves contain adequate levels of minerals, especially copper and iron. In addition, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.

WOW!! I am growing a powerhouse of goodness!!

Have a Happy Gardening Day! xxxxxx

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

15 replies on “Growing up”

Hi Donna – I have tried the Sweet Rocket and the Wild Rocket – I like both. The sweet rocket has white flowers and larger leaves that are not as sharp. I do prefer them in my salads. The wild rocket grows wild!! 🙂

I have never grown or eaten kale, but I think I must try now! Is it much like chard? I discovered chard only a couple years ago, and I love it. It also has wonderful nutritional benefits.

No idea!! This is my first time! It is from the same family as broccoli and cabbage, so my guess is it will be like cabbage. Can’t wait to find out!

Hi Charlie – hows the diet? I am in the middle of winter and just want to eat! Guess if I get my veggie patch looking edible, then it will motivate me!

Congratulations on the kale seed find! I’ve said it before, but if I could only grow one food plant in my garden, it would be kale.

(Kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi– they’re all the same species! The mustards are closely related too, so the seedlings do look identical until the first true leaves show.)

Your seedlings look amazing!

Please can you let me know where you bought your heirloom seeds from? (I’m in Cape Town.)

Also, how do you prepare the seedling trays? Do you use special seedling soil that you buy from the plant nursery, or can you use ordinary soil mixed with compost?

And where do you leave your seedling trays? This is the burning question for me cos I have a tiny garden with either lots of shade or one area that is blazing hot. Also, I have a very curious dog, so I have to keep the trays away from him otherwise he likes to run around with them (soil flies everywhere!) and tear them up! So my only real option is a full-shade area under a pergola with thick bougainvillea. It is light but no direct sun at all.


Hi Marilyn,
Thanks for your comment. I buy them online at
The seedling mix I but from my nursery I mix with peat, a few handfuls of bone meal and them my amazing worm compost. This makes an amazing soil for my seedlings. The problem is that they need sun!! Maybe you can pot them and keep them on a shelf in the sun! You are not going to get strong seedings in the shade! What about a hanging garden??

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