Nutrition and ground cover

I had originally been going to write a post about the colour red, having seen the beautiful blooms on my rose this year.

Last year, there were hardly any flowers, so it was a little disappointing.

There are also the poppies, less numerous in number this year, as I’ve been pulling the seedlings out in unwanted places. Still, they are a delight to the eye and it would be such shame if there were none.

The red currants finally seem to be coming into production. I noticed the fruit are just starting to ripen, so the netting has gone round them this evening in an attempt to preserve some for myself!

And the strawberries are already in abundance. Fortunately, two of my colleague seem very keen to have a kilo or so. One is dreaming of smoothies and jams….

I’ve already started on the jam, albeit with rhubarb, which I also got round to making this evening. This is more brown than red, though – I think I caramelised the sugar.

Anyway, onto the new point of this post. This morning, I read an article about feeding and protecting the soil. And learned something new: it would appear that conventionally grown/bred food is depleted in micro-nutrients in comparison with eighty years ago.

However, perennial ground cover reverses this trend where it is used. Therefore the produce from my forest garden should be more nutrient dense than the equivalent from a supermarket, for example.

The article in question can be found here – I also followed up by reading the Thomas (2007) article in the journal Nutrition and Health, which was quoted in the article. This shows in detail the variation in nutrients such as potassium and copper in our food. Very worrying!


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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16 Responses to Nutrition and ground cover

  1. Interesting. We have lots of vinca which we have to keep under control. We also have many red flowers this year.

  2. Clare Pooley says:

    Thanks for the link, Helen. Very interesting!

  3. I’m a huge fan of mulching, which protects the soil and provides food for the microbes. I have bookmarked that article it looks really good …

  4. thegreanbean says:

    A recent Swedish film documetary (The last harvest) brought up the same issues, very interesting and worrying

  5. Helen, thanks for sharing the link. I’ve read it through once, but it’s dense, so I’ll read it again when I’m no so tired. (It’s nearly 100F right now so I’m feeling lethargic). It usually lifts when the temps go down.

    • Helen says:

      100F! It’s while since I’ve experienced such a high temperature – I don’t blame you for not ploughing through the article, Alys.

      • Thanks, Helen. Blissfully, we’re back down to seasonal norms again (mid-eighties). I’m limited with my gardening time though. I’m either out there very early or after the sun sets, and that doesn’t happen till after 8 here. You’re pretty far north aren’t you? When does your sun set for the day in June?

        • Helen says:

          The sun will officially set here tonight at 21:29 but it won’t be properly dark until 11, so getting to sleep is a bit of a nightmare, especially with temperatures in the same range as yours (currently). So, it’s too hot in the back garden to do work except first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. It is a bit peculiar picking strawberries at 10 pm 😊.

          • Those are long, long days. I would really find it challenging to sleep with it so light. I visited a friend in Canada a few summers ago, and it was also light until well after 10. Or course we were so busy gabbing, and having fun that it hardly matter, but day to day, I think I would need room-darkening shades to get to sleep.

          • Helen says:

            I actually took note after my last reply to you and discovered that at 11 it was still twilight. No wonder my brain is confused!

            Blinds are definitely a good idea, Alys.

          • Here in the States you can buy “temporary” blackout paper shades. They’re affordable and work wonders.

          • Helen says:

            That sounds good 😊

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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