7 Superfoods to Grow in Temperate Climates
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Different climates help different plants grow, and as highlighted in our previous article ‘7 Interesting Facts About Agriculture’, certain plants require cold weather to flower. Here are some other plants to think of growing on your farm that thrive in temperate climates:
Packed with flavonoids and antioxidants, blueberries are said to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. As Michaela Logue explains in a LinkedIn post, they're an excellent source of fibre and micronutrients, and they are also free of unsaturated fat.
Blueberries thrive in acidic soil. It’s also a good practice to expose your blueberries to full sunlight if you live near the coast, or in partial shade if you live in hotter inland areas. Keep the plants moist (but not soaked) and fertilized during the growing season.
Before becoming one of the most common root vegetables in kitchens, garlic used to be prescribed as a medicine across many major civilizations.
Garlic is easy to grow and all you have to do is to plant the right varieties at the right time in the right soil. For instance, soft neck garlic is better adapted to warmer climates.
Regardless of variety, rice is a staple food for many countries, especially those in Asia. Rice has a variety of applications – from Mexican stir-fries to sushi rolls and everything in between. Rice is so versatile that, last year, Americans consumed around 4.29 metric tons of rice.
Planting rice is easy, but the challenging part is growing it through harvest because you’ll need 40 continuous days of warm temperature. Aside from a hot and sunny condition, rice also requires tons of water so this plant is ideal for farmers near lakes and ponds. Rice is an adaptable plant which can be grown in a wide range of climates. Here is an example of a farm in Vermont where they are growing rice commercially.
Known as the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes can improve heart health, skin, vision and help in the management of diabetes.
The Spruce’s article highlighted that when growing tomatoes, you should deeply bury the stems along with the roots and avoid overcrowding the seedlings. Tomatoes are plants that love the heat and they won’t start growing unless both the soil and air temperatures are warm. That being said, remember to preheat your soil by covering the planting area with a black or red plastic for a couple of weeks and expose the plant to strong, direct sunlight for long hours everyday.
As reported in BBC Good Food’s article, spinach is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C and folate. It’s also rich in manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. All these nutrients help make spinach effective in fighting oxidative stress, preventing cancer, improving eye health and moderating blood pressure. Spinach is fairly easy to grow: just remember to plant the seeds an inch apart and bury them ½ inch into the soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist and adjust the spaces between the seeds to three to five inches when they’ve finally germinated. Here is an article that provides great information about spinach varieties.
Native to the Mediterranean climate, artichokes are loaded with nutrients that help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Women Health’s Mag's article explained that this perennial plant can help strengthen your gut, boost your immune system and ease the symptoms of IBS.
Artichokes like nitrogen rich soil They are also large and thus should be spaced at least four feet apart. To prevent artichoke roots from rotting, your soil must have good drainage but at the same time be able to retain water long enough to allow the roots to take it in during hot summers.
Aside from being a common root vegetable used to flavor and give mouth-watering aroma to food, onions are loaded with antioxidants, nutrients and cancer-fighting compounds such as vitamin A, which is a sulfur-containing compound that has been shown to decrease tumor development and slow the spread of ovarian and lung cancer in test-tube studies.
As explained in Good Housekeeping’s guide to growing onions, this wonderful crop can be grown from transplants, sets or seeds. Onions grow best if you keep them weeded but remember to use a sharp hoe to cut off intruders instead of pulling or digging up weeds, as doing so could damage the onion’s shallow roots.
With so many powerhouse plant options available to grow in many different climates it opens up many options for growing them commercially. I hope this has given you some new ideas to explore and some of their benefits as you plan your growing season.
Written for Farmbrite by Jennifer Birch