There are many tiers to the eating-your-greens-and-growing-your-own-greens pyramid.

At the very bottom, tier 1, there’s the person who eats no veggies at all and declares war against greens. Usually this person will boast about being able to survive on a sure-way-to-coronary-heart-disease fries and soda diet.

One tier up on tier 2 there’s the person who resolves to eating their annual dose of veggies at Thanksgiving dinner and it’s usually mash potato with tons of butter and cream or pumpkin laden with syrup.

Tier 3 is the person who eats their veggies, just like mama told them to, but buys non-organic bulk greens that have been sitting in a giant plastic sealed packet for most of their lives and taste pretty much like green cardboard or airplane food.

Tier 4 people shop for produce in the organic section of mega supermarkets or smaller stores that look bright, fresh, green and wet because they get watered a lot in the store. If it’s a reputable store, it’s likely great produce.

Tier 5 people swear by organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free fresh produce at their local farmer’s market (if you live somewhere where there is a farmer’s market) that has likely been picked a day or two before (sometimes longer) and is pretty darn fresh as can be.

Tier 6 people go all the way. Not everybody wants to and not everybody does but these people have a back yard or front yard or roof deck or community garden where they have allocated enough space to plant their greens (and live in a sunny enough place where their greens will grow). They’ve educated themselves on gardening; and harvesting their own greens is their passion. They do it for the love of greens!

Now you can definitely jump between tiers on different days or at different times of your life but as a Health Coach who encourages great health for your clients, please don’t sell yourself short by selling out to tier one, two or even three. You can do way better than that. And, it’s not as hard as you think. You do, of course need the right conditions such as enough sunshine, enough water and fertile soil for things to grow but if you have all that, you’re halfway there.

Right now is also the perfect time to start planning your spring greens BTW!

Here are 6 simple steps to growing your own greens!:

  • Build a raised bed at least 13 inches high to allow the plants enough space for their roots to grow. Make sure to cover the bottom with cardboard or mesh so that animals don’t burrow up and eat your greens. If you can’t build one or have no space then start with buying or finding free big pots that have a drainage hole at the bottom.
  • Visit your local nursery and get a high quality soil and fertilizer / compost mix. (The better the soil, the more nutrients your greens will get). Dump the mix in your veggie bed or in your pot using a garden shovel or cobra tool to break up the soil.
  •  At the nursery, you’ll want to buy starter crops that are often easier to grow than seeds. Buy what you love to eat and do your research to make sure it’s a crop that loves to grow in the season in which you are planting it. Ask your nursery person for some tips. They love to talk gardening!
  • Dig little holes with your tool or hand and plant your starters with enough growing space in between them so they don’t overcrowd each other. Pat down the soil around each plant so it’s firm to the touch and will keep your starter plants nice and snug. (If you’re planting in pots, the same logic applies only on a smaller scale.)
  • Cover your garden bed with mesh to prevent animals getting into it. Use thin bamboo sticks to keep the mesh up by placing them a few feet apart around the entire bed.
  • Water and wait. (Water enough to keep them moist to the touch all the time but not so wet that the soil is soggy.)

Growing your own greens is as rewarding as it is challenging, at first. But it’s not rocket science. Do your research, ask your friends who are gardening nerds for advice, speak to other Health Coaches about their growing green journeys and good luck!

Leave a comment below and let us know what you plan to do for your green bed! How did your planting go? Share your growing green story below! We’d love to hear about your growing greens adventure!

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