For the past eight years, the healthy eating plan Whole30 has served more than 100,000 people. This whole foods nutrition diet is enticing individuals looking for simple and clean foods. With grocery store prices rising each year, growing your own Whole30 foods at home is an economical and environmentally-friendly choice.
What You Can Eat on the Whole30 Program
With the Whole30 Program, you will avoid specific foods like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes. These foods can cause inflammation in your body, weight gain and other negative effects. Instead you will begin to consume whole foods such as meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, oils, nuts and seeds on a regular basis. You can grow your own fruit and vegetables organically in your backyard or in an apartment garden.
If this is the first time you’ve tried organic gardening, consider starting small with just a few vegetables. Since you eat some fruit with Whole30, you can limit your beginning garden to only one or two plants. Once you have a well established gardening process, you can add a larger assortment of vegetables and fruits.
You will be eating a lot of vegetables with the Whole30 Program. You may want to grow cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots and more in your garden, so you want a rich soil that is conducive to growth without chemical soil treatments.
You can send a sample of your soil to a laboratory or purchase a home testing kit. Experts recommend testing in the fall before applying any organic treatments before the winter season. The test results will give you the soil’s pH level and nutrient levels. You can adjust your treatments based on the results.
To provide your soil with organic matter, combine compost, leaf clippings, grass clippings and composted manure from local organically-raised livestock.
Vegetables like cucumbers and squash grow better from seeds. Consider purchasing your vegetable seeds and seedlings from your local farmer’s market to ensure the plants are free of chemicals. Group your vegetables together in raised beds to limit weeding and reduce water waste. Planting your vegetables in rows also allows for more aeration which is important for healthy growth and a decrease in fungal infections.
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Tomatoes are hardy and grow on vines making them an easy addition to your garden even if you have limited space. For example, tomatoes are great for growing in an apartment garden either on the roof, balcony or fire escape. Depending on the type of tomato you choose to grow, space the plants between 24 and 36 inches apart to increase aeration. You will want to wait until after the last frost when the temperature is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit to plant them.
Apartment dwellers can grow tomatoes in containers, too. The tomatoes will need six to eight hours of full sun each day and frequent watering to flourish. If you are using containers, you may want to try smaller varieties like cherry tomatoes to start with instead of the larger beefsteak tomatoes.
Another fruit you can grow in your garden is the strawberry. This fruit requires 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight with well-drained soil to grow properly. You can plant your strawberries 18 to 24 inches apart on raised beds. Strawberries grow very quickly and are ripe around 30 days after blooming. You can pick your red strawberries every two to three days and store them in the refrigerator.
You can also grow strawberries on an apartment balcony or fire escape in a sunny spot. Window boxes and hanging pots are perfect homes for strawberry plants, too, and don’t take up much space.
Although legumes like beans and peanuts are off limits on the Whole30 Program, the plan covers specific legumes. These include the pod plants green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Snow peas and sugar snap peas grow readily, and green beans are also one of the easiest to grow in your garden.
Pole beans will grow on a vine, just like tomatoes, making them perfect for an apartment garden or a garden with limited space. Bush beans do not require support and can grow two feet wide in an area. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, if you want a harvest of green beans that will last all summer, you can sow the beans every two weeks.
Snow peas and sugar snap peas have a limited growing season and do not stay fresh for long, so you will want to eat them right away. You can plant these early while the ground is still cold, but not wet. This type of pea will do well in soil at a temperature of 45 degrees for planting and below 70 degrees during their growth period.
This is just a sampling of the various foods you can grow. Now that you have the basics for growing your own Whole30 foods veggies and fruits, add your favorite organic meat and seafood to round out your diet. As you continue eating clean whole foods, you should feel the impact of this new way of eating on your quality of life.