This is the time to take care of the garden! Taking care of plants, seeing them grow, bloom and then reap the fruits is healing, puts you in a good mood, removes bad thoughts and empowers the mind leaving it free to draw on its talents and resources. Because it is these resources that help us overcome any trauma, concern or obstacle. By taking care of a vegetable garden we also take care of ourselves! Today we talk about gooseberries, red currants and coriander.
Gooseberry, scientific name Ribes uva crispa, is a plant characterized by white or red berries, this depends on the type of the plant. The shrub is strong and rustic, the flowers appear between March and April while the fruits ripen between July and August. The plant doesn’t have particular needs, lives well in the shade and resists low temperatures. Gooseberry should be watered regularly and, as regards pruning, this should be carried out preferably in early spring and only the strongest branches capable of bearing fruit should be left while the weakest branches, suckers and the oldest branches that have more than four years should be cut. You can consume gooseberry fruits naturally or add them to fruit salads, they are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, but also group B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper (Anastasiadi et al, Postharvest Biol Technol., 2016 - FDA database).
The red currant, scientific name ribes rubrum, is a perennial shrub that is appreciated for its berries that are of a beautiful ruby red color and are characterized by refreshing and slightly laxative properties. Moreover, red currant contains vitamin C, it is antioxidant, helps digestion, is purifying and helps to fight inflammations, especially those affecting the urinary tract (Messèguè, My herbarium - Djordjevic et al, Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2010). This seedling can be added without problems to the home garden, it does not require special care and lives well in areas in partial shade. However, it fears drought and dry soil, so it should be watered on a regular basis. For what concerns pruning, the oldest branches should be eliminated since, after 5 years of age, they stop producing fruit. The cuts should be made after the harvest of the fruits.
Coriander, scientific name coriandrum sativum, also called cilantro, is a very interesting aromatic seedling to be planted in the vegetable garden or grown in pots on the balcony. In the kitchen both fresh leaves and dried seeds are used. The dried seeds are obtained by cutting the browned umbel inflorescences, in July, and left them to dry tied in bunches and upside down in ventilated, dry and dark places. Then, the inflorescences are beaten to collect the seeds that can be stored in glass jars. Coriander is one of the spices of the famous curry. Coriander seeds bring important fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic and palmitic acids, they are antioxidants, digestive, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and anti-diabetic. Also the leaves are antioxidants, even more than the seeds, they help digestion and are used in the kitchen instead of parsley to flavor dishes even if, it must be said, they are not always appreciated due to the very strong flavor (Faydalari et al, Spatula, 2011). You can grow coriander in a sunny area, watering should be frequent and regular but without exaggerating in quantity.