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Shelter In Place = Garden In Place

The Governor of California issued a shelter in place (read garden in place) order due to COVID-19.  Even though this is what I usually do on any given weekend, it didn’t feel as enjoyable until I realized I’m not stuck at home; I’m safe at home. The COVID-19 situation will end, and I can adjust my attitude for getting through this storm. One way to positively make a change in my life today for the future is to grow more food at home.

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

The foods below are simple to plant and care for and will be a great addition to any home garden.

Citrus Fruits

Some of my favorite food is citrus. This includes oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes.  If you live in the citrus belt, which is a loosely defined area from Southern California to Florida, you can easily grow citrus at home. If you live in the northern states, you will probably have to resort to raising them as houseplants.

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Red Bell Peppers

Surprisingly red bell pepper provide more Vitamin C per ounce than citrus.  Your body doesn’t store Vitamin C, so it’s necessary to supply it daily. Having varieties of ways to supply Vitamin C keeps your diet more interesting and provides Vitamin C supplies year-round.  Red bell peppers need 75 – 100 days to grow, so if you have short summers, you may need to start them indoors.

Garlic

This addition to many recipes we cook has heavy concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin, which helps boost our immune systems. It has been recognized for years for its infection-fighting value. Growing garlic is easy; it takes up little room and tastes excellent. The challenge with garlic is you need to plant it in the fall and harvest in the late spring or early summer. Maybe we missed this year, but you will have an opportunity soon. Once you try homegrown garlic, it is hard to go back to what you buy in the store.

Spinach

Very rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of immune systems. It works great as a salad or in a salad. You can also cook it; lightly sauté spinach with a little garlic, and you will have a healthy treat.  Spinach likes full sun for best growth. In warm areas, you can plant it with partial shade. Spinach grows best in 50 – 70-degree weather. When it’s hotter, you need to watch to make sure the spinach doesn’t bolt. Most varieties mature in 37 to 45 days.

Eating these foods is an excellent start for a healthy lifestyle.  There are other steps you will need to take to improve your immune system, like staying active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.  Gardening helps with all these steps.  Stay safe out there and make sure you do your best to taking positive steps during this particular time.

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