The first subtle smell of spring was in the air. Annie smiled, thinking of past springs she and LJ shared on earth, their previous home now swamped by 500 days of unremitting rain due to human-induced global warming. Despite decades of environmentalists sounding the alarm and showing direct evidence of the planet’s destruction, too many ignored the warnings, and now it was gone. Annie and LJ lived on the Ark of Seeds and were responsible for the 930,000 seeds, representing the earth’s entire biodiversity. They and other survivors, also living on arks, were dedicated to cleaning up the water, hoping someday, when it receded, and the earth was revealed again, there would be a planet where the seeds and the offspring of the saved animals could repopulate.
The first quarterly gathering of the arks was coming to a close. Arks had traveled for thousands of miles to meet around the mother ark, Destiny to share, plan and visit. This was the time of year when spring planning and planting was the primary topic. Annie and LJ would be swamped because they were responsible for distributing seeds and replenishing the seed bank. And they were also responsible for hosting an open-air market on their ark for everyone to bring crops to share.
“Whoa, Ben, your crops are amazing,” laughed LJ. “How did you manage to grow everything so big?”
“Not to mention so delicious looking too,” added Annie.
“You know I grew up on a farm in the Central Valley,” said Ben. “I had to go back to what the ancestors taught to get these beauties. We can only grow organically, right? There’s no other choice. Despite our current circumstances, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West. Where the Farm Arks are right now, it is late winter early spring, meaning these crops need sun and cooler weather. It’s also economical to work with Mother nature and grow seasonally. The foods are tastier, fresher, and at their nutritional best. These collards are from the cabbage family; both are in season now. Collards are an excellent source of vitamin A, Beta Carotene, and calcium. For your body to absorb calcium effectively, you need the presence of vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D are Citrus Fruits like tangerines, pomelos, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, all in season. Cabbage, which includes these Savoy’s, Red, and Chinese varieties, is a healthy source of beta-carotene and lutein that protects the heart. Cabbage also helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol which causes hardening of the arteries. Plus, there’s no end to the ways to prepare cabbage. And it’s easy to grow.”
“That makes sense,’ said Annie admiringly. “Growing food that is nutritionally synergistic is a health benefit. Is this luscious kale part of that scenario too?”
Ben smiled, “yes, this is Kale season too; they are loaded with vitamin A, essential for eye and bone health. Kale also contains vitamin C an immune system booster, which aids in cold and flu prevention. A good companion nutritionally is Broccoli, a member of the brassica family like kale, cabbage, and Cauliflower. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, important for our new lifestyle. It is a source of sulforaphane known to help reduce the risk of certain cancers like prostate cancer.”
LJ thoughtfully nodded, “I get it; kale supports the immune system, and broccoli suppresses the development of some types of cancer, making them partners in health protection.”
“That’s right,” said Ben. Cauliflower supports the immune system too and the heart. And when you add Cauliflower to your diet, now you have a triple threat for diseases. Also, the choline In Cauliflower helps regulate mood, memory, hormone balance, and muscle control.”
“Look at all of the Sweet Potatoes,” exclaimed Annie. “I am a sweet potato lover; thank you for growing a variety. I see Japanese, White Hannah, and Purple; each is a great fiber, vitamins, and minerals source. They also support the immune system, brain, gut, and healthy vision. Sweet Potatoes have cancer-fighting properties too.”
Ben looked at Annie and LJ,” Thanks for your encouragement and support; when we are planning crops, we keep in mind that we must view and treat food as though it is our only source of medicine; this is our way now.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.