||Nash's Best! carrots
are always in high demand, among our local and Seattle customers alike. We have one
customer in Port Angeles whose young daughter will eat ONLY Nash's carrots! Nash
grows a special variety from Europe, called nantes. They grow well in cooler
climates, and they like our alluvial soils. Consequently, they are sweet, crunchy, and
full of beta carotene.
Carrots are related to parsley, dill,
fennel and celery (the Umbelliferae family). Eating carrots may lower blood
cholesterol levels, according to the USDA, and although many of us were raised to believe
carrots helps our vision, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Beta carotene is
converted to vitamin A by the body, and vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the
retina of the eye. That may be the basis for the myth that so many parents use to get
their kids to eat their vegetables. Try feeding your kids Nash's Best! They are so
sweet, you won't need to ask them twice.
||The health benefits of leafy
greens have been well documented by numerous studies. Many types of
leafy plants, such as chards, kale, collards, and cabbages, are rich in beta carotene,
vitamin C, and other substances that protect against cancer. They contain fiber and
various minerals (especially iron and calcium ounce for ounce about as much calcium
as whole milk in some cases). The richest source of vitamin C among the leafy greens
is kale. Nash grows green kale, and a variety of kale that he developed himself. It
looks purple when raw, but cooks to a bright green. Wrap unwashed greens in damp paper
towels, then place in plastic bag to keep for several days.
||One of the most versatile vegetables, potatoes
are high in vitamin C and minerals, and low in calories. We grow Yellow Finns, Yukon
Golds, and red potatoes. These varieties have very distinct flavors, unlike the common
Russet potato, which may need all the high-calorie trimmings just for taste. Our customers
claim Yellow Finns taste like we grew them in butter! Potatoes are an excellent source of
complex carbohydrates. One baked Yellow Finn eaten with the skin contains more potassium
than a 6-ounce glass of orange juice. The potato is a tuber, an underground stem, not a
root, that stores carbohydrates for the plant growing above. Today the potato is the
world's most widely consumed and economically important vegetable.
||Cabbage, rich in
vitamin C, has been domesticated for at least 2,500 years. We grow green, red, and Savoy
cabbages. Savoy (at left) is also a great source of beta carotene and vitamin A. Some studies show
that nitrogen compounds in cabbages called indoles play an important protective role
against cancer. In addition to the better known cabbages, we grow bok choy (sometimes
called Chinese mustard cabbage) and Brussels sprouts, also an excellent source of
vegetable protein. Brussels sprouts may top some folk's list as their least favorite
vegetable, but if you try them very fresh (and that means local!), and don't overcook
them, they will be sweet and tender, and you may just change your mind.
||Beets have the
highest sugar content of any vegetable, but are still low in calories. If you were raised
on canned beets, you have a real treat in store when you try fresh, organic beets. While
many think only of the red Detroit beets, there are also golden beets
(forefront, at left) and Chiogga beets, with red and white insides. Also, don't forget the
greens. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and easy to prepare. Just steam
them or use them in soups. In ancient European civilizations, only the greens were eaten,
and the roots were used to treat headaches and toothaches.
really a flower! In its early stages, it resembles broccoli (we grow that, too) as they
are both members of the Brassica genus. Like broccoli, cauliflower is an
excellent source of a B vitamin called folacin, and both of these cruciferous vegetables
are associated with reducing the risk of cancer. However, take care not to cook either too
long, because they will lose nearly all their B vitamin content. It has been found that
boiling cauliflower for 10 minutes causes the loss of 84% of its folacin, a greater loss
than any other vegetable. Most of it leaches into the cooking water, so you may want to
use it in soups or sauces.
||High in vitamin C and soluble fiber, there's
nothing that tastes as good as a fresh-picked ripe organic strawberry.