When we moved to the acreage and I finally got my big garden, I decided that I would try to go with as much heritage/heirloom seed as possible.
Going with heritage has expanded my produce horizons, and introduced me to different varieties that I would never find in the store (last year I had 8 different types of tomatoes....the seed catalog had over 30 pages just of this fruit!!). You don't pick up these seeds at the grocery store or box box home improvement store. There are multiple places you can now order from, and getting my seed catalog every year is definitely a highlight!
From the Heritage Harvest Seed website; "Magenta Magic Orach Seeds. An heirloom orach variety found growing at an old Montana homestead and collected by John Navazio and then given to Frank Morton. The beautiful leaves are a unique iridescent fuscia color and can be cooked like spinach or eaten raw in salad. Orach is highly nutritious and is becoming the new “Kale” due to its health benefits. Best of all, orach is very easy to grow!"
Highly nutritious is an understatement!
Orach contains significant levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, carotenes, protein, anthocyanins, zinc, selenium, tryptophan, and dietary fiber, and also has a unique ability to store salt in its leaves.
What's it good for?
This bad boy can help with digestion, due to its fibre content, zinc and other minerals. It's also been found to have a slight diuretic effect which can help purify the kidneys and eliminate toxins, excess salts, water, and even fat from your body. The antioxidants in orach are being shown to reduce the risk of cancer from developing and can neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress (help with signs of premature aging anyone?). It can help prevent macular degeneration and help keep your eyes healthy among it's super powers.
Besides offering a boost in metabolism, the proteins, minerals, and vitamins stored in orach can help everything from hormonal regulation to enzymatic reactions that are required to keep the body functioning in top shape. Also, the high levels of iron and calcium boost red blood cell creation, circulation, and oxygenation of the tissues and organ systems, increasing overall metabolic efficiency and keeping your body regulated and healthy.
Orach gets an A+ in the C department. You're looking at twice the amount of vitamin C than kiwis or lemons (which are often considered top C performers).
This truly is a nutrient rich super food.
- Just a note, much like other vegetables in its family, it has minute amounts of oxalic acid which may crystallize in the body if taken in large amounts. People are suffering from Kidney stones and gall-bladder stones it is best to avoid Orach. -
How do you eat it?
Orach can take the place of kale or spinach in any recipe or way you eat it. It can be cooked, steamed, in a smoothie or my favourite, raw in a salad. The best part of growing something at home above the accomplishment of growing your own food (and this truly is an easy one to grow), you have fresh, healthy "greens" available at your fingertips. I don't over wash mine, just a quick rinse; the soil my garden is grown in is FULL of healthy bacteria, and I like to give my microbiome a boost! We shouldn't be eating sterile food!
This is the first harvest in my garden - I planted on the long weekend in May, so less than a month in. You still have plenty of time to grab some seeds; it's also much hardier than spinach, so can tolerate the heat of summer!
Why not give some Heritage Seeds a try in your garden. You may be pleasantly surprised at the nutritional treasures that you can find (made all the better by growing them in your own back or front yard, or even in a container on your deck!)