Amaranth are plants with lots of useful uses.  Some species have very good nutricious seeds (amaranthus caudatus, am. cruentus, am. hypochondriacus and others), most of these seed-amaranths have also edible leaves, but some amaranth species are especially grown for leaf production.  The leaves are eaten as spinach (amaranthus tricolor, am.viridis, am.spinosus,...).  These leaf amaranth varieties are mostly sold as ‘calaloo’.

Amaranth is one of the easiest plants to grow, it self-seeds easily over here, harvesting the grain is very easy compared to wheat or other grains.  And, they’re very ornamental....



Well-known plants with marvelous foliage and edible flowerheads.  Artichokes (cynara cardunculus) are mainly used in Mediterranean cuisine, but the heads can be used in every meal.  Unfortunately, I tried to grow artichokes lots of times, but every time the roots get eaten by mice....

The plants prefer warm summers and mild winters (they need some protection in cold winter circumstances)

Other frequently used names are rocket-salad, rucola or roquette (eruca sativa).  One of the easiest to grow salad plants, and a plant that takes a lot of frost.  I always sow this one in autumn just to get a good winter harvest of good tasting leaves, they can be used as salad additions or prepared as some sort of spinach.  The flowers can also be eaten, and are very attractive in salad mixtures.  Don’t sow the plants during summertime, they bolt quickly and you hardly get any leaves...


Withania somnifera, a herb from the solanaceae family, also called Indian ginseng.  The roots are used in hot drinks, the leaves are brewed into tea, and eating a leaf a day gives some reinforcement of the human body.  Easy to grow plants, also suited for pot-growing.


Again a well-known plant originating in the mediterrean.  The Romans grew it a lot. The young shoots of the plants are a delight, they are only harvested in spring.  Plants grown from seed take three years to get established, asparagus (asparagus officinalis) wants a good soil structure and is very happy with lots of compost or other food.  The most common asparagus is the creamy-white one, but there are purple and other coloured varieties.  Most of these coloured varieties aren’t harvested under the ground, but above, and these varieties grow better in heavy soils.