Grow your own Drugs
Yes, you read that right, but don’t get the wrong idea! You can grow your own drugs in your backyard. Let me explain: there are so many things we can grow in our garden which can not only heal us, but provide a sustainable source of food, a green manuring cover crop, or to a scientist, a legume crop which helps to fix nitrogen back into the soil.
I speak of Fenugreek; a spice to the cook, medicine to the herbalist, a green manuring cover crop to the gardener, and, to the scientist, Trigonella foenum-graecum, a plant from Fabaceae (family of legumes) which fixes nitrogen from the air back into the soil.
Auckland winter is known for storms - rain, wind, and thunder. A great excuse to leave the garden to its destiny. Some seasoned gardeners give it a rest and plant a cover crop like mustard, oats or barley. These are very fit for purpose, but if you are looking for a crop that also provides healthy nutrition, regulates blood pressure, blood sugar, and proper balance of hormones, plus can give your libido a boost, then fenugreek is it.
Fenugreek is very easy to grow, can be bought in any Indian spice store, and is typically sown in winter. It just needs a well-drained, sunny spot and in 24hrs your new “drug” crop is on its way. The whole crop can be harvested in 45 days or leaves can be harvested at any time of the growth depending upon requirement.
The leaves can be used like spinach, while the seeds are slightly bitter and typically used in spice blends; added to pickles, curries and sauces, and even as a tea. And, it’s the perfect spice accompaniment for potatoes - while potatoes raise your blood sugar, fenugreek evens it out making the perfect companion.
Next time if you need a cover crop, or an excuse to stay away from your garden in winter, give this ‘alien’ a go, chances are you might find a friend for life.
Jai :: Sustainable Landscape Consultant
p :: 021-050-3045