Anticancer Garden Update For August 2015

In an effort to do my part in fighting my cancer I have been trying to eat organic, GMO free and as many super foods as possible. When I say super foods I don’t mean foods that necessarily kill cancer but ones that are as healthy for me as possible. For example, I consider mushrooms a “super food”. Why? Because, simply by consuming plain old button mushrooms, you can give your immunity a boost. Garlic, onions, anything in the allium family are usually considered a super food. I have a list of cancer fighting foods that I have compiled. Read More So, here is my anticancer garden update for August 2015.

Now, super food, as you can guess is really not a scientific term but is a idiom that has caught on that expresses the belief that certain foods can do more than nourish your body. They can become part of your “medicine chest”. In fact, “food as medicine” is a very popular saying in hospitals now. I worked in one where that saying was plastered everywhere. They would happily serve you pie and cola for breakfast as long as you paid for it but still….the thought was there.Β  πŸ™‚

What I’m Growing

I decided to grow things that fit into a few criteria. It had to either be a cancer fighter, expensive to purchase, hard to get organically AND I had to like it. So, I’m growing things like cherry tomatoes because unless you want to wash every single tomato then you’re gonna be eating pesticides. Corn, is another one. I am growing corn because it’s almost impossible to get corn that has not been genetically modified. I’m growing summer squash for the same reason. I’m growing strawberry popcorn for my son…that’s just for fun. Tons of beans because they are hard to wash and hard to get organically. My watermelon patch is doing well. I grew the sugar baby variety. I grew peas as an experiment. They were great. I will do that again. πŸ™‚Β  Tomatoes of every variety because, again, they are hard to get organically in the supermarket without a 30 year mortgage.

What I’ve Learned

It’s funny, but being from New York, the idea of shade cloth never crossed my mind. I think that I really do need it here in North Carolina. Everything ripens much quicker here. My yellow squash hardened and went to seed much quicker than I have ever seen before. It’s more “tropical” here than in New York and there is enough rain to keep things going but if you want nice and steady growth you need to supplement with a daily watering in the heat of the day.

I have also learned that tomato horn worms are giant worms that eat your tomato plants overnight. If you’ve ever read Dune or seen the movie then think of those worms….only green and more evil. πŸ™‚Β  The majority of them come out in mid to late June here in NC and are the exact color of the tomato plant. They sit there waiting for the night. When evening arrives they devour your tomato plants. UG!Β  Little devils. The organic way to get rid of them is to pick them off by hand in the evening and leave them to the birds….or squish them if you have that much hatred for them. My son was infuriated! They ate his tomatoes! Hey, he’s 7…give him a break!Β  We didn’t squish any.Β  πŸ™‚

I also learned that we have giant rats that look like deer. Yes! It’s true! They will eat your entire crop of corn in a sitting and laugh from the woods when you come out to check on the garden. I’m sure that I hear them laughing. Well, I will get the last laugh next year. I have plans to keep them out. I had an ear of corn that was over a foot long and they got it!!! Hmm…ear…..foot….sounds like a kids joke. Any how, wildlife seems to be an issue here in the wooded hills of North Carolina. πŸ™‚

I experimented with direct seeding everything which was fine but slowed things down a bit. Next year I will start some things indoors. Tomatoes will definitely need a head start. Still, everything came up. In fact, everything came up like weeds. When the package says 9 foot pole beans…that’s what you get!!!

Sunflowers. If you like squirrels in your garden then do what I did and plant 4 million sunflowers. Otherwise, don’t plant them or plant them somewhere else. As it turns out, squirrels like seeds….who knew!? Oh boy. I can’t believe I did that. πŸ™‚Β  What I will do next year is plant more flowers. It seems that unless I plant flowers we have no bees. Next year, I will do that. Just not tasty seed bearing flowers for the fat squirrels.

Β Next Year

My plans for next year will be much better. Here’s what I am planning for next year. I am planning a spring garden full of English Shell Peas, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beans and other salad greens. I will also plant Beets, Tomatoes, Corn, Summer Squash, Carrots, Herbs and some added summer greens in the spring for a lead into the summer garden. In the summer garden I am also planning Watermelon (a larger type this year), Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Tomatoes, More Beans and maybe some Pumpkins. I hope by planting late in the summer I can get some broccoli, cauliflower and the like in the fall garden. I also hope to plant more peas and salad greens for a second go at harvesting late in the season.

I would love to hear about any garden plans that you might have or any suggestions for my anticancer garden. I guess I should find a spot for garlic too.

Stay Strong!
Ed – To use my images on your blog for free – Click Here





  1. That garden looks lush! much bigger than I had thought! by the way, the cone flower seeds will bring lots of bees. Love this post!

  2. Immensely enjoyed reading about your organic gardening adventure. Those worms would have scared me though. My grandfather was a farmer by trade and I have always had the gardening bug ( no pun intended) but all my neighbors who have gardens are competing with deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds and foxes. I sit out on my deck and watch the rabbits eating their full. I tried growing tomatoes and herbs on my deck in containers only to find that critters in the night had nibbled them all away. They especially liked my parsley. One suggestion I have is to plant marigolds around the garden. I have heard they keep some animals away.

    • Thanks! Marigolds are a great suggestion. I might try laser beams instead. πŸ™‚
      I have to be honest….I’m a softy! I plant enough so nature gets some and I get some too.
      It’s OK if they get a bit…..just as long as they don’t become greedy. πŸ™‚
      OH, and those worms….seriously…5 and 6 inches long!!!!
      I’m gonna buy some evergreen bushes to plant around my yard and then I plan on buying a bunch of blueberry bushes too.

      Growing plants in containers is always the hardest.
      You might want to find a spot and try planting in the ground.
      I think it’s easier.

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