September 17, 2017: Dr. Cowan’s Garden

We toured Dr Cowan’s Garden in Napa where some of his nutritionally powerful and playful vegetable powders are grown.

The garden has 38 beds on about an acre of land. It functions as an experimental garden (how does the vegetable grow and does it powder well?), a production garden and a kitchen garden. Tom Cowan once counted 59 different edible plants growing in the garden.

Ashitaba is the signature plant (Tom is holding a leaf in the bottom middle photo). It has twice as many nutrients as greens such as kale; it grows a new leaf when a leaf is removed; it produces a yellow sap with a chemical, chalcones, a potent natural chemotherapy drug.

Clockwise from top left: ashwaganda, pumpkins, shiso, malabar spinach, indigo apple tomato, glass gem corn

Gynura procumbens, also called longevity spinach or Okinawan spinach, has a chemical similar to Metformin for diabetes. Many varieties of pumpkin are grown, such as Hopi pumpkins, Japanese heirloom pumpkins, Long Island cheese pumpkins, banana pumpkins and a New Zealand pumpkin.  Indigo apple tomatoes taste a bit like bacon and have twice the amount of lycopene as other tomatoes.

The potluck made extra nutrient-dense with lots of powders. Delicious.

~ Karen Hamilton-Roth