We grow a large variety of leafy greens on our farm.  The health benefits of leafy greens have been well documented by numerous studies.  Many types of leafy plants, such as chards, kale, collards, and cabbages, are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and other substances that protect against cancer. They contain fibre and various minerals (especially iron and calcium— ounce for ounce about as much calcium as whole milk in some cases).  The richest source of vitamin C among the leafy greens is kale. Wrap unwashed greens in damp paper towels, then place in plastic bag to keep for several days.

Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but are still low in calories. If you were raised on canned beets, you have a real treat in store when you try fresh beets. While many think only of the red beets, there are also golden beets and Chiogga beets, with red and white insides. Also, don't forget the greens. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and easy to prepare. Just steam them or use them in soups. In ancient European civilizations, only the greens were eaten, and the roots were used to treat headaches and toothaches.

Cauliflower is really a flower! In its early stages, it resembles broccoli (we grow that, too) as they are both members of the Brassica genus.  Like broccoli, cauliflower is an excellent source of a B vitamin called folacin, and both of these cruciferous vegetables are associated with reducing the risk of cancer. However, take care not to cook either too long, because they will lose nearly all their B vitamin content. It has been found that boiling cauliflower for 10 minutes causes the loss of 84% of its folacin, a greater loss than any other vegetable. Most of it leaches into the cooking water, so you may want to use it in soups or sauces.

Carrots are related to parsley, dill, fennel and celery (the Umbelliferae family). Eating carrots may lower blood cholesterol levels, according to the USDA, and although many of us were raised to believe carrots helps our vision, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A by the body, and vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the retina of the eye. That may be the basis for the myth that so many parents use to get their kids to eat their vegetables.