Last week I became the proud owner of 4 moringa trees. Until just recently I had never heard of moringa but after doing some research I was super excited when Karen from Blue Yonder Urban Farm offered to send me some seedlings to review.
So, what’s so amazing about moringa?
How’s this for starters? Moringa leaves have 2 times the protein as yogurt, 7 times the vitamin C as oranges, 3 times the potassium as bananas, 4 times the Vitamin A as carrots and 4 times the calcium as milk. Moringa leaves also contain vitamins B1, B2, and B3, as well as chromium, copper, fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. You can also eat the flowers and the seed pods
But that’s not all, according to WebMD, moringa is used to help with anemia, arthritis and joint pain, asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, stomach pain, ulcers, headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, thyroid disorders and bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections. It can be used topically for wound care. And it’s being used in cancer research.
Moringa also has complete amino acids which makes it an excellent choice for vegans to round out their diet.
It can be used in livestock fodder and animals love it. So you might want to protect it from rabbits, chickens, etc. while it’s growing.
And probably the coolest thing is that the crushed seeds can be used for water purification.
Of course, you can buy moringa leaves and powders for anywhere from $14-$25 a pound. But why, when you can just grow your own.
The moringa tree seedlings were shipped in a priority box and insulated. I was highly impressed with how they were shipped. The trees arrived 3 days after being shipped. We were super busy and I wasn’t able to plant them for a few days. So this picture was taken almost a week after the trees were shipped. They look good, right?
We decided to plant them on the south side of our barn. We don’t get super cold here (zone 9) but I don’t want to take any chances. We probably could/should have planted them a little farther away from the barn but I didn’t have the heart to tell that to Gabriel after he dug all the holes.
Here are some things I’ve learned about growing moringa…
- Moringa likes warmth so in the US it will grow best in zones 9 and up. If you live in a colder climate, you can still grow it, it just needs to be in a pot so you can bring it inside.
- Will grow in almost any soil but really likes well drained soil.
- It can grow 15-20 feet in one season, so plant it where you want it.
- Water regularly the first few months then just water when it seems like it needs it. Moringa is very drought resistant – which is good for me.
- Moringa will flower when there’s adequate water, so if it rains a lot where you live, it will flower a lot. If it doesn’t rain much, you can force it to flower by watering.
- Moringa doesn’t appear to have many pests in the US.
- If the roots are continually we they can develop root rot, so make sure you plant in well drained soil
Harvesting and Preserving:
- You can harvest the young leaves and eat like spinach
- The older leaves can also be dried out and used to make a teas.
- The pods can be harvested when they are young and snap like green snap beans.
- The mature seeds can be dried out stored to plant later or to crush to use for water purification.
If you’re interested in growing your own moringa, you can purchase seeds and seedlings from Blue Yonder Urban Farms.