Many of their bigheaded relatives, such as broccoli, also are superfoods. Beets are even making a return as a favored vegetable, and are prized for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of their pigments called betalains.
Even weeds are included -- the garden trends report specifically mentions dandelions as growing in popularity among cooks and gardeners. Well, if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em.
Where are people growing all of this superfood?
In short, the answer is: everywhere. Those who have gardening space are definitely taking advantage and growing more of the nutrient than ever before. But food gardening is on the rise even where people don't have the space.
Microgardens in containers are becoming a popular way for folks wanting to grow fresh, healthy foods wherever they are. While containers lend themselves easily to leafy greens, fruits are also getting in on the act.
Small, container-size fruit trees and shrubs are gaining popularity, such as the Dwarf Top Hat Blueberry. Dwarf versions of tropical fruits and less-hardy fruits, such as citrus fruits and pomegranates are also gaining popularity, but they need to be brought indoors during the cold winter months. Even dwarf apples and peaches can be grown in large containers.
On an even smaller scale, microgreens and sprouts are becoming a popular way to add some fresh superfoods to the diet. These tiny morsels are grown indoors with little to no soil, usually in trays or in jars. But if you are going to try it, you'll need to make sure you get certified seeds that are free of diseases such as E. coli and salmonella.
Common garden seeds that you buy aren't for sprouting. Many health-food advocates have been growing them for years, but they are becoming more and more popular in the mainstream, both in the home "garden" and in major cuisine.
There's still time ... to become a Master Gardner
My Kanawha County Extension Master Gardener class will begin Feb. 8. You don't have to be a great gardener to get started. All you need is the desire to learn.
Classes will run for 10 weeks on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. The course materials fee is $100 ($120 for couples sharing the book). The registration deadline is Feb. 1. You can find registration details at www.kanawha.ext.wvu.edu/mastergardener/course or call 304-720-9573.
John Porter is the WVU Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources in Kanawha County. He may be reached at john.por...@mail.wvu.edu or at 304-720-9573. Twitter: @WVgardenguru.