Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies— print this and eliminate the need for recipes!

get it now for free!

pathetic garden overgrowth . . . but, it’s free food!

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Jun 27, 2008

I’m a little ashamed to admit that parts of my garden have been sadly neglected this year, due to my being gone a lot and not being able to use it as quickly as it has grown.



I try not to  post many no-makeup photos so that people don’t write  GSG off as a tree-huggin’, bark-eatin’ granola chick.   (I’d prefer that you know that “health nuts” can look normal, blend in, even shave!)  


But as I got home from two hours of tennis today—in which my friend and I soundly crushed our teen sons, BTW—I went out and whacked down a couple of my 4′ tall spinach and chard plants that are  totally gone to seed.


I used a knife to “saw” since I didn’t have a machete!   When I saw I could barely lift these spinach plants (only two, and some overgrown chard leaves), I asked my son to take a photo, even though I was all sweaty and vanity suggested I should not.


And I then made a green smoothie with a bunch of it–woody stalks and all.   It tastes fine!   I washed the    

rest and crammed it into three gallon freezer bags, and put them in the freezer. (I still have loads of it to hack down out there.)   The vitamin concentration surely isn’t as high as baby spinach, but the fiber has got to be through the roof!   The parts that had gone “to seed?”   They and the woody stalks are  in  the tummies of the five of us (me and my four kids).   I didn’t even throw those parts away.






Days and days worth of free food–no  excuses to say that green smoothies are expensive!    I  haven’t even gone out and picked purslane and dandelion weeds for my smoothies yet this year.   (Oh, but I WILL!)

Posted in: Gardening, Green Smoothies

12 thoughts on “pathetic garden overgrowth . . . but, it’s free food!”

Leave a Comment
  1. That’s a lot of spinach!! i love being able to use even the woody parts in the smoothies.

    What do you have dehydrating on the counter?

  2. http:// says:

    In the dehydrator, I have teriyaki almonds, cilantro corn chips, and some sprouted-wheat tortillas cut in triangles (chips for guacamole dipping). I’m also working on an almond-pulp dehydrator cookie recipe to go in Ch. 7 before it’s released on July 1!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You look GREAT, Robyn! 🙂

  4. purslane and dandelion weeds? I think I need some elaboration on that….

  5. http:// says:

    They’re edible weeds. Purslane vines along the ground everywhere I go in the U.S., you know dandelions (you can eat the greens–but get them in unsprayed areas), and you can also put morning glory and thistle in your green smoothies. (However, thistle makes one of my kid’s throat itch, a mild allergy.) Somewhere on my site is a photo of me holding some purslane and lambsquarter, both edible weeds.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Your AWESOME just being yourself

  7. Hey Robyn,

    I love what you are teaching here. With 20 years of organic farming in my past with strong ties to permaculture and bio-dyamics. So seeing you teach yourself, and therefore others, the bounty in what we see as waste; this is very powerful.

    And bodies sweating because of strong physical activity are very powerful forms of beauty for me, and too often appologized for and covered up – imho.

    Thanks for your work/joy. John

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. HI Robyn-love your site and the blendtec recommendation-we love ours which we bought after reading yours. I have an issue-have been green smoothie-ing since last august and now raw for two months-have had for at least that long what appears to be an allergic reaction or acidity-eczema like itching and raised rashes..very disturbing…also my ph is rarely over 6. what’s up with that? I have always been a foodie and in to health so am not complaining-just seems to be not right. I have discontinued my digestive enzymes, maca and magnesium out of desperation and muscle testing suggested that I discontinue…any ideas?


    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Hi Jennie, so many potential reasons for those changes, not all related to green smoothies, that I couldn’t begin to troubleshoot from this paragraph, plus I can’t give individual health advice. Is there an ingredient in the GS or the other new foods you’re eating you may be allergic to? You may need to test, one by one.

      I am not convinced that testing bodily fluids for pH has any value, by the way.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, your information has been inspiring. My mind is still stuck on the idea that growing greens for the smoothies would be impractical. It seems like you could put a whole 4×8 square foot garden plot into one smoothie. Gotta get over my bad attitude. All I do for smoothies at the moment in my poverty is alfalfa. Does not taste good. I don’t have a good blender. Just some thing from Wal-Mart. Who knows how long it will last. Have been doing alfalfa for a few months. Fruit does help it become semi palatable.

    brian jenkins

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Brian, if you grow things like kale, collards, and especially chard (SO prolific), it will keep growing and growing and you will get a summer’s worth of greens out of a 4×8 grow box!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.