Some will say that moringa trees will not grow here. That is only because they have not done it. WE HAVE! Yes, these trees come from tropical realms. We started off a few years ago by babying some seedlings in winter next to our wood burning stove (that’s where I like to be in our PNW winters). At right, is a picture of our humble beginnings with our first moringa trees years ago. The trees are only weeks old. Since Moringa trees like tropical environments, I grew them beside our wood burning stove. I have learned so much more since then, and have planted hundreds in the tropics, and now we grow them on our own farm in the PNW in the USA. These trees are so beneficial, that we are now growing them as a crop…Yes! In the Pacific Northwest! The photo center top is what our crop will soon look like.
We have grown them and planted them in LARGE numbers in the tropics. These are fast growing trees, and can grow up to 20 feet in the first year. We manage them as a ‘short greens crop’, and because the tree grows branches and leaves so quickly, we get amazing healthful growth for continuous harvest all growing season!
Yes, these trees need some extra care, due to their tropical nature: sun. They will drop their leaves if the temperatures go much below 50 degrees, but will grow right back in a matter of days as it warms. They will die back to the ground in freezing temperatures, but will resprout when it warms. So why even grow this crop?
WHY GROW MORINGA TREES?
It is scientifically proven that the leaves of the moringa tree pack an unprecedented nutritional punch! In 3rd world countries leaves are added to baby formula and given to severely malnourished babies. These little ones who receive this life-sustaining formula not only bounce back from death’s door, but actually thrive! Families who are taught about the benefits of moringa leaves in their diet, are able to sustain healthy children, where once these children would have had the telltale distended stomachs of malnourished children. These trees grow in the worst of conditions, and we, along with many benevolent organizations are working to spread the word and the tree where it I so needed in the 3rd world. The photo at left is me planting moringa trees as an understory for plantain trees at an orphanage in Honduras. These trees will not only feed the children in the care there, adding to the badly needed nutrition, but they will also serve as feed for the livestock there (fish, chickens and pigs).
Here is what moringa trees have to offer:
Gram for gram the leaves offer
- 2 X the protein in yogurt
- 3 X the potassium in bananas
- 4 X the calcium in milk
- 4 X the vitamin A in carrots
- .75 X the iron in Spinach
- 7 X the vitamin C in oranges
Moringa leaves are packed with micro and macro nutrients, and anti-oxidants. More on that in another section here on moringa.
The seeds are also VERY important. The seeds are edible. They also can be used to purify water! Crush them up and add them to water, and they will clear out turbidity and purify water! Press the oil out of the seeds, and you have a pure oil that will not go rancid and is sought after by watch makers and cosmetic companies, but is also useful for cooking and fuel.
The trees can be managed for seed production and /or greens production. One of our favorite benefits from moringa trees is the fact that the foliage contains a cytokinin called zeatin. Zeatin is a natural plant growth hormone, and when it is applied to other crops, not only encourages growth, but it has measured benefits in increasing crop yield. This means your tomato plants do not just get bigger, you get MORE TOMATOES! SO glad I paid close attention in dendrology class and biology at the Univ. of WA…Bio-chemistry really DOES have practical use! We have unlocked how to get this benefit from the moringa plant, and into our Fully Loaded Worm Casting Tea. For those of you wishing your garden to benefit from this amazing quality of the moringa plant, we will gladly help you out with some of our Fully Loaded Worm Casting Tea. Here is the link : https://freshfromthefarminthegorge.wordpress.com/worm-casting-tea-information-and-varieties-available/fully-loaded-worm-casting-tea/
SO WHY GROW MORINGA TREES? BECAUSE THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BENEFICIAL AND VERSITILE CROPS WE HAVE DISCOVERED!