Growing garden cress and watercress in my apartment

Cress is a leafy annual herb from the Brassica family. It is harvested when immature, around one to two weeks after germination. It will grow to a height of around 60cm (24”) if not harvested.

Watercress grows as an aquatic perennial plant. Forming dense mats of foliage at the ends of hollow, sap-filled stalks. Its leaves are pale green and round, about 10-15mm in diameter. Watercress should be grown in a wet environment. Hydroponic systems such as condo-farm supply perfect wet and healthy environment for the plant. (Regular wet environment can be spoiled easily into a damp and even a swamp).

When the plants get mature and start its flowering stage, its leave becomes bitter. Constant harvesting can prolong its youth stage while supplying us with leaves for our daily diet.

Growing cress and watercress in the condo-farm system is very easy. The hydroponic system ensures that the watercress gets all the water it needs, without mud spoiling.

You can saw cress on all sessions. Spread the seeds on the top of seed planter, and keep it wet for the seedling stage. There is no need to thin the seedling as they are going to be transferred as-is to the hydroponic planter.

When the seedlings are about 5-10 cm long, transfer them to the condo-farm system. When they get over 15 cm long you can harvest them using scissors. It will re-grow at least one time.

If you want constant cress supply, you might saw new cress in the seedling planter periodically every two months.

 

 

 

Health benefits of cress

Packed with nutrients A, C and particularly vitamin K. Calcium and manganese minerals.

High antioxidant content. Lower the risk of chronic diseases

Some evidence claim that it can prevent or help cure cancer.

Combination of calcium and vitamin K allow optimal absorption of the calcium in the body. This protects against osteoporosis

High vitamin C levels boost the immune system and clean blood vessels from plaque.

This plant is easily digestible and can supply our body with valuable nutrition benefits. We should consider eating it instead of fatty (meat) western diet.

Eating it also known to impact the sex life. (My father-in-law decided to test this and informed me that it did. If it somehow worked beforehand –).

In CDC article, watercress comes as the winner top list of vitamin concentration in planets.

It is notably high in iodine and is been used to treat hypothyroid conditions.

 

 

Consuming cress from the condo-farm system

The taste of cress is strong spicy resemble mustard greens or radish. You can add it in small quantity to salads to spice it up. If you are feeding children, you might put the cress on a side plate and everyone can take to his own plate.

Just use scissors to cut some stems of the planet. Since it is organically grown you don’t need to wash it. Over time, you can eat it directly from the plant.

You can also make cress dip to replace of cheese on bread according to the following recipe.

 

 

 

Cress dip recipe

Ingredients:

  1. Three cups of cress leaves.
  2. Quarter cup olive oil.
  3. Quarter cup lemon juice or vinegar.
  4. Two cloves garlic (optional)

Put the ingredients in a food processor. Operate it until the mixture become cream. Place it in a jar and put in the refrigerator.

Add it to spice up salads. Spread it on bread. Enjoy every bit!

 

 

Reference

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/garden-wisdom/about-cress-and-watercress/

Watercress is more “watery” so it contains fewer solids concentration of vitamins/minerals per gram. You can read the vitamin contents in:

https://skipthepie.org/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/watercress-raw/compared-to/cress-garden-raw/

 

https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/13_0390.htm