News

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Posted on 23 Feb 08:13 , 0 comments

We love Spaghetti Squash!  It's easy to grow and so delicious to eat.  If you're not sure about growing your own, you can always purchase a few at your local farmer's market to try.

Have you ever prepared Spaghetti Squash?  It's easy!
1. Cut squash lengthwise (I cut in 4 to cook faster)
 
2.  Bake *rind side up* in the over @ 375 for 30-40 minutes.  
You can microwave on high for 8 minutes but I don't recommend it. 
When the squash is cooked it comes off the rind with a fork and looks like spaghetti noodles!
With this little (big) gem I made 3 separate meals for my husband and I.
I am so excited about how these meals turned out I think I'm going to go out and plant a few Spaghetti Squash seeds!!! 

First I baked it and then added Chimi Churi sauce that I also purchased @ the farmer's market.  YUM!  You can use Spaghetti Squash just as you would spaghetti noodles.  I LOVE it with Pesto!

Next I baked it, then added cheese and basil.  YUM!
Last night I topped my homemade pizza with the leftover squash.  Delish!

Sadly, I didn't take many pictures.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup Posted on 11 Dec 18:30 , 1 comment

We make quite a few organic herbal remedies here including tinctures, salves and herbal syrups.  Today we made more Organic Elderberry Syrup using organic dry elderberry.  *One of the benefits of making syrup is that it's ready to consume in a few minutes to an hour compared to making tincture which can take 3 to 8 weeks to "brew."
ELDERBERRY


First, let's talk about Elderberry.  From Dr. Axe,

"Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation and even cancer. (2) When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. (3) During the 1995 Panama flu epidemic, the government actually employed the use of the elderberry to fight the flu.

It gets better. When it comes antioxidant power, elderberry is higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries. (4) I’m sure you’re getting the picture that this medicinal berry is a real powerhouse for good health. Let’s examine exactly why."

Dr. Axe lists the many benefits of Elderberry including

1. Major Cold and Flu relief

2. Sinus Infection Aid

3. Lower Blood Sugar

4.Natural Diuretic

5. Natural Laxative

6. Encourage Healthy Skin

7. Ease Allergies

8. May Prevent Cancer


Elderberry syrup can be used to flavor other homemade concoctions, as an herbal tonic or even drizzled over toast or yogurt. 


Make Your Own Organic Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Ingredients:

2/3 cup organic dry black elderberry (about 3 ounces)

3 1/2 cups filtered water

1-3 tablespoons fresh or dried organic ginger
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon cloves or clove powder

**If you have whole cloves, use 2 cloves**

1 cup of raw honey


Instructions

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)

Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.  Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

Discard the elderberries (or compost them!) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.

When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

That's it! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. 

Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

I hope you have enjoyed another educational article from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!



http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449




Grow Your Own Salsa Garden with Recipe Posted on 12 Nov 06:51 , 0 comments

Who doesn't like Salsa?  There are so many variations of Salsa, mild to hot, mango to jalapeno and even green tomato salsa.  Creating a Salsa Garden is easy!  Mary's Heirloom Seeds has made things even easier with Mary's Salsa Pack Seed Combo!

My first suggestion, Coconut Pellets!  They make seed-starting "oh so easy."  Before you just go crazy and start planting all of the seeds it's important to decide which varieties you would like to include and how long each will take to mature.
Onions:
Not everyone likes onions in their salsa.  I do!  I prefer a red onion.  The Red Burgundy onion matures in approximately 100 days.  If you decide to grow this onion it should be planted first.  If you choose a bunching onion or a "green onion" you can wait on planting.  Bunching onion varieties take about 40 days to mature.

Tomatoes:
I prefer to use a smaller tomato for salsa like the Ace 55 or Roma.  Both varieties take approx 75-80 days to mature so they should be started one month after the onion (if you chose the red).  A larger option is a BeefsteakFor fancy salsa, try Emerald Green or Amana's Orange tomatoes.

Peppers:
For a mild salsa you can use Anaheim instead.  For a hot (or hotter) salsa I use Jalapenos.  For the crazy, burn your mouth for a week salsa, use Serrano Peppers or Habanero!  These pepper varieties also take 70-80 days to mature and should be planted at the same time as the tomatoes.

Cilantro planting should be staggered throughout the year.  By planting multiple cilantro plants it will allow you to harvest as you need it instead of all at once.  Plant Cilantro at least 30 days before the rest of the Salsa Garden plants mature.  I recommend succession planting Cilantro for a plentiful harvest.
I love growing Cilantro
Recap-
Onions: 100 or 40 days
Tomatoes: 75-80 days
Peppers: 70-80 days
Cilantro: 30 days

Fresh Salsa

Ingredients
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tomatillo, diced (optional)
salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
Directions
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, tomatillo, and salt to taste. Mix well. Add 1/2 of the jalapeno pepper, and taste. If you desire your salsa with more of a kick, add the remaining 1/2 jalapeno. If you are satisfied with the salsa's heat, do not add the remaining jalapeno pepper. Cover the salsa, and chill until ready to serve. 

Mary's Salsa Pack is available @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds for only $18.
(Gift wrap not included)

Make wonderful homemade salsa fresh from the garden!
 One packet of each.  Includes:
   - Thessaloniki Tomato
   -Jalapeno Pepper
   -Anaheim Pepper
   -Red Burgundy Onion
   -Cilantro


A great addition to Mary's Salsa Pack is the natural and Organic Soil Amendments.

I use DIY Organic Liquid Plant Food on my own veggies and I love it!  The difference in plant growth, flowering and crops has been fantastic.

Happy Planting! 
 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449

Sign up for our E-Newsletter




Portobello Burger recipe Posted on 12 Nov 06:34 , 0 comments

Do you participate in Meatless Monday?  Are you a vegetarian or vegan?  Here's a really easy meal!

My soy-free meat-alternatives are my Black Bean Patties and Red Bean BurgersSaturday I made this Portobello Burger for the first time and it was love at first bite.  Even my carnivore husband liked this "burger." 

Portobello Burger

Ingredients:
Portobello Mushroom cap (top)
fresh ginger, grated
organic coconut oil
organic, non-GMO soy sauce
burger buns or Dinner Rolls  (optional)
Red onion, sliced (optional)
shredded cheese (optional)

Directions:
Add coconut oil and ginger to a large pan and heat on high/medium until coconut oil melts.  Cook mushroom for approx 5 minutes on medium.  Drizzle with soy sauce and cook an additional 3-5 minutes **Add onion to the pan at this time**
 

Toast rolls or buns, top portobello burger with cheese and serve hot!
My hands are small but this Portobello cap is HUGE!
This was so easy!!!

Thai Roselle, Jamaican Sorrel Posted on 30 Oct 13:36 , 0 comments

Another one of my favorite heirloom varieties is the Thai Roselle, also called Jamaican Sorrel, Florida Cranberry or Red Thai Hibiscus.  This is another unique variety that would make a great addition to your garden!

From Mary's Heirloom Seeds,
"A valuable plant for making cranberry-flavored bright red beverages, jelly, pie and tea. Much grown in Asia and the mid-east as the flavor is wonderful. A tasty sauce can be made by boiling and sweetening the fleshy calyxes; the leaves are also used to make a drink. The entire plant of this Hibiscus is red and very beautiful. Start early, unless you live in the far-south. Citrus-flavored flowers are delicious on frozen deserts.
Also called Jamaican Sorrel, Florida Cranberry and Hibiscus"
THAI ROSELLE

 

Roselle was called “Florida cranberry” in the 1890s. The flowers and young leaves are edible and have a citrus tang.

Hibiscus, of which Roselle is a variety of, is a tropical plant, but if started indoors it can be grown successfully in more northern climates.  You want to start your Thai Red Roselle around the same time you would plants like peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Since this is a heat-loving plant, you want to give it as much of a head start as you can.

Thai Red Roselle is susceptible to aphids, so either use an organic spray or companion plant to control insects. Roselle branches should be pruned when they are 12-18 inches tall to help control height. These plants can reach up so 6 feet in height.

From esgreen,
"Botanically speaking, it's Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (family Malvaceae) and it’s the bushy H. sabdariffa var. sabdariffa that produces the edible products.The edible parts used to make “juice” or tea (actually, an infusion) look like reddish dried-up buds. In fact, they’re not flowers but calyces. It’s the calyx, the red, fleshy covering enclosing the flower’s seed pod, which is used for flavoring, cooking and food coloring. The flower of this variety of sabdariffa is yellow, white or light pink.

Roselle(Hibiscus) has been used in folk medicine as a diuretic and mild laxative, as well as in treating cancer and cardiac and nerve diseases. Although information is limited, the potential for hibiscus use in treating hypertension and cancer, as well as for its lipid-lowering and renal effects, are being investigated.

Although roselle is being studied, it hasn’t yet been proven to have the healing powers of bael fruit. It is high in calcium, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C and iron, as seen on this Purdue University page. And the beverages have no caffeine. In East Africa, "Sudan tea" is consumed as medicine to cure coughs. In Guatamala, roselle is believed to cure hangovers. In Senegal, a roselle extract is said to lower blood pressure. In India, Africa and Central America, infusions made from roselle calyces or seeds are prescribed as a diuretic, to stimulate bile production and to treat fever."

Ready to make Tea with Thai Roselle

 

I use Thai Roselle to make a delicious tea.

Ingredients include:
Thai Roselle
Fresh Ginger, grated or chopped
2 apples, chopped
cinnamon, sticks or powder
cloves
lemongrass

Directions
Simmer all ingredients on low for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.  Serve hot or cold 

Dogwood Lane Rambles blog offers a simple Thai Roselle Jelly recipe 
Ingredients:
6 cups Roselle petals
6 cups water
3/4 cups wild honey
3 tsp calcium water
3 tsp Pomona pectin
yield 2 pints 



I hope you have enjoyed another educational article and video.  Please share so that we may help more people grow their own organic food!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449

Sign up for our E-Newsletter




PLANT A FALL GARDEN & SAVE Posted on 14 Sep 11:21 , 0 comments

Depending on where you live, many of you are planting FALL Crops.  This is a great way to extend your growing season and save money!  If you have never planted a Fall garden but you would like to, this is a great opportunity.  If you're on the fence about planting a Fall garden, this is definitely a must-read!

Let's get started!

RADISH everywhere!!!  Yes, I'm that excited about Growing Radish.  From Seed to Harvest, many Radish varieties are ready to harvest in 23-35 days.  Longer & larger varieties such as the Japanese Minowase Radish can take up to 70 days.

From our tutorial Growing Radish from Seed to Harvest,
"Sow radishes in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before average date of  the last frost in spring. Sow succession crops every 2 weeks in spring and in autumn. Two or more crops can be grown in spring. Radishes require 22 to 70 days to come to harvest. Warm weather can result in small roots. Long days may also cause radishes to flower; plant radishes during the shorter days of spring and autumn. In mild winter regions, grow radishes in late autumn and early winter. Radishes can withstand frost.
Keep radish planting beds moist but not too wet. Even, regular watering will result in quick growth. Radishes that receive too little water will become woody tasting. Prepare planting beds with aged compost. Side dress radishes with aged compost at midseason."
 
Cost Breakdown:
1 pack of Purple Plum Radish = $2.00 for 100 seeds
 
1 "bunch" of organic Radish from the store = $1.49 for 6 radishes
**That means you'll spend almost $25 for 100 radishes!!!
 
Don't like raw Radish?  Try Pickled Radish!  I just posted the recipe to our blog.
 
 
ARUGULA is another great Fall Crop.  From seed to harvest, Arugula is ready to start eating in as few as 40 days.  You can harvest the entire bunch or just a few leaves at a time.
"Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil.  It is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart."
Cost Breakdown:

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Arugula seeds is $3.00 and contains 200 seeds. Even if only 90% of those seeds germinate (almost 100% of mine grow!), that still leaves 180 plants!
For this comparison, we're going to share a very economical option for growing greens (especially if you don't have a yard or much room to grow)
Grow Your own:
Sterilite 18 gallon bin: $9
Organic Potting Soil: $9 a bag
Arugula Seeds: $3
Total: $21 for 180 Arugula Plants (much more than a bunch)

Purchased at my local store, organic Arugula is about $1.99 per bunch. Let's compare:

180 homegrown bunches of Arugula $21

180 store bought bunches of Arugula $358.20

If you save your seeds...The savings are incalculable!

 
BEETS are another easy Fall crop.  From seed to harvest, beets reach maturity at approx 55 days! **Leave them to grow longer for larger beets**  BEETS are a "double-duty" crop for us.  When we harvest beets, the greens are used raw in salad or sauteed with garlic and onions (just like spinach). The actual beet has many uses!  We roast them with garlic & olive oil, shredded over salad and even pickled!
 
From our article Growing Organic Beets From Seed to Harvest,

"Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings."
 

Cost Breakdown:

1 pack of Beets (on average) = $3 for 100 seeds

1 bunch of Organic Beets at my local store is $1.99 for 3 beets

**That's over $65 for 100 beets and that doesn't even include the greens!

 
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Growing your own organic food is fun, rewarding and it can save you a lot of money.  Bonus, you know exactly how your food is grown and it didn't have to be transported in from thousands of miles away.

**I didn't mention soil and water for most of these. Soil can be used again if you replenish nutrients and water can be recycled from rain and other household activities.**
RUBY RED SWISS CHARD

What are some other Fall or Cool Weather crops?
Helpful Links

 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449

Sign up for our E-Newsletter




PLANT A FALL GARDEN & SAVE Posted on 14 Sep 11:21 , 0 comments

Depending on where you live, many of you are planting FALL Crops.  This is a great way to extend your growing season and save money!  If you have never planted a Fall garden but you would like to, this is a great opportunity.  If you're on the fence about planting a Fall garden, this is definitely a must-read!

Let's get started!

RADISH everywhere!!!  Yes, I'm that excited about Growing Radish.  From Seed to Harvest, many Radish varieties are ready to harvest in 23-35 days.  Longer & larger varieties such as the Japanese Minowase Radish can take up to 70 days.

From our tutorial Growing Radish from Seed to Harvest,
"Sow radishes in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before average date of  the last frost in spring. Sow succession crops every 2 weeks in spring and in autumn. Two or more crops can be grown in spring. Radishes require 22 to 70 days to come to harvest. Warm weather can result in small roots. Long days may also cause radishes to flower; plant radishes during the shorter days of spring and autumn. In mild winter regions, grow radishes in late autumn and early winter. Radishes can withstand frost.
Keep radish planting beds moist but not too wet. Even, regular watering will result in quick growth. Radishes that receive too little water will become woody tasting. Prepare planting beds with aged compost. Side dress radishes with aged compost at midseason."

Cost Breakdown:
1 pack of Purple Plum Radish = $2.00 for 100 seeds

1 "bunch" of organic Radish from the store = $1.49 for 6 radishes
**That means you'll spend almost $25 for 100 radishes!!!

Don't like raw Radish?  Try Pickled Radish!  I just posted the recipe to our blog.


ARUGULA is another great Fall Crop.  From seed to harvest, Arugula is ready to start eating in as few as 40 days.  You can harvest the entire bunch or just a few leaves at a time.
"Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil.  It is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart."
Cost Breakdown:

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Arugula seeds is $3.00 and contains 200 seeds. Even if only 90% of those seeds germinate (almost 100% of mine grow!), that still leaves 180 plants!
For this comparison, we're going to share a very economical option for growing greens (especially if you don't have a yard or much room to grow)
Grow Your own:
Sterilite 18 gallon bin: $9
Organic Potting Soil: $9 a bag
Arugula Seeds: $3
Total: $21 for 180 Arugula Plants (much more than a bunch)

Purchased at my local store, organic Arugula is about $1.99 per bunch. Let's compare:

180 homegrown bunches of Arugula $21

180 store bought bunches of Arugula $358.20

If you save your seeds...The savings are incalculable!


BEETS are another easy Fall crop.  From seed to harvest, beets reach maturity at approx 55 days! **Leave them to grow longer for larger beets**  BEETS are a "double-duty" crop for us.  When we harvest beets, the greens are used raw in salad or sauteed with garlic and onions (just like spinach). The actual beet has many uses!  We roast them with garlic & olive oil, shredded over salad and even pickled!
 
From our article Growing Organic Beets From Seed to Harvest,

"Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings."
 

Cost Breakdown:

1 pack of Beets (on average) = $3 for 100 seeds

1 bunch of Organic Beets at my local store is $1.99 for 3 beets

**That's over $65 for 100 beets and that doesn't even include the greens!

 
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Growing your own organic food is fun, rewarding and it can save you a lot of money.  Bonus, you know exactly how your food is grown and it didn't have to be transported in from thousands of miles away.

**I didn't mention soil and water for most of these. Soil can be used again if you replenish nutrients and water can be recycled from rain and other household activities.**
RUBY RED SWISS CHARD


What are some other Fall or Cool Weather crops?


Helpful Links






http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449

Sign up for our E-Newsletter





Easy Refrigerator Pickled Radish Posted on 14 Sep 07:33 , 0 comments

Customers and friends are always asking for recipes for their harvest.  The thing is, I usually just throw a bunch of things together and it usually turns out great.  I don't follow recipes exactly unless I'm baking something that requires specific measurements.

Too many Radishes in the garden?   Pickle them!!!

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Radish
Ingredients:
Fresh, cleaned Radish
Dill
Garlic cloves
ACV with mother (Apple Cider Vinegar)

**Notice I do not use specific measurements.  You can make a small jar of pickled radish (pint size) or even a HUGE jar at a time.  Which ever you decide, adjust accordingly.  For this recipe and pictures, I used a pint jar** 

Instructions:
Slice radishes into thin rounds.  Add to a glass jar.  For smaller jars, add 1 clove of garlic.  For larger jars add 3-6 cloves of garlic

For a pint jar, add "A pinch" of fresh or dry dill.  For larger jars, 1-2 teaspoons of dill.

Cover with ACV and close up your jar.

Refrigerate for 24-48 hours before eating.  These pickled radish will get more pickled the longer you leave them but should be consumed within 1 month.

Enjoy!


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449

Sign up for our E-Newsletter






HomeGrown Basil Walnut Pesto Posted on 11 Jul 07:01 , 2 comments

We love Pesto!!!  Sometimes I go a bit nuts on the garlic and it irritates my stomach but I just can't get enough. *pictures from my garden*

Dark Purple Opal Basil

Pesto is so simple to make that I don't know why I ever bought it from the store in the first place!

I grow LOADS of basil and this is a great way to use and preserve fresh basil.  I don't just use the leaves, I throw in the cuttings of flowers as well so they don't go to waste.

One thing I don't have anymore is a food processor.  It quit last year so everything goes in the blender these days.  Works just great!


Fine Verde Basil


Mary's HomeGrown Basil Walnut Pesto


Ingredients:
3 cups basil, Green or Purple
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water (optional)
1 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Add all items to your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

I made a delicious Pesto Pizza using flax & whole wheat pitas and homegrown tomatoes! (RECIPE tomorrow)

Sign up for our E-Newsletter



Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Garlic Posted on 18 Jun 06:48 , 1 comment

Looking for a super simple harvest recipe?  We've got ya covered!  Since we harvested so much organic garlic this season, I'll be making this one several times.  This can easily be an entire meal or a side dish.  Either way, it's delish!  Enjoy!
 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Garlic

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
1 clove garlic, pealed
3 tablespoons olive oil or Coconut Oil
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt (add more if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
If you are using large Brussels sprouts, I suggest you cut them in half.  Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet (I used a large pan), and place on center oven rack. 


Roast in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be dark brown and toasty when done. Adjust seasoning with sea salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Optional: add almond slivers or walnuts before roasting

Sign up for our E-Newsletter