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.

ABOUT CALENDULA Posted on 30 Jul 07:54 , 1 comment

After sharing our DIY Calendula-Infused Oil we received so mach positive feedback and questions about Calendula.  Mainly "What is it used for?"  I use our homemade Calendula Oil for any sore spots, scratches and bruises, cracked heals and definitely for my "homesteader hands" after a long day in the garden.

I have another batch I've made and added Lavender essential oil to the mix *after* I have removed from heat and before I pour into glass jars.  It's amazing!!!

ABOUT CALENDULA From Herb Wisdom, "Calendula has been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing. It has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases and has been seen effective in treatment of skin ulcerations, eczema, juvenile acne and dry phthiriasis. Improvement has been seen in as little as 3-4 days of treatment according to the Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie." "Calendula cream is good for acne and nappy rash. An infusion is good for digestion and relieves colitis and symptoms of menopause. As an anti-fungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete's foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing.
Calendula contains chemicals, which have been shown in animal studies to speed up wound-healing by several actions that include increasing blood flow to the affected area and promoting the production of collagen proteins. Calendula also possesses anti-septic and anti-inflammatory effects due to its flavonoid content. In mouthwashes and gargles, calendula soothes sore throat or mouth tissue; in solutions, it has been uses to treat hemorrhoids.
Compresses of calendula blossoms are helpful for varicose veins. Results from recent animal and laboratory studies show that calendula may also have some anti-infective properties, particularly against fungal infections and against viruses."

It's AMAZING the natural healing properties available in some of the plants we grow.  Calendula is a beautiful flower I grow in my garden every year.  The bees love it and now we know it is beneficial for healing! 

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds we offer 3 different options to get your Calendula adventure started!

Calendula Seeds
Organic dried Calendula Flowers
DIY Organic Calendula Infusion Kit

If you have additional questions, we are happy to help.  We hope you have enjoyed another informative article from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

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DIY Calendula Infused Oil Posted on 27 Jul 21:49 , 1 comment

Last year I started making my own Calendula Infused Oil.  At first i was a bit frustrated because I didn't see many specific instructions.  You know, with real measurements.  So I've created my own recipe that works for me.  It's really easy to "tweak" this for your personal liking.
  I use Organic candelila wax (or carnauba wax) in my recipe.  This is a vegan wax.  That being said, the wax is completely optional.  Without the wax, the oil is not very firm but it's still amazing on your skin.

Calendula Infused Oil

1 ounce Organic Calendula flowers (dry)
1 1/3 - 2 cups organic coconut oil
1/3 cup organic olive oil
1 tablespoon candelila wax or carnauba wax
dry Calendula flower


**The wax is completely optional**  If you want a firm salve, use bees wax or canauba wax.  I use Candelila wax or carnauba on occasion.  If you are just trying to make a smooth oil, feel free to omit the wax.

1 ounce of dried organic Calendula flowers is approximately 1 1/3 cups. 

If you want to GROW your own Calendula, we offer Calendula seeds.  If you want to make this recipe NOW and not wait for harvest, we offer organic, dry Calendula flowers 
We also just added organic carnauba wax to help you get started!

slow cooker
large glass jar (quart-size ball jar)
fine mesh strainer or coffee filter
**strainer is much easier**

Add organic calendula, coconut oil and olive oil to your slow cooker.  Cover and set on low for 6-8 hours.
*If you do not have a slow cooker, you can add the ingredients into a large glass jar.  Place the jar in the oven on a very low setting for 6-8 hours*

Waiting and stirring while the oil is infused

After 6-8 hours, strain out the oil from the flowers.  Add the oil back to the slow cooker and stir in the candelila or carnauba wax.  Stir occasionally and let mix for approx 20 minutes or until completely dissolved.

Pour infused oil into a clean, glass container.  I used several half-pint jars for future use.  Label each jar with ingredients and date.

Calendula-Infused Oil

Store in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight.  Use on sore muscles.  Great for "homesteader hands" after working out in the garden!

Are you interested in purchasing a DIY kit?  We thought it would make it simpler if we offered a DIY Calendula Oil Kit.  All you need to add is the carrier oil!

Each kit includes:
1 or 2 ounces Organic Calendula flower
1 Glass Jar (quart size) with lid
1 ounce organic carnauba wax
and detailed instructions

DIY and SAVE with Mary's Heirloom Seeds

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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

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


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)

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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

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

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

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Garden Party Stuffed Zucchini Posted on 16 Jun 08:44 , 2 comments

One of the most prolific producers in our garden is the Black Beauty Zucchini.  This variety is easy to grow and is capable of producing HUGE zucchini.  Pick them early for smaller zukes or leave them to grow larger for stuffing.  Either way they are delicious!
We harvested these at the end of the season last year.  Some grew over 16 inches long!

Our stuffed zucchini recipe was created using quite a few ingredients straight out of our garden.  If you don't have all of them, feel free to "tweak" the recipe.  Our stuffed zucchini was delicious as a meal by itself or as a side dish.  Enjoy!

1 large zucchini (or 3 small zucchinis)
1 head of garlic
15 ounces of chopped, stewed tomato
1 1/2 cups cooked organic quinoa
black pepper
sea salt

Preheat your oven to 375°F
Wash all vegetables. Cut the tops off the zucchini and slice into 1 inch rounds. You can use a melon baller to scoop out the zucchini, but a small spoon will also work.


In a pan, add arugula, kale, cabbage and 3 cloves of crushed garlic.  Heat on medium until greens are soft.
Add quinoa, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.

Fill zucchini with the vegetable/quinoa mix.

In a glass pan (or any pan), spread out your stewed tomatoes and place stuffed zucchini rounds in the pan. Place remaining cloves of garlic around the zucchini inside the pan

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 375°F. Check to see if the zucchini is cooked. The flesh of the squash should pierce easily with a knife and become slightly translucent

Optional: for the meat lovers, add cooked & crumbles sausage to veggie/quinoa mix and reduce the amount of quinoa

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Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Basil Posted on 12 Jun 11:26 , 0 comments

I LOVE eggplant!!!  Seriously!  I planted 8 eggplants this year just for the 2 of us (and more for everyone else) so that I never have to buy them from the store or farmer's market.  This recipe is so simple that anyone can try it!

Delicious Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Basil
1 large eggplant, sliced in rounds
olive oil
organic ricotta cheese *Or vegan alternative*
fresh basil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour desired amount of olive oil in a pan (I used a cake pan because it was handy). Place eggplant rounds in the olive oil and coat both side.  The eggplant will soak up the olive oil.

Top eggplant with salt and pepper then top with ricotta cheese and fresh basil.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until slightly browned.