March 2013 Catalog Highlights

Mid – March 2013 Edition


Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

In This Issue-

  • Fermented Tomato Conserve
  • Grow Better Peppers with Shade
  • Wonderful Wacky Cucamelons
  • Fermented Pepper Sauce
  • Easy Organic Gardener Radio Show

Hello Subscriber!

Fermenting Fresh VegetablesWelcome to our Catalog Highlights for March. Spring has officially arrived, according to the calendar, but we have a much more accurate indication here in north-central Arizona.

Our horses are busy shedding their winter coats, guaranteeing that warmer weather is upon us! Even with almost daily brushing there are mounds of horse hair upon the ground and us. The local birds are looking forward to some pretty fancy nests for their young.

There are many new friends that are joining us for the first time, and a very warm welcome to all of you! Thanks for joining our Newsletter; we work to provide some great info, recipes and news. Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions, as all of us are part of a community that is interested in growing incredible food, herbs and flowers from our own gardens.

There are a couple of new recipes in this edition that will help manage a large harvest of tomatoes and peppers this year. We are giving you the recipes now so that you can do some planning and thinking on what you want to grow, knowing that a large crop won’t be as much work as most would think. So go on, plant those couple of extra tomatoes, hot chiles or sweet peppers, we’ve got you covered!

In addition to the recipes, there are some growing tips and news on a hot new item that is jumping off the shelves here at Terroir Seeds! Let’s jump right in.

 


Fermented Tomato Conserve

(Conserva Cruda Di Pomodoro)

Fresh Tomatoes for Fermented Tomato ConserveAs you improve the health and fertility of your soil, you should start seeing some impressive vegetable harvests. This can be a blessing as well as a curse though. Many people know the old but highly accurate joke about the neighbor that leaves a bag of zucchini on the doorstep, rings the doorbell and runs.

This is all well and good, but what to do with 100 pounds of fresh plum tomatoes? Or 150 lbs., 200 lbs. or more? The old doorbell trick will only go so far, so let’s look at a delicious alternative! Fermented Tomato Conserve is a perfect choice.

 


Grow Better Peppers with Shade

Fresh Shade Grown PeppersSweet peppers and hot chiles are an important part of almost everyone’s garden, though in different ratios for many!

Some really enjoy an abundant late summer and fall of sweet bell peppers while others look forward to the hot chile harvest for months ahead.

One of the main concerns with growing peppers or chiles is the drop off in both quality and production during the height of the summer heat. As the long, hot days set in production drops while at the same time diseases increase such as blossom end-rot and sunscald. There are some surprisingly simple approaches that can make a big difference in this year’s harvest of your beloved sweet peppers and hot chiles! Grow Better Peppers with Shade shows you how.

 


Wonderful Wacky Cucamelons

CucamelonsThe star of our lives this month is the Cucamelon; also known as the Mexican Sour Gherkin, mouse melon or “Sandiita” or little watermelon in Spanish. They certainly play the part, looking like miniature dollhouse watermelons. People describe them as a taste of cucumber with a hint of lemon by some and a crunchy, tart taste of melon with an almost grassy snap like tomatillos by others.

It is neither melon, cucumber nor citrus – the mighty Cucamelon is native to Mexico and Central America and has been tempting taste buds for an extremely long time, since before Columbus reached our shores. They are terrific sliced lengthways and served fresh in salads, pickled like French gherkins or Polish dills, added to stir-fries just before serving and chopped as a secret ingredient to fresh summer salsas.

This little wonder has become the star this month thanks to Birds and Blooms magazine, which uses one of our photos in their article on “Underappreciated vegetables that every gardener should chew over” in the new April/May edition. Many of our newest friends found us through this little gem! They are as easy to grow as cucumbers, but are a bit more cold tolerant. It is best to grow these on a trellis or a fence, as it makes finding these tiny treasures easier. Many families will grow these along with Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry to engage kids in the garden on a “seek and eat” fest.

 


Fermented Pepper Sauce

Fresh Hot PeppersPreserving that overly abundant harvest has been one of the major challenges that gardening and agriculture has always had. In today’s world we are much more familiar with the processes of canning, drying and freezing as acceptable methods of preserving our garden’s harvest for the winter season and longer.

What if there was another way, a method of preserving the harvest that is not only simple, non-intensive for both labor and equipment and was proven safe? One that is location and temperature independent, doesn’t care if you forget the exact timing and still produces an absolutely delicious product? There is!

That method is fermentation. It has been proven safe over several thousand years, with at least that many different approaches and many more recipes. Almost every culture across history has contributed something to the art of fermentation.

Fermenting vegetables is an extremely simple, effective and tasty way to start experimenting and gaining knowledge, taste and experience. In addition to being easy and quick it is also highly nutritious and beneficial to your health.

Fermented Pepper Sauce gives 3 recipes in one article, showing the basics of fermenting vegetables along with two recipes for making the most delicious pepper sauce you’ve tasted. Whether you like it mild and sweet, flavorful with a kick or fierce and fiery, these will get your pepper planning going!

 


Easy Organic Gardener Radio Show

Easy Organic Gardener Radio ShowThe last Sunday of February and the first one in March we did a two part radio show on The Easy Organic Gardener with Sheri Frey about the implications and relationships between Genetically Modified seeds (GMOs) and Roundup (glyphosate).

The first segment focused on the life-cycle of glyphosate in the soil, how it chelates minerals and nutrients needed for life, and its effects on the life-cycles in waterways it contaminates. We looked at ways to tie up glyphosate in the soil through mineralization and soil building techniques.

The second segment was about how GMOs have been developed to be glyphosate tolerant, able to absorb the poison without dying. They then pass this glyphosate up the food chain, creating a multitude of chronic and acute health concerns in domestic animals as well as people. We looked at methods and tools to educate yourself and techniques to avoid these in our daily diet.

There was a lot of interest in both of these shows, and the archives are now available on The Easy Organic Gardener page. You can access both the first show and the second show through these links. The program starts automatically, so sit back and listen in!

 


Our customers are friends that we have not yet met, as you share our interest and passion for growing incredibly delicious foods, preserving heirloom seed traditions and biological diversity for the future through our own home gardens. Sharing this is possibly the most important work, as it helps all of us make a definite, positive impact in our lives and in those that we share.

Thanks for your time this edition, we hope you have enjoyed it! Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions, as we are always working to improve.

Stephen and Cindy Scott
Terroir Seeds | Underwood Gardens

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