“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.” – Allan Armitage
Today’s podcast is the first of 13 discussions in my Gardening How-to Series. This series will appear here at my blog, at my Podcast AND my YouTube Channel! The first topic will focus on what I believe is the foundation for all gardeners. What type of seeds do you want to plant? I am going to discuss why I prefer them, the benefits of Heirloom seeds versus hybrids, & much more.
I have always said I believe the ancients decided February would only have twenty-eight days (except on the leap year) because humans needed a slight reprieve from the doldrums of winter for those of us who live in cold climate zones. Yes, yes, yes… I know some of you listening to this may be happy for this said reprieve… but not me. I live & love for the warm days of spring, summer, & fall.
All the glory these three seasons dole out… I breath and live this. If you are a die hard gardener… you know what I’m saying.
The snow is covering the ground, yet we who are lovers of the dirt long to see the earth come alive once again. Spring is so near we can feel it in the warmth of the suns rays as it shines graciously down upon us. Yes February is the time we see spring’s arrival is ever so close!
As promised I will be focusing on garden how-to topics during the month of February. To see the complete list of topics, check out my blog post HERE & be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a beat!
Click this LINK to go over and listen!
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If I could only grow one…
Here are my favorites in order of appearance:
Below: Lemon Cucumbers
To the Right:
First row: Super Italian Paste Roma tomatoes, Roma Beans, Forellenschulss
Second row: Jericho Lettuce, Bloomsdale Spinach, Rainbow Swiss Chard
Third Row: Chioggia Beet, Red Russian Kale, Rosa Bianca Eggplant
Below: Golden Bantam Sweet Corn, Sugar Snap Peas
Row 1: Late Flat Dutch Cabbage, Sweet Dumpling Squash, & Purple Potatoes
Row 2: Jimmy Nardello Sweet Pepper, Varity of Heirloom Carrots including Cosmic Purple, French Breakfast Radish
For easy reference, here is the list of my favorite Heirloom varieties for home gardening & seed resources:
Beefsteak: Pineapple, Brandywine- all colors, Paul Robeson, Dr. Whyche’s, Hillbilly
Roma’s: Super Italian Paste, Plum Lemon, Roman Candle, all the Icicles, Striped Roman
Salad types: Green and Red Zebra, Woodle Orange, Rose De Berne, Stupice, White Tomesol
Cherry & Grapes: Riesentraube, Violet Jasper, Blondkopchen, Red & White Current, Chocolate Cherry, Sungold, Yellow Pear
Rein’s De Glace, Merrillville de Four Seasons, Grandpa’s, Red Oak Leaf, Jericho, Forellenschulus or Speckled Like a Trout’s Back, Rubin’s Romaine, Butter Crunch, Lolla Rossa, May Queen, Parris Island Cos, Rouge D’Hiver
Bloomsdale Longstanding, New Zealand, Merlo Nero
Rainbow, Fordhook, Golden
Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Chioggia, Golden Detroit, Crosby’s Egyptian, Cylindra, Bulls Blood
String: Blue Lake Bush, Contender
Wax: Golden Wax
Roma: *Roma, Dragon Tongue, Purple Podded Pole
Late Flat Dutch, Early Jersey Wakefield, Henderson’s Charleston Wakefield, Perfection Drumhead Savoy, Mammoth Red Rock
Calabrese, Waltham 29, Green Sprouting
Purple Of Sicily, Giant of Naples, Snowball Self Blanching
Sweet: Jimmy Nardello- my personal favorite- long, sweet frying peppers Red & Golden Marconi, Purple Beauty, Sweet Chocolate
Hot: Early Jalapeno, Anaheim, Hungarian Hot Wax
Mammoth Melting Sugar, Sugar Snap, Lincoln
Cosmic Purple, Lunar White, Amarillo, Atomic Red, Chantenay Red Core, Danvers Long
Lemon, Marketmore 76, Boston Pickling
Rosa Bianca, Black Beauty, Purple Long, Thai Long
Waltham Butternut, Acorn, Sweet Dumpling, Delicata, Spaghetti, Green or Orange Buttercup
Round De Nice, Fordhook Zucchini, Prolific Straightneck, Patty Pan, Starburst
White Icicle, Purple Plum, French Breakfast, Cherry Belle, Black Spanish, Pink Beauty
Sweet Corn: For most home gardeners, it is hard to move away from the Hybrids because of the Super Sweet genes that have been introduced in them… but if you want to try an Heirloom, this is a very good one. Golden Bantam
Resources for seed companies I’ve personally used.
Resources: Here are a few of my favorite seed catalogs to order from
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed http://www.rareseed.com
Fedco Seeds http://www.fedco.com
Johnny’s Selected Seeds http://www.johnnyseeds.com
Seed Savers Exchange www.seedsaversexchange.com
BONUS::::Here are a couple yummy Fall Storage Crop recipes to keep you warm and cozy… enjoy!
Roasted Carrot Soup
6-8 medium carrots, peeled & cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c coarsely chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt & black pepper
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss carrots, & onion with oil to coat. Spread veggies in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large saucepan combine roasted vegetables, broth, and paprika . Bring to boiling. Cool slightly.
3. Transfer half the vegetable mixture at a time to a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Add lemon juice. Heat through. Season with salt & pepper.
3/4 c apple juice
1/2 c water
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 1/2 pounds beets, peeled & cut into bite size pieces
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1. In a large saucepan combine 1/2 c of the apple juice, the water, and brown sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add beets. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 45 minutes or until beets are tender & can be pierced with a fork, stirring occasionally. Drain.
2. Transfer beets to serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining juice over beets. Season to taste with salt & pepper. If desired, drizzle with honey.
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