Sunday, November 23, 2014

4 Herbs to Grow Indoors for Your Health - Guest Post

Hi everyone!  Today we have a very special Guest Post from Marla @ Organic 4 Greenlivings

In many areas of the country the gardens have fallen prey to Winter's cold, but that doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy growing you own plants and foods. You can grow herbs right on your window sills. There are 4 that I especially find easy and extremely useful in many ways.

4 Herbs To Grow Indoors

1. Oregano --  It is great herb to cook with and is used in many Mediterranean dishes, is wonderful on roasted chicken, stews, meatloaf, great to add to popcorn and pizza. Oregano goes far beyond it culinary uses, has a soothing aroma and, has many health benefits that include, a natural antiviral and expectorant. It's works wonders to soothing stomach aches and is great to inhale to help treat upper-respiratory congestion. And when you aching from shoveling snow try added oregano to your bath water to ease your aching muscles.
To grow Oregano indoors make sure that it is in a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Make sure you don't over water it and its best to use a container with a drainage hole.

2. Peppermint - Is one of my favorite herbs that I love for it's inviting aroma, it's many health benefits that Nature has provided in this exceptional herb. I use it in many DIY recipes for  natural non-toxic cleaning, love drinking peppermint tea for its soothing powers through the winter, and adding peppermint to many recipes such as smoothies, desserts, for it sweet, and tasty flavor. Mint has many health benefits including boosting your immune system because it is loaded with antioxidants, is a good source of Vitamins A and C.  It is filled with antibacterial properties that kills germs and helps you stay healthy and does wonders for an upset stomach and other digestive ailments.
You can grow mint in soil or water.
If using water - Take a 6-inch long mint cutting and put in a glass jar filled 3/4 full of tepid water, add some organic liquid fertilizer to boost its growth, and make sure it gets 6 hours of light each day.  Replace water weekly.In soil - Put a mint cutting in a small pot that has good drainage after you have filled the pot with organic potting mix and leave room for about 1/2 mulch since mint likes moisture. Keep moist and mint will do best in indirect sunlight.

3. Rosemary - This herb has a piney aroma and is used many times for aromatherapy for its many healing properties. It scent is like a little piece of heaven. Rosemary can add so much flavor to meats by rubbing it on raw meat with a little olive oil before roasting. Is also great to add to many vegetables and soups too. Rosemary leaves contain certain phyto-chemical compounds that help to fight and prevent disease, has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties that can add a wealth of health to your home.
To grow - Rosemary does best on a window sill that gets the morning sun since it  thrives under bright light. Just like oregano is does not tolerate overwatering and using a terracotta pots that helps with evaporation in the root zone is best.

4. Thyme - This leafy herb has a delicate aroma and almost grassy spice to any dish. It can be used in raw or cooked dishes such as roasted potatoes, carrots, apples, casseroles that are creamy and cheesy.  Fresh thyme is known to contain the highest antioxidant level among herbs, is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, among many other important vitamins and minerals.
To grow - Growing thyme indoors requires plenty of sunshine and needs at least six hours of daylight and well drained soil.  Using a clay pot with at least one large drainage hole that will allow the plant to dry out between watering and prevent overly wet roots. Thyme is not tolerant of soggy root conditions so make sure you do not over water. Growing thyme inside is one of the easiest indoor herbs to cultivate.
To make it extra simple you can purchase Mary's Heirloom herb garden kits that contain everything you need to have healthy plants that are sure to thrive.

Growing your own herbs is not only fun but economical and you know that you're feeding your family the best and healthiest herbs. You don't have to worry about pesticides, additives or any other unhealthy ingredients that could be added to the store-bought version. Have some fun this winter and keep your garden growing while the snowing is flying outside.

About the Author: Marla is owner of Her mission is to help educate the public about Environmental & Health issues, how to live a green lifestyle, and making our world safer for all of us!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Have you heard of Small Business Saturday?  It's next week!

"In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help businesses with their most pressing need — getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. This year, the big day is Nov 29." source

I'm really looking forward to my first Small Business Saturday
in our NEW SEED SHOP!  
If you're not local but you'd like to purchase heirloom, Non-GMO Seeds and 
Organic Gardening Supplies please check out our online shop.
All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid,
non-patented,  untreated, heirloom garden seeds.

Shipping is Free on Heirloom Seeds to all 50 States & US Territories!  

To learn more about Mary's Heirloom Seeds, check out 
"Our Story" and read "There's So Much Going On..."

If you'd like to find out about Small Business Saturday Deals at Mary's Heirloom Seeds you should sign up for our e-newsletter and check out our facebook page.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014


I have been working with an amazing group of people over the last few weeks. 

This is such a fantastic project to be a part of!  Are you Ready???

Jennifer at Aisling Farms has created an amazing group of educators for a fabulous Forum!! 

Of course...Yours truly...Mary the Heirloom Seed Girl and my amazing co-educator Nancy from On the Home Front are in charge of the GARDENING SECTION. 

From Jennifer,
"Our team is educated in chicken genetics, chicken breeding, beekeeping, heirloom seed growing, nutrition, and essential oils, to name a few!  We even have a critical care nurse, a Master Gardener, and a "Herd" queen and Food Preservation.

Have questions about pigs, rabbits, cattle, or sheep?  We’ve got you covered there, too!

Aisling Farms (Jennifer), along with the entire forum team (check out their intros in the forum) look forward to witnessing the forum grow and to learning and contributing together!"

FREE Heirloom Tomato Seeds GIVEAWAY!


We have a HUGE announcement to make on Friday and we'd like EVERYONE to be aware.

This giveaway is for a pack of Heirloom Tomato Seeds from Mary's Heirloom Seeds.
Stop by our FB PAGE and tag a friend to ENTER as well!
Open to all US Residents.  
Starts NOW and ends Friday at Midnight.

Enter QUICK and share on facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Seed Starting Made Simple VIDEO

I know...everyone's doing it...But this is exciting for me!

Some of our customers at Mary's Heirloom Seeds have been asking us to share VIDEOS of the topics I teach about during our free workshops.  Well, here's the first of many informational videos.

Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web...Stay tuned for more organic gardening and health related topics.  If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to ask.

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Tuesdays with a Twist #85 is LIVE!

Good Morning and welcome to another No Rules Party!

This has been a very busy month and there's still so much to do.
Last week I shared "There's So Much Going On..." about opening our SEED SHOP.  I've been posting articles about Growing.  
Most recently I shared Our Seeds have a History 
and State-by-State Seed Planting for November
We also introduced new GROW KITS!  There's something for everyone.

On to the party...We're your hosts 
Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
Debra @ MsMoozy's Open House
Deb @ Kneaded Creations
Carole @ GardenUp Green 

Back to the Basics

And now for our FEATURES...

How to Make Your Own Dried Apples from A Return to Simplicity

Snowman Gift Bags from GrandParents Plus

Homemade Self-Watering Container from Maple Hill 101

The Continueing Saga of My Homemade Vinegar
from Oak Hill Homestead 

Pumpkin, Sage and Browned Butter Cakes from Seedy Lawyer

How to Activate a Yogurt Starter from The Easy Homestead

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Saturday at 11:59am.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 
Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features.   And now for the party!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Seeds Have A History!

Did you get a chance to read "There's So Much Going On..."?  Below is just one of the many "happenings" around here.  Enjoy!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
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Thai Holy Basil
Organic Chamomile
Red Shiso Basil
Organic, Vegan Nutrients
 Organic Nutrients

November 14, 2014
This morning while speaking with a new customer it dawned on me that not everyone knows about what makes an heirloom seed so special.

An  heirloom seed variety has been saved and passed down from generation to generation. These seeds have been carefully cultivated and are considered a great value to the recipient.  
Our Heirloom varieties can be traced anywhere from 50 years to some over 400 years!

Heirloom Seeds are unique like the Lemon Cucumber or Romanesco Italia Broccoli and others are just like the produce you buy in the store (only tastier) like the Roma Tomato.   

Heirloom seeds are Open-Pollinated and non-hybrid.
One of the many benefits of planting Heirloom varieties is seed saving!  Seed saving is how farmers and horiculturist have preserved the integrity of these seed varieties for hundred of years.

We've added NEW Varieties!

Someone asked for ROUND carrots...

Yes...this is REAL, Non-GMO Corn...

Looking to grow a 5 POUND Onion?

And in case you missed it...
We've added GROW KITS

Available Kits:

Shipping on Heirloom Seeds is FREE!
$10 minimum order
All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid, non-patented,  untreated,
heirloom garden seeds.
Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge.  
Our seed shop will be closed Thursday, Nov 27th for Thanksgiving
Our online store is open 24-7.  Please feel free to join us Friday and Saturday, November 28th & 29th for Small Business Saturday.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  We usually reply to emails within a few hours. 
Thanks you and have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Planting,

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

There's so much Going On...

I don't often share "random" posts here at Back to the Basics.  Sometimes, ya just gotta SHARE!

This month I have found myself scrambling to complete projects just about every day.  Let me back up a bit...
In August 2013 I decided to open a booth for Mary's Heirloom Seeds at a local farmer's market.  

It was a HUGE step since I work Monday thru Friday (at a "real job") and so far had only sold heirloom seeds on my website.  So I took this first huge step...and it was AMAZING!  I had such a great time and I met so many people.  The farmer's market offers a very unique opportunity for a local, heirloom seed market.
Homegrown Chocolate Habanero Peppers knew this was coming right...It meant working 7 days a week!  

Except for 1 month (and 5 days), I worked 7 days a week for the last 14 months.

Me in my farmer's market booth
I. Was. Tired!

The last week of October (3 weeks ago) I decided I had had enough.  It was time to open up my very own seed shop.  This meant no more 7 days a week but it also meant a big investment.  It also means working more hours in the beginning to get set up.  We took the risk!

What started as a simple website, a small garden plot and 20 heirloom, Non-GMO seed varieties has grown into something so amazing and unique! 
Now, Mary's Heirloom Seeds is a "real" brick-and-mortar store with online shopping still available.  I am so thankful that our little seed business has grown into an educational opportunity for our local and global community of foodies, non-GMO enthusiasts/activists and gardeners both young and old.

This week I'm adding new seed varieties to our 2015 seed stock. We now offer over 180 varieties of heirloom, Non-GMO seeds.  I'm also teaching a free workshop on growing seeds, organic growing as well as Organic Sprouts.

We're also adding something very special to our shop but we haven't made anything "official" yet.  If you sign up for our e-newsletter you'll get the latest news as soon as it's available.

Seriously, there are so many exciting things in the works I'm having a hard time not blurting everything out.  Patience. 

Small business Saturday happens every year.  
This year it's Saturday, November 29th - a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.
Please join Mary's Heirloom Seeds and organizations across the country in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business. 

You may have seen this meme around facebook.  As a small business owner I can tell you that shopping "small" makes a huge difference!  Shopping small makes dreams come true.  It has made our dreams come true!

Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the WWW...Stay tuned for more organic gardening and health related topics.  If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to ask.

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