Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grow Your Own Medicine: Anise Hyssop

Have you ever considered the "medicine" available to you, grown in your own backyard (or farm).
From Basil to Coneflower and even Thyme, there are so many reported health benefits of many common (and not so common) herbs and flowers.
We started with Basil as it is probably the most common herb and arguably the easiest to grow.

Anise Hyssop 
Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop can be started indoors 4-6 weeks prior to the last frost of the spring. Transplant outdoors after the final frost of the season, once plants are approximately 3-4 inches tall and show their first true leaves. 
Anise will grow in partial shade as well as full sun.
The plant grows to 3 to 5 feet tall and 1 foot wide and reseeds freely.  Anise Hyssop is an excellent addition to your garden as it is bee-friendly and edible.  Attracts bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds

Germination: 10-14 days
Days to Harvest: 60

From The Herbal Resource,
"The infusion or decoction is being used to bring relief for the symptoms of lung and upper respiratory problems like the common coldbronchitis, catarrh, and asthma, as it is antispasmodic, sweat-inducing and an expectorant (helps with the coughing up of mucus). It can also bring relief in these conditions by preparing a poultice that is placed directly on the chest or through applying of Hyssop-oil containing ointment.
As a peripheral vasodilator, it is also diaphoretic (induces sweating) and has anti-inflammatory properties. The latter effect is used to naturally treat infections of the upper respiratory tract by inhaling vapors from hyssop decoctions.
Its sweat-inducing properties may relief the symptoms in patients with fever."

From Livestrong,
"When consumed in tea form, hyssop tea functions as an expectorant. Pregnant women should not drink hyssop tea."

"In addition, hyssop has antibiotic properties resulting from the plant's volatile oils. While the antibiotic properties of the volatile oils are generally strong, they only function on shallow wounds and fungus infections."
 
As an Anti-Inflammatory, "Hyssop contains several compounds that are also conducive to positive responses in the human body. Hyssop helps reduce the swelling of a wound or the effects of illness by constricting blood vessels. This constriction also slows excessive bleeding and causes the body to produce fewer wrinkles by tightening the skin. It is also helpful to joints affected by arthritis and improves circulation to the afflicted areas."

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

Sign up for our E-Newsletter



Grow Your Own Medicine: Basil

Have you ever considered the "medicine" available to you, grown in your own backyard (or farm).
From Basil to Coneflower and even Thyme, there are so many reported health benefits of many common (and not so common) herbs and flowers.
We're starting with Basil as it is probably the most common herb and arguably the easiest to grow.

Basil
Dark Purple Opal Basil

Sow seeds outdoors when soil is warm and temperature does not drop below 65°F. Can also be started indoors 4-6 weeks before planting out. Make successive sowings for continuous summer supplies. Pinch back flower stalks as they appear to keep plants from bolting. Prefers rich well-drained soil.

Basil has few pests, but occasionally pests such as aphids, flea beetles, and Japanese beetles will feast upon it. I use a spray bottle of water or water with neem oil to detach aphids.
Grow in full sun (6 hours or more).

Germination: 5-7 days
Fine Verde Basil

Days to Harvest: 45-75

"One of the primary medicinal uses for basil is for its anti-inflammatory properties. This effect stems from eugenol, a volatile oil in basil that blocks enzymes in the body that cause swelling, making basil an ideal treatment for people with arthritis.
Basil, especially as an extract or oil, is known to have exceptionally powerful antioxidant properties that can protect the body from premature aging, common skin issues, age-related problems and even some types of cancer. The herb also contains the flavonoids orientin and vicenin, which are plant pigments that shield your cell structures from oxygen and radiation damage.
Both fresh basil and basil oil have strong antibacterial capabilities. In fact, basil has been shown to stop the growth of many bacteria, even some that had grown resistant to other antibiotics. Basil can be applied to wounds to help prevent bacterial infections. Also, by adding basil oil to your salad dressings, you can help ensure your vegetables are safe to eat.
Basil oil can be used to treat constipation, stomach cramps and indigestion as well as the cold, flu, asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis and sinus infections. It is also a great source of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps the body’s blood vessels relax, which can improve blood flow."
Thai Holy Basil
Grow the same as you would any Basil.
Thai Holy Basil

In Ayurvedic medicine, Holy Basil is used as a tea or a tincture. Among its many medicinal uses are lowering cholesterol, as an immune booster, and lowering blood glucose levels NOTE: These claims have not been substantiated by the FDA and are not intended as medical advice

*NEW*  DIY Tincture Kit with Thai Holy Basil



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

Sign up for our E-Newsletter



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

EARTH DAY Event and More!

From our e-newsletter sent today...


Mary's Heirloom Seeds Newsletter
New Seed Combos and our Earth Day Event!April 2014
In This Issue
GROW!
Seed Combo Packs
EARTH DAY!
Like us on Facebook


GROW YOUR OWN!

Recent articles at
Back to the Basics

Dear Mary,
 
There is so much going on around here! 
We are thrilled to announce the addition of NEW Seed Combo packs and a Fun and Family-Friendly Seed Planting event for Earth Day!
Seed Combo Packs!

We have LOTS of multi-pack options for you to choose!  The larger the pack, the bigger the savings.
Check out Mary's Salsa Pack!
"Make wonderful homemade salsa fresh from the garden!"

The Family Garden Pack is another great option.  Don't forget your Coconut Pellets
"A great family or market garden pack. A variety of heavy producing seeds."  
graphic-fist-globe.gif
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

Join us this Saturday, April 19th
at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market
Stop by booth#281 11:30am-1pm

FREE Seed Planting for the Kids! 
We'll be planting Non-GMO, Organic,
Heirloom Seeds in organic soil.

Bring the whole family!
Mary's Garden Combo
*NEW*
Over the years I've tried new varieties in my garden.  This seed combo pack includes many of my favorites!

Includes One packet of each:  
Amana's Orange Tomato,  German Giant Radish, Anaheim Pepper,  Detroit Dark Red Beet,  Jalapeno Pepper,  Tom Thumb Lettuce,  Blue Lake Bush Bean,  Purple-Top Whiteglobe Turnip,  5-Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard,  Marketmore Cucumber    
Getting
Closer!
Our facebook page has been growing!  We are getting closer to 2,000 likes!  When we reach that milestone we will be offering a "Bee-Friendly Garden Pack" Giveaway!  Please stop by and "like" our page
(and invite your friends).   Like us on Facebook

Tuesdays with a Twist #54

Good Morning and Welcome to another No Rules Party!
Wow!  Another amazing week ahead.  
Are you planning a garden this year? Have you planted your seeds? 
EVERYTHING in my garden is grown from Heirloom Seeds.  
EVERYTHING in my garden is Organic and NON-GMO!

Please take a moment to "like" our facebook page.  
We'll host a "Bee-Friendly Garden Seed Pack" Giveaway when we reach 2,000!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449
Back to the Basics

We're your hosts 

Features!
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured. Be sure to check all of our blogs to see if you were featured! 
There were so many last week it was difficult to choose!
 
My Features this Week are:

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy from Oak Hill Homestead

The "No-Poo" Method: Does it Work from Living Almost Naturally

Caprese Pizza with Spaghetti Squash Crust from Lori's Culinary Creations

If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

Back to the Basics

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  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!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GROW Like Your Life Depends on It

Today I'm getting serious with you.  I can live without TV, computers and the many other "modern conveniences."  What I cannot live without is food and water.  


Food prices are skyrocketing.  Plain and simple.  California produces a significant amount of produce and cattle and they've seen the worst drought in 100 years.  Beef prices are rising due in part to droughts last year and then a horribly cold winter.  Add to that the rising cost of feed for livestock and you've got a recipe for disaster.

"Organic" produce at the market is ridiculous.  Joining a local CSA or buying club is one option to combat rising costs.  Farmer's Markets are another option.  
Still, someone still has to grow that food.  With the death of so many bees due to harmful chemicals and GMO crops, the time to grow your own and grow as organic as possible is now!

Organic Blue Lake Bush Beans straight from the garden
I have written here many times about the benefits of growing your own food.  Today let's talk survival.  A few weeks ago I asked a lady "Do you grow your own fruits or vegetables?"  She scowled at me and said "I go to Publix (grocery store)."

What if there was no grocery store?  What if food was being rationed?  What if food got so expensive that you could not afford to buy enough food to feed your family?

Do I have your attention yet?

I'm not saying you need to go out and tear up your entire lawn...even though I would if I could.  Starting with a few veggie and herb varieties that you enjoy eating would be a great start.  Do you have a space 4X4 that you could dedicate to growing?
Do you live in an apartment or condo that you could plant 3-5 containers on a patio or windowsill?

Let's get started!  Below are a few images to give you an idea.

from Vegetable Gardening
from Gardening for Squares
 If you plan on using Raised Beds, you can build your own, used recycled materials or check out Garden In Minutes.

NOW is the time to plant your seeds.  If your area is still cold, check out Seed Starting Indoors.  If you need a good grow light, check out my Indoor Growing page.  Organic dirt can be purchased in bulk from most nurseries.
Coconut Coir Pellets make seed starting easy and semi-mess free. 

Plant what you like to Eat
If no one in your family will eat cauliflower, then don't plant cauliflower.  Varieties such as zucchini, acorn squash and watermelon are heavy producers so plant accordingly.  Varieties such as carrots, beets and radish will only produce 1 veggie for 1 seed so plant accordingly.

Succession planting is a great way to plant for continual harvest.  For example, planting 100 beets at one time might not be a great idea unless you eat a lot of beets or plan on canning.  Instead, plant 10-20 at a time every 1-2 weeks for a continual harvest.  The same can be done for carrots, radish, leeks and onions.

Plants take time to Grow
Below is a short list for different varieties of veggies and how many days they take to mature.  Most of these varieties can be grown in square foot gardens and even in containers if space is an issue.

Beans            55-65
Beets             55-60
Broccoli        48-75
Carrots         70
Corn              90
Cucumber     60-70
Eggplant       80 
Greens          40-60
Leeks            100-110
Peppers        75-90
Pumpkin      100-110
Radish          25-30
Squash          55-60
Tomatoes      60-90
Watermelon 70-90

Don't forget about Wildflowers!  Adding wildflowers to your garden can attract pollinators which may increase your garden output.  Some wildflowers such as Yarrow and Coneflower have reported medicinal properties.  
Check out 5 Reasons to Plant Wildflowers.

There are so many varieties of Basil!
Herbs are another great addition to the garden.  Basil is one of my absolute favorites and it is a companion plant for many of my veggies.  Again, plant what you will use.

As I've said before...Plant Non-GMO, Heirloom Seeds for a safe and cost-effective garden.  Heirloom Seeds have been passed down from generations.  They are typically hardier varieties and you can SAVE SEEDS for years to come.

There you have it!  If you have additional questions or would like a bit of help deciding what to plant or how to plant, please feel free to ask.


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

Sign up for our E-Newsletter





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesdays with a Twist #53 is LIVE! Come on over and LinkUp!

Good Morning and Welcome to another No Rules Party!
Wow!  Another amazing week ahead.  Are you planning a garden this year?
Have you planted your seeds?  Check out my first Garden Update for 2014!
EVERYTHING in my garden is grown from Heirloom Seeds.  
EVERYTHING in my garden is Organic and NON-GMO!

Please take a moment to "like" our facebook page.  
We'll host a "Bee-Friendly Garden Seed Pack" Giveaway when we reach 2,000!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449
Back to the Basics

We're your hosts 

Features!
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured. Be sure to check all of our blogs to see if you were featured! 
There were so many last week it was difficult to choose!
 
My Features this Week are:

Curried Chicken Lettuce Wrap from Soup Spice Everything Nice

Goat Milking from Oak Hill Homestead

Get to Know a Farmer, or 2, or 3 from The (mis)Adventures of a "Born Again" Farm Girl

If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

Back to the Basics

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  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!

Monday, April 7, 2014

First Garden Update of 2014

This post is SO LATE for me!  While a good portion of the US was under snow or frost, it's been warm here.  Some say unseasonably warm.  South Florida really only cools down to the 70s during "winter" with only several days (maybe up to 10) of "cold" mid 50s-60s each year.

It's HOT!  But I'm not complaining (too much).  We are able to plant lots of fruits, veggies, herbs and wildflowers almost year round.  However, this year I've been a bit behind schedule in my garden.  We were going to move but things just didn't work out.  We almost decided not to have a garden at all...And then I snapped out of it!  Me?  No garden?  Ya right!

EVERYTHING in my garden is grown from Heirloom Seeds.  EVERYTHING in my garden is Organic and NON-GMO!
So here goes...Take a stroll through (some of) my garden...

I planted Thessaloniki Tomatoes this year because it is FAST!  It can reach maturity in as few as 60 days.
See the tiny tomato?
All around the garden I planted Borage in the ground or in containers near my tomatoes to deter tomato hornworms.

Also planted throughout the garden is Genovese Basil and Dark Purple Opal Basil (pictured).  These beautiful and delicious companion plants are muti-taskers in the garden.

I still have LOTS of seedlings on the patio!
Peppers and more Borage awaiting transplant!

Genovese Basil, Little Gem Lettuce and Dill
This morning I transplanted some of the lettuce, Chard, Genovese Basil and Thai Holy Basil into a 13 gallon(?) tote.  This will stay on the screened in patio for a while.


Now that my Thessaloniki Tomatoes have flowers, I will use Diatomaceaous Earth around the base of the plant instead of all over so we don't harm beneficial pollinators and still keep the "bad bugs" out.

We have harvested Blue Lake Bush beans several times already.  Delicious!
Beans have such pretty flowers!  Over the weekend I planted a few Royalty Purple bush beans from seed. They should germinate in as few as 3 days.  Stay tuned!

Lavender still hanging on from last year
I like planting in containers first and then transplanting.  In South Florida it can be sunny and warm one minute, rain HARD for 3-10 minutes with very little warning and then be sunny again.  When this happens, it can completely displace any seeds directly planted in the garden.
Seedlings: Chinese 5-Color peppers, Genovese Basil and Dill
2 of MANY Eggplants this year.  I absolutely love eggplant!

There you have it!  I'm sure I missed a bunch of stuff but you get the picture.  Have you planted your seeds yet?  Check out Mary's Heirloom Seeds for Organic, Heirloom NON-GMO seeds!  Every seed variety is Un-Treated and Open-Pollinated.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

5 Reasons to Plant WILDFLOWERS!

Get a jump-start on EARTH DAY!


Mary's Heirloom Seeds Newsletter
5 Reason to Plant Wildflowers...Just in time for EARTH DAY! 
Chinese 5-Color Peppers
Golden Beets
Romanesco Italia Broccoli
Mary's Tincture Shop
Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden with Organic  
Wildflower Seeds!




Like us on Facebook



Find us on Pinterest



Follow us on Twitter



Mary's
Heirloom Seeds
2104 Tyler Street
Hollywood, FL 33020
(954) 654-3501
Find us at the
Yellow Green Farmer's Market
Booth #281
Saturday & Sunday 8am-4pm
Dear Mary,
APRIL 22nd is Earth Day!  We LOVE Earth Day!
It's a gentle reminder of the beauty of nature and a great opportunity to get involved...Like planting Wildflowers!
We added 3 NEW Varieties Today!

5 Reasons to Plant Wildflowers
#1 is most definitely THE BEES!!!
Bee and Purple Coneflower
From Back to the Basics:
 Why are Honeybees so Important?
"Bees are important to the production of fruits and vegetables. The honey produced by bees have important medicinal uses and is a good replacement for sugar as a sweetener. A healthy bee hive is also an indication of a healthy environment. The beekeepers that I speak to talk about a spiritual connection with the bees and the enjoyment that get for caring for them. That is why bees are important."
Check out Easy Ways to Help the Bees


#2 is for THE BUTTERFLIES!

Anise Hyssop (an herb) is an excellent addition to your garden both for the herbal benefits and for attracting butterflies.  Pollinator such as the butterfly are very important for your garden and for balancing a sometimes delicate eco-system.

#3 Companion Planting
Many of these beautiful flowering plants are beneficial in the garden to repel "bad bugs" and attract "good bugs."  For example, Borage (flowering herb) repels tomato hornworms and Marigolds keep soil free of bad nematodes.  Both are companion plants for Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant and Squash.
Nasturtiums (pictured above) deters squash bugs and beetles AND are deliciously edible.
Check out our Companion Planting articles


#4 To EAT them!

As I mentions above, there are many varieties of edible flowers.  Borage and Nasturtiums we have already discussed.  Sunflower is an obvious edible.  Yarrow, Calendula, Purple Coneflower (echinacea) Anise Hyssop and Basil have reported health benefits when used in a tea, tincture or salve.

#5 THE BEAUTY OF NATURE!

There is something truly amazing about planting a seed, watching it grow and enjoying the blossoms of nature.  I love to be able to say "I grew this!"
(with lots of help)
Dark Purple Opal Basil
HELPFUL LINKS: 
2014 Planting Guide
Using Diatomaceous Earth for Organic Pest Control
Top 10 Crops with Companion Plants
Recycling in Your Garden and More

All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid,non-patented, untreated, heirloom seeds.
Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge.  
Seed Orders placed Monday-Thursday are shipped
within 24 hours
, except for holidays.
There you have it!!!  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
-Mary                                      

Mary's Heirloom Seeds