Instant Payday Loan Lender Instant Payday Loan Lender

How To Grow and Use Beets For Beginners

April 29th, 2013

Researchers at Barts and The London School of Medicine have discovered that drinking just 500 ml of beet juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure. Those that suffer from cardiovascular disease, or would like to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease are advised to include beet juice in their diet (see our juice recipe below).

Yet, even if you’re not so interested in the health benefits, and more interested in how to make a delicious meal with beets (like this vibrant beet ravioli)- it might prove useful if you know how to effectively grow them in your garden. Our dual purpose beets produce striking dark red leaves that can enhance salads or a sautéed greens dish. When sliced, roots offer an attractive candy-striped color to pasta, salads, soups, or mixed roasted vegetables.

Spring is the perfect time to begin growing beets. Our heirloom and organic Bull’s Blood Beet can be found in the Veggin’ Out and Producer seed kits. If you’re new at this, check out our beet growing tips below.

Growing details:

*Soil temperature: 70-85 degrees F.

*Days to maturity: 45-60 days

*Sun and water: full sun/partial shade with moderate watering.

Starting inside: Sow seeds 3-4 inches in flats, a cold frame, an indoor seed bed, or in 1-1 ½” plug trays 4-6 weeks before transplanting outside. Transplant outdoors 12-18” apart in rows 18-34” apart.

Starting outside: Sow 3-4 seeds 12” apart, ½” deep, and in rows 24-36” apart. Thinning is necessary, as there is a chance you will get more than one seedling out of each seed. Thin when they are about 2 inches high by pinching them off. Be cautious not to pull them out of the ground, as this may disturb the roots growing nearby.

Seed maintenance: Adding mulch or organic compost will only help these plants to thrive. Providing moderate water (and being careful not to overwater), and offering opportunities for full sun and partial shade will also make beets an excellent long-season crop.

Harvest tips: When 2” or greater, dig or pull roots. Attractive roots are best harvested when young, and the greens can be harvested at any time. Leave fall crop in ground until needed or when soil begins to freeze.

Seed saving: Beets are biennials that must be dug, stored, and then replanted in order to produce seed crops in climates with freezing weather temperatures.

How to make beet juice?
Never drink beet juice by itself. Beet juice should always be mixed with apple juice
and/or other vegetables.

Beet Juice
1/3 bowl beet juice
1/3 bowl carrot juice
¼ bowl cucumber juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend all ingredients together then serve with 1 tablespoon of yogurt, as a topping.
Note: Never drink pure beet juice by itself. Drinking pure beet juice can temporarily
paralyze your vocal chords, cause hives, increase your heart rate, and/or cause chills
or a fever.

***Friends – are you starting beets in your garden this season? What other root vegetables are you growing?

Be Sociable, Share!

From Sprouts To Sprouts: Introducing The Garden To Babies

April 7th, 2013

photo (11)

The snow is melting and the sun is shining – spring is here and you’re in the kitchen preparing a fresh salad for dinner with the windows wide open. A cool wind breezes through as you chop your garden fresh leaf lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots, slice a few Washington Cherry Tomatoes in half, and drizzle on your favorite herb vinaigrette. As the family sits down to eat, you reach for a jar of baby food in the cabinet.

What’s wrong with this scenario?

Providing the proper nutrients is vital for a baby’s growth and development – so why rely on jarred food with ingredients including overcooked vegetables, unfiltered water, preservatives and additives? This is why more parents are harvesting food for the entire family – babies included! Doing so can guarantee baby food with organic and non-GMO fruits and vegetables, and without ingredients like choline bitartrate, gelatin, and alpha tocopheryl acetate (our motto is to avoid ingredients our grandmothers never heard of).

How to incorporate the garden

You don’t have to be an Earth mother to strive for garden fresh fruits and vegetables for your children. Once you get the hang of it – many parents enjoy the process of using the garden to feed the entire family. If you’re new to gardening, we recommend devoting your time to planting a few favorite fruits and vegetables, and supplementing using store bought organic produce in the beginning. Many new gardeners prefer growing carrots, green beans and summer squash to start, as these veggies are easy for beginners.  As you grow more confident, continue planting other fruits and vegetables you think your baby will enjoy.

If you’re interested in learning how to squeeze baby food making into an already jam-packed schedule, momadvise.com has some worthwhile tips on how to do it (like making a large batch on the weekends, and using water instead of breast milk so it won’t spoil as easily).

Deciding which fruits and veggies to grow

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to which foods to introduce first to your baby. In fact, experts say, “There is no evidence that the introduction of any sequence of foods is better than any other,” said Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, neonatologist and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on nutrition. Therefore, a variety of fruits and vegetables will work well. If you’re an experienced gardener, try introducing sweet potatoes first, as this vegetable is rich in vitamins and is sweet like breast milk. Other mild vegetables also work well, like carrots, peas, green beans, squash – as well as pears and bananas. If you’re new to gardening, check out this list explaining the top 10 easiest fruits and vegetables to grow.

This month’s baby food recipe

As parents, all of us at Humble Seed are big believers in using the garden for our children –and we’d like to introduce a new baby food recipe each month. To kick off this endeavor, this is an easy recipe that’s packed full of protein (one cup of peas contains as much protein as a tablespoon of peanut butter!).

Peas and Carrots

(for babies 6 months+)

Ingredients

½ pound fresh carrots

½ pound peas

Method:

1. Wash vegetables thoroughly. Open the pea pods and scrape out the peas from the pod. Combine fresh peas and chopped carrots in a large pot.

2. Add enough filtered water to just cover the vegetables.

3. Cook until tender yet still colorful, drain water and reserve.

4. Puree vegetables in a blender or food processor.

5. Add the reserved water from the vegetables until mixture is of the desired consistency.

*Cooking tip: To get peas to puree smooth, try immediately plunging your hot peas into very cold water after they have cooked. This will stop the cooking process and will allow for smoother baby food.

Store in ice cube trays until ready to use.

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

Be Sociable, Share!