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Our Top Cucumber Recipes (In 10 Min. Or Less!)

August 30th, 2014

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In case you missed it on Facebook, our cucumbers are producing on our Tower Garden like crazy. This means we’ve had to get clever when it comes to recipes (because really, how many side salads with sliced cucumbers can you serve before your toddler starts pitching it). Here are our top Organic Marketmore Cucumber food and drink recipes we’ve enjoyed with our family – kid approved! BONUS: These recipes can thrown together in less than 10 minutes.

Cucumber Raita (pronounced ry-ta)

Traditionally found as an accompaniment to Indian meals— raita is served on the side to cool off the main course, and adds a nice fresh element. 

1 medium sized Marketmore Cucumber

1 cup plain yogurt

salt to taste

Santo Cilantro for garnish

1 tsp roasted cumin seed (optional)

Wash and peel the cucumber. Grate the cucumber or chop finely. Add to yogurt along with salt to taste, and cilantro for garnish.

(serves 4)

Israeli Salad 

We love this salad as a main course, or as a side to lamb and veggie kabobs. 

1 cup Washington Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half

1 medium sized Marketmore Cucumber, cubed

4 Purly Chives, finely sliced

3 tablespoons Titan Parsley, finely minced

Juice a half a lemon

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Crumbled feta 

Toss together all of the vegetables and the feta in one large bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix well. Serve chilled.

Berry, Lime, Cucumber and Basil Water

The perfect cool treat for this weekend. Ps- it’s kid approved. 

1 cup berries, sliced (blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries work well)

1 cup Marketmore Cucumber, finely sliced

2 limes, finely sliced 

3 tablespoons fresh Superbo basil

ice cubes

2 quarts filtered water

In a 2 quart pitcher, layer the berries, cucumber slices, lime slices, basil leaves and ice cubes. Fill pitcher with water, and let chill for 10 minutes before serving. 

Apple Carrot Cucumber Ginger Juice

Cucumbers are one of the most alkalizing vegetables out there, plus it yields a good amount of juice and has a mild flavor. We find this juice combination particularly refreshing and energizing. 

4 apples

8 Scarlet Nantes Carrots

1 Marketmore Cucumber

1-2 inches ginger root

Clean vegetables and chop into small chunks. Juice all of the produce and the ginger root, we suggest juicing the cucumber last to acquire the most juice. Refrigerate and enjoy.

***Friends, what are your favorite easy recipes using cucumbers?***

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. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you simply don’t have the space? The Tower Garden (www.myveggiestand.com) may be the answer for you!  Passionate about gardening and healthy living, or looking to expand your current health-based business? Consider becoming a Tower Garden distributor! Email info@humbleseed for more information.

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How To Use Essential Oils In Your Garden

August 17th, 2014

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If you’re dealing with unwanted pests in your garden, you’re not alone. There are a variety of natural methods to deter pests and curious animals (see posts here and here), but if you’re looking for a new method – have you considered using essential oils? You may associate essential oils with scented candles and a variety of medicinal and cleaning purposes. Their potent scent however, can be used effectively to deter unwanted garden pests. Some are also powerful antifungals and can stop pathogens from infiltrating a garden. Because pure essential oils are safe to use topically and some internally – there is no worry about dangerous toxins or chemicals. Though, we do recommend thoroughly washing your vegetables with vinegar or castile soap before eating.

Here are answers to some common questions about using essential oils in the garden:

1. Which essential oils have pest deterring properties?

Peppermint: repels aphids, ants, beetles, caterpillars, moths – even mice!

Purification: this is a blend that can deter many flying nuisances, including  flies, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes. Ticks and parasites have also been said to loathe the scent. Purification can also be used to treat fungus and disease on plants.

Cedarwood: discourages snails and slugs.

Lemongrass and citronella can repel a variety of insects.

Thieves, Tea tree oil, and Oregano oil: can treat fungus and disease on plants. Using a combination of these three oils are highly effective and loathed by pests.

 

2. How do I use essential oils in the garden?

Essential oil spray Add 5-6 drops of essential oils to 32 oz spray bottle, and spray on plants to prevent and treat pest issues.

Cotton balls If rodents are your problem, add 3-5 drops to a cotton ball and place in a rodent nest or hole. The scent will cause them to relocate.

Add to water container  Stir in 6 drops of essential oils to 2 gallons of water. Pour into watering can and water as usual.

 

3. What other ways can I use essential oils in the garden?

Some prefer to clean their fruits and vegetables off by using essential oils. A few drops of lemon oil in bowl of water can be used to wash off dirt, chemicals, and potential food borne illness.

***Folks, which essential oils would most benefit your garden at the moment?

 

About Humble Seed:

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. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you simply don’t have the space? The Tower Garden may be the answer for you!  Passionate about gardening and healthy living, or looking to expand your current health-based business? Consider becoming a Tower Garden distributor! Email info@humbleseed for more information or message us on Facebook.

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Sustainable Ways to Control Weeds

August 10th, 2014
 DandelionID: 93749 © Patricia Betts | Dreamstime Stock Photos

DandelionID: 93749 © Patricia Betts | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Regardless of how much time you spend gardening, there will always be the odd weed that creeps up and attempts to take over your entire garden. And while gardening is a typically relaxing activity, the appearance of weeds can at times sour the experience. While you may stress over whether your plants will successfully grow this season, weeds almost certainly spoil your gardening fun.

Weeds are all-pervading, with a report titled Principles of Sustainable Weed Management in Organic Cropping Systems stating that, “Weeds are the most costly category of agricultural pests, causing more yield losses and added labor costs than either insect pests or crop disease.”[1] And farmers are not alone in their weed-based frustrations. In fact, a paper authored by the WSSA (Weed Science Society of America) entitled Scientists Pursue New Sustainable Alternatives for Weed Control in Organic Production Systems stated that weeds are “the most critical problem facing today’s organic grower… They rob fields of moisture, compete with crops for nutrients, reduce yields and drive up costs.”[2]

But what does this mean for the humble gardener who doesn’t have the financial backing required to research and manufacture their own scientific remedies? How can you combat the dreaded weeds that slink into your garden without resorting to chemical products? For gardeners who are interested in learning sustainable techniques to eradicate the weeds, here are a few methods that do not include the use of chemical herbicide products.

 

Timing – As with most things in life, timing is everything. Whenever possible, inspect your garden and ensure that new weeds have not sprouted up. Early prevention is the key, and removing smaller “infant” weeds that have only just sprouted is much easier than trying to eradicate a whole garden’s worth of waist-height weeds!

 

Pouring – If you want to curb the increase of weeds but without using harmful chemicals, one of the easiest (and least expensive) ways is to simply pour certain things over infected weedy areas. For example, a well-known technique is to repeatedly pour boiling water until the weeds decide to retreat. Another idea is to pour a soapy brew made from five tablespoons of mild dish-washing liquid with two cups of water over the weeds. An additional homemade concoction involves adding an ounce of alcohol to some water and pouring it over Mr. and Mrs. Weed, or instead dispensing everyday household white vinegar on them.

 

Pulling – Obviously, a solid yank to uproot weeds from the root is an easy method, but remember to wear thick gardening gloves. If they are particularly defiant or unintentionally break off in your hand, a quick fix is to rapidly jab a screwdriver into the ground around the roots, so you can loosen up the surrounding soil and fast-track each weed’s removal. You can also relax the soil with a diamond hoe, or pour a smattering of water on the soil before wiggling the weeds and wrenching them out.

 

Sprinkling – Rock salt is a natural barrier for weeds, which means that sprinkling a little of it around your lawn borders will prevent new weeds from emerging (although bear in mind that it will also stop any other plants from growing too). Corn gluten is also an effective weed suppressant, and is available in numerous different forms, including powder, pellets and granules. Commercially available organic herbicide products that feature natural fatty acid and citric acid ingredients are also a helpful resource.

 

 Suffocating – Since weeds require sunshine to flourish, wipe out existing weeds (as well as stopping new ones from growing) by taking away their natural source of sunlight. Add a three-inch thick layer of mulch to keep pesky weeds from sprouting. You can also smother persistent weedy areas with heavy carpet off-cut remnants or large scraps of old newspapers.

 

Folks, how do you keep weeds from ruining your gardening spaces?

 

About the Author:

This great content was provided by Pestmaster.com which provides expert residential and commercial landscape pest treatment services. If you would like more information, please visit them online at Pestmaster Services today!

 

About Humble Seed:

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. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you simply don’t have the space? The Tower Garden may be the answer for you!  Passionate about gardening and healthy living, or looking to expand your current health-based business? Consider becoming a Tower Garden distributor! Email info@humbleseed for more information or message us on Facebook.

 

 

 

article sources:

[1] http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/1-Schonbeck-Principles-of-Sustainable-Weed-Management-in-Organic-Cropping-Systems.pdf

[2] http://wric.ucdavis.edu/archived_news/2010_October%20WSSA-ORGANIC-WEED-CONTROL.pdf

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5 Tips To Keeping Your Garden Surviving (And Thriving!) in August

August 5th, 2014

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen

The dog days of summer can be a major stressor on your vegetable garden. To combat the heat, plants actually have the capability to cool off just like we do. They do something called evapotranspiration by shedding water from their surface areas. But when temps hit the triple digits (oh hey, Arizona and Texas), this nifty trick won’t help your plant survive on its own. Here are 5 tips to beat the summer heat and keep your garden surviving (and thriving!).

Keep soil moist and cool Soil can act as a sponge, where water absorbs after first spilling outwards. Therefore, if the soil is not retaining water well, it may be necessary to water lightly twice a day, rather than one long soak. Remember to allow time for the water to dry before the next watering, and try your best not to over water, as this may lead to fungi and other problems that kills plants. 

Inspect plants frequently and know the signs of heat stress Keep an eye out for brown, yellow or white areas on the leaves – which could indicate a form of plant “sunburn.” When this happens, find some shade for the plant immediately (we provided some shady ideas below) If plants droop in the daytime but perk back up in the morning, they are probably doing fine. Plants are wise enough to droop down to avoid over exposure from the sun.   

Regularly clean off containers You know when you’re under a lot of pressure at work or have a million chores to do, and suddenly you catch the flu and you’re out for the count? Plants are very similar. When they are battling stress, they are more susceptible to disease and pests. Cleaning off the containers can prevent disease when you’re plants are weak. To care for terra-cotta plants, bake them in an oven set for 225 degrees F. for one hour. Allow them to return to room temperature before use. 

Use mulch to protect soil and roots Mulch insulates soil, stabilizes temperature, helps reduce erosion, and can suppress weed growth. A variety of organic and non-organic materials can be used as mulch in your garden. In a forest, we see dried leaves and twigs become “mulch,” as it forms around tree trunks, protecting the top soil and roots of each tree.  Many gardeners use the same idea as they mulch in their own garden.  Natural falling leaves, twigs, and pine needles all work well (and come at no cost!).  Yet grass clippings, nut shells, plastic mulch sheets, shredded wood, hay, cardboard, bark, sawdust, crushed rocks and aged compost are also commonly used. 

Control sunlight exposure Strategically plant a garden under trees, near a fence or wherever else may create shade. If it’s too late for all that and your plants are suffering, create shade by using sheets, a tarp or a large backyard umbrella. 

**Folks, what are your tips for keeping your garden cool this summer? 

About Humble Seed:

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. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!!

Does starting your first garden seem too overwhelming or you simply don’t have the space? The Tower Garden may be the answer for you!  Passionate about gardening and healthy living, or looking to expand your current health-based business? Consider becoming a Tower Garden distributor! Email info@humbleseed for more information or message us on Facebook.

 

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