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Humble Seed Tower Garden Giveaway!

April 12th, 2014

Tower Garden complete with products_full

Our Earth Day birthday is right around the corner, and we a have a lot to celebrate! We started this little online seed company on Earth Day 2011 with a passion for growing quality food, and a strong desire to teach the community about sustainable gardening and healthy cooking. After the leap, we haven’t looked back! Now four years later with over 70K Facebook “likes,” and a growing gardening community who also love starting from seed, we’d like to once again give back to all of you. We are thrilled to announce a BIG giveaway.

The Contest

We are offering a Tower Garden® by Juice Plus+®  (a $525 value) to one lucky winner! The Tower Garden® is a vertical growing system we’re really excited about. It comes with everything you need to start growing your own vegetables, herbs, and fruits from seed using USDA food grade aeroponic technology. Think tomatoes, lettuce, basil, peppers, spinach, beans, cucumbers, melons, strawberries, herbs, flowers and more without the need for soil or pulling weeds. But get this, it’s only 5-feet-tall and can grow 20 plants at one time. After listening to those of you frustrated about minimal space and time required for gardening, this is a wonderful solution. Here’s how it works:

What We Love

We are swooning over the numerous benefits. The Tower Garden® is very easy for beginner gardeners and those short on time and space, yet still want all of the healthy advantages of starting with quality seed. It is also an eco-friendly form of gardening, as this system uses less water, land and other resources while still resulting in healthy and high-yielding crops. If you’re considering purchasing one of your own,  consider the long run economically.  There are no tools, high priced soil, or other resources that you’ll have to buy. Furthermore, by the end of the growing season it’s likely it will have paid for itself.

TG Benefits

 

How To Win A Tower Garden® 

To earn one or multiple entries, begin with the contest widget below and follow the prompts.  A winner will be chosen on Earth Day, Tuesday April 22 . Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!!

 

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Seed Starting 101: Outdoor Basics

April 8th, 2014

winebox

We recently asked on our Facebook page what topic you’d like to learn a little more about. Overwhelmingly, many of you responded, “Seed Starting!” Being a seed company and all, we wanted to write a post about this as soon as possible. It may be too late to start seed indoors, but for some of you, it’s perfect timing to start seed directly in the garden.

There are a number of compelling reasons to try seed starting: 1) More plant choices than what’s offered at your local gardening store; including organic, non-GMO, heirloom, and non-hybrid varieties, 2) More control (and fun!) over how your plants are grown, including soil, water, and amendment selecting, 3) A chance to use natural pest and vermin control, 4) To learn more self-reliance skills, 5) Save a great deal of money – we hope this encourages you to take the plunge and try seed starting.

Our Basic Guide For Sowing Directly In Your Garden

Suggested Tools For Seed Starting Outdoors

*Seed of choice (beans, carrots, corn, peas, and radishes are great choices for beginners, and truly do best when sown directly in the garden)
*Soil Thermometer
*Organic (safe) soil
*Organic compost
*Plant labels
*Watering system for gentle watering (“shower” setting on hose or “rose” fitting on watering can, etc.)
*A notepad and pen for jotting down notes

Build Up Your Soil

If you’re starting a new garden bed, remove sod, weeds, roots, and rocks from the area. Vegetable garden soil should be a mix of air and solids, and include clay, silt and loam. Work in 6 inches of compost to enhance the soil structure, and get a soil test, aiming for a neutral pH level. If needed, amend the soil further. You also may want to consider using a raised garden bed, as these will yield more vegetables and save time in the long run. This is because the smaller space shades out competing weeds, and watering/harvesting are more efficiently done.

Plan Ahead 

Ensure your soil is ready to sow seeds by taking the temperature (here’s our guide on how to take soil temperature). When ready, moisten the soil so that it’s the consistency of oatmeal a few days prior to planting. Thoroughly read your seed packet instructions for plant depth and spacing. Most seeds will require planting at a depth 3 times the diameter of the seed. If you’re a visual person, we suggest using a notepad to configure a layout of where seeds will go, and the spacing/depth for each before seed starting.

Sow Your Seeds

First, follow the seed packet instructions for the depth of furrows and spacing between them. Lay out the rows in a north-south direction which will ensure that both sides will receive an equal amount of sunlight during the day. Form the furrows with a rake, hoe, or stick; for perfectly straight rows, we recommend using a board or taut string as a guide. Do your best to sow seeds evenly, spacing them out as the seed packet instructs. If you’re using a large seed packet like we provide, pour the seed in your palm and scatter small pinches of seed as evenly as possible. Some gardeners sow seeds more thickly to guarantee germination, and thin out rows later, while others avoid this chore by spacing seeds out evenly. Tamping the soil (gently pressing on the soil surface after you sow seeds) will help secure the seed for roots to grow.

If you planted different types of seed, some gardeners outline the areas in flour, string, or stakes, while others use garden labels. This will help in recognizing plants as seed germination begins and plants grow, and will reduce the risk of mistaking a plant for a weed.

Water Gently, And Not Too Much

This is essential for guaranteeing high seed germination rates. The soil must stay evenly moist for seed germination, yet you don’t want to spray water forcefully either. The “shower” setting on your hose or the “rose” fitting on a watering can should suit you just fine if you’re a beginner. More elaborate irrigation systems are also wonderfully convenient once you’re ready for this step.

Thinning Out Crowded Seedlings

This is done after seed germination. If you sowed your seeds thickly, or you notice two sets of true leaves, then thinning out the weakest seedling is needed. You can transplant those seedlings into the empty spaces of the bed if available. Here is a great guide on how to do it effectively: How To Thin Out Crowded Seedlings.

Let the fun begin. Lots of luck this year!

***Friends, did you sow seeds directly in the garden this year? How’d it go with seed germination rates? We’d love to hear your success stories too.***

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 have limited space? Check out this option: The Tower Garden Aeroponic Growing System.

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Gardening with Your Children- 5 Reasons why it’s Important

March 31st, 2014

Organic gardening

Gardening can be a great way to relax while creating a method to provide healthy snacks or decorate your landscape with beautiful plant life. As a parent, it is up to you to share this experience with the children. It may be more important than you may realize as it can have a great deal of benefits to their development. In what ways is maintaining a garden with your children important?

1. Healthier Eating - Unless you use toxic chemicals or pesticides in your garden, you can’t get more organic than eating foods from your own garden. Some may even attest to how much better these foods taste whether it is psychological or not. This provides you with an opportunity to teach the children that food can be grown instead of purchased from the grocery store.

2. Money Saving - Although there may be some foods that you’ll have to buy, a large portion of the food bill can be eliminated by growing your own edibles. Of course this is dependent on the size of your garden, but there are many people across the country that grow their own fruits and vegetables in the backyard. This can teach children how to reduce spending on foods they can grow themselves. If you’re able to develop a large enough green house or an indoor garden, you can provide this food year round.

3. Important to Survival - Plants do more for humans than simply provide food. They can reduce the damage from floods, improve the air quality of a home and provide heavier rainfalls in extremely large circumstances such as a rain forest. While you are maintaining the garden, you have a great opportunity to teach children this important symbiotic relationship humans have with the environment. Essentially, you are planting your own seeds in their minds of a more sustainable future.

4. Bonding - Finding a common interest is a great way to strengthen a bond with your child. By working together to achieve a common goal, you can create that instance in the garden. Most young children love the idea of eating foods they personally had a hand in growing. The interest is so high that many manufacturers have developed miniaturized version of tools and clothing for young gardeners. In many cases, the children may be more excited to work with you in the garden than you could imagine.

5. Teaching a Skill - It is the responsibility of parents to expose children to experiences that may turn out to be marketable skills when they become adults. The interest a child shows today may impact his or her future greatly – as long as you support the opportunity. Teaching your children how to maintain a garden provides them with a skill that could develop into anything from a relaxation method to owning an organic farm of their own.

While gardening may not be for everyone, you’ll never know how your children will respond unless you try. Encourage the children to maintain the project with you using magnificent flowers or tasty fruits that they would enjoy. Gardening can be so much more than merely planting flowers next to your porch. It can be a peaceful and constructive way to add more life to your existence. Allow the children to decide for themselves if gardening is something they would be interested in.

 

About the Author:

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was written by Ken Myers. Ken is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.

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Soil Temperature- Tips You Can Implement Now

March 24th, 2014

 

 

Have you heard? Knowing the last frost date in your area is crucial for starting your spring vegetable garden. Perhaps you’ve heard this advice as many times as an Adele song on the radio, but you’re having trouble finding a good planting date based on a calendar guide. Even natives have mistakenly planted too early or too late in the season. We have a few tips regarding soil temperature to get you warmed up (pardon the pun) for planting season.

Soil Temperature Tips You Can Implement Now

- If you’re new to gardening, try cold tolerant and hardy vegetables first – think broccoli, carrots and collards. This leaves more wiggle room for mistakes, or an unexpected late frost. If you’d like to learn more about what to grow, check out our post on Frost Tolerant Plants.

- Be patient and wait for optimum soil temperatures. (the payoff is worth it!)

- Learn how to take a correct soil temperature (see our guide below).

- Be prepared for the chance of an unexpected late frost. Store a blanket, or have another method for protecting plants from freezing temperatures handy.

- Consider using organic compost in lieu of store bought fertilizer. It will enrich your soil with vital nutrients, and it acts as a natural pesticide and soil conditioner.

- Strongly consider using mulch to stabilize soil temperature, especially in the warmer months. Mulch will also increase moisture levels, suppress weed growth, and safeguard against erosion.

Check out, if you’d like:

Here’s a handy list of desired soil temperatures for a variety of vegetables and herbs. (This list includes the minimum, optimum, and maximum soil temperatures for growing from seed. Be sure to also pay attention to the letters “b,” “c,” and “d” next to each vegetable, as “b” indicates a hardy vegetable for direct seeding, and the “c” & “d” signifies a tender vegetable for direct seeding.) Our Humble Seed Garden Planner also gives valuable insights and specifics for successfully planting 22 popular vegetable varieties.

4 Simple Steps To Using A Soil Thermometer

1 Buy an inexpensive probe thermometer: These are available at local gardening centers or online. The most cash-friendly thermometers have a glass bulb and a strong metal point, and they work just fine.

2 Find the recommended depth of your seed: Plan on checking the soil at that plant depth. If you’re planting a variety of seeds, then plan on checking at least 5-6 inches deep.

3 Make a pathway for the thermometer: Use a screwdriver to pilot a hole so that the thermometer will not break in hardier soils.

4 Follow Directions: Use the instructions on the thermometer package for the most accurate reading. Take multiple measurements by reading the temperature at different points of the day, including sunny and shaded times.

*Friends, what are your tips for checking and using soil temperatures for direct seeding?

 

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!

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Black Rice and Grape Detox Salad

March 22nd, 2014

grape walnut salad

 

As it gets warmer out and the leaves begin to turn green, I’ve been getting the urge to add some more greens to my diet as well. Spring is a good reminder of how beautiful it is when the world is refreshed- I think this goes for our lives and bodies as well. That’s why I love detox diets.

This isn’t about eliminating all foods until you’re as thin as possible- that isn’t healthy and I’m all about eating to keep you WELL. This type of detox is about eliminating the foods and others toxins from your life that are weighing you down and holding you back, while filling your body and life with sources of wholesome nourishment. This includes toxins like pollutants or alcohol as well as toxins like a bad relationship or a job that’s causing your more stress than it’s worth. When we detox, we replace these sources of toxicity with positive, healthy foods and choices.

It’s always good to reflect on our lives and our happiness. Food can’t solve everything, but sometimes when you focus on making healthy changes in what you eat, it inspires a domino effect of healthy changes throughout your life. I eat healthy most of the time, but I still think it’s sometimes good to take moment and reset our bodies. When you take a moment to take care of yourself by eating well, you are reminded that taking care of yourself makes you feel better and helps you form a better relationship with yourself.

This detoxing salad is packed with tons of my favorite healthy super foods. I love including fruits in my salads so I can make sure to get enough fruits and veggies in my diet. This salad includes various spices that help clear our your digestive system and fight inflammation so your body can recover from damage it suffered from the toxins that are always around us. I find with myself and with my clients that after eating clean for a little while, it becomes the natural and desirable thing to do. We don’t always have to restrict ourselves like we do when we’re detoxing, but we can make sure to fill ourselves with nutritious food that will make our minds and body run smoothly. This is all about getting our bodies to work with us, not against us.

For full recipe, click here.
About the Author: 

Amie Valpone

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was submitted by Amie Valpone. Amie is a Manhattan-based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple Gluten-free, ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. Check out The Healthy Apple for more great recipes.

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How to Grow Peppers Using Simple Hydroponics

March 18th, 2014

Antohi Romanian

 

For those who aren’t familiar with hydroponics, the method has been around for centuries and the word actually comes from the Greeks and Romans.  Roughly translated it means “working water” but a more practical/modern way to describe hydroponics is gardening without soil. The soil is replaced with an inert medium such as coconut fibers and the plant’s roots are fed directly with a nutrient rich solution.

There are dozens of benefits to hydroponics, but the simple reasons I use hydroponics can be summarized in one sentence.  Hydroponics plants grow faster, in less space, with greater yields all year long.  That’s a pretty great reason, right?

Hydroponics is a very flexible gardening method which can be used inside or outside. As an introduction, I wanted to share a brief guide to growing hot peppers with an indoor hydroponics system.

What you’ll need to get started:

  • Storage tote
  • 2 inch hole saw
  • 2” net pots
  • Clay pellets
  • Rapid Rooter plugs
  • pH Control Kit
  • Hydroponic nutrients
  • Hot pepper seeds – Humble Seed’s Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles will give you a nice variety to work with
  • Air stone
  • Air pump
  • Air Tubing
  • Air tube clips

Feel free to improvise your supplies as you can steal a lot of these things from an old fish tank setup!

Step 1: Prepare the grow tray

Arrange the net pots upside down on the lid of the tote.  Leave about 4” between the pots to allow enough growing space for the pepper plants to grow. Draw a line around each pot. Using a 2” hole saw and drill, cut out each circle.  If you don’t have a drill you can use a box cutter and some elbow grease.

Step 2: Prep the reservoir

Fill the storage tote with water.  Leave about 3 inches of headroom at the top.  This will allow the peppers’ roots to touch the water without being flooded.  Add the hydroponic liquid nutrition and pH adjuster. Note: Nutrition and pH kit directions vary by brand but all are very straight forward. 

Step 3: Setting up aeration system

  • Drill a small hole above the water line and thread the air tubing through.
  • Attach the air stone and use the clips to hold the system at the bottom of the reservoir.
  • Attach the check valve and air pump to the other end.

Step 4: Sewing the pepper seeds

  • Soak Rapid Rooter plugs for 30 seconds
  • Place one Rapid Rooter in each pot and place the pots in the pre-drilled holes
  • Put 3 seeds into each plug so you are assured that at least 1 germinates
  • Fill any extra space in the pots with clay pellets but make sure you do not block the hole on the rooter plugs

 

Once you have completed these steps, it’s time to wait and complete some simple weekly maintenance.  You should see the seeds start to sprout in about 7 to 10 days.  Each week you should check water pH, inspect the leaves for healthy growth, and add nutrition supplements as directed. As the pepper plants start producing peppers you will likely need to provide simple trellis support.

I hope this hydroponic introduction and pepper growing tutorial has peaked your interest so you will be incorporating this technique into your gardening this year. 

Readers, have you had success with growing hydroponic peppers? What varieties are your favorites?

 

About the Author:

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was written by Chris Wimmer. Chris maximizes his 400 square foot downtown Chicago backyard with hydroponics. You can find more hydroponic tips at his hobby blog: CaptainHydroponics.com

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The California Drought, Food Prices & How to Prepare

March 2nd, 2014

dreamstimefree_32926

You may be clear across the country, and have heard little discussion about the current drought California is facing. Yet there is a good likelihood it can and will affect your food prices. Read on to discover why this is, and how you can prepare for it.

Some background: Much of the drought began in 2013, when the state received well below normal rainfall that year. Coupled with this issue, the neighboring Sierra Nevada region had only 10% of it’s average snowfall in December, leaving the reservoir levels at 30% of normal.  Almost immediately, desperate lawmakers passed mandatory water conservation orders across California to cut water consumption. The situation is serious enough for the Sacramento City Council to pass a water restriction forcing residents and businesses to cut usage by 20% or pay a fine up to $1,000.

To give you an image about the severity of this drought, this is what one blogger found as she drove through the farms of Central California, “…the fields were mostly dormant and being “prepared” for planting, but that did not prepare me for their utter NAKEDNESS. Not only were there no weeds or wild plants (even at the edges) but there were no cover crops, no mulches, no PROTECTION for the soil, either. The soil was dry and barren—a dust bowl just waiting to happen!”

How does the California drought affect your food prices?

For one, California is one of the leading food producers in the nation. With over 80,000 farms and ranches spread across the state, there’s a good chance that some of the food in your refrigerator was grown in California. Even more likely is that your olives, almonds, figs, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, strawberries, walnuts, dates and raisins were grown in the state – since California grows 90-100% of these crops distributed world wide.

Unfortunately, when these big farms aren’t getting the water they need, crops aren’t producing and even more troubling – fruit and nut trees take up to two years to recover. Therefore, families must anticipate two years of nation-wide increased food prices and food shortages. So, this begs the question-What you can do now?

Carolyn Nicolaysen, a disaster preparedness expert suggests families do the following before food prices start rising:

-Plan and plant a garden

-Stock up and store produce that is in season now

-Save and store 100% fruit juices

-Store abundant supply of any fruit or vegetable grown in California or any product using these as an ingredient.

-Store foods that contain any California grown produce as ingredients.

-Can or freeze and store produce grown in your garden (find a mentor to help plant and can if needed, help is out there!)

***Friends, what will you do to prepare for the increase in food prices? 

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.

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Coconut Herbal Tea- it Does a Body Good!

February 23rd, 2014

hot-tea

Foul weather have you down? Coconut Herbal Tea may be just what you need to bring you up…

It seems like everyone is always sick this time of year. The freezing temperatures mean everyone is stuck inside and it’s easy for germs to jump from one person to another. Being cold isn’t fun, but having a cold makes it even worse. I don’t know about you, but when I’m under the weather I just want to stay in bed all day- and this is rarely an option.

For me, a better bet is always to see how I can use food and healthy choices to help myself get better as quickly as possible. I make sure to eat enough veggies, protein, and healthy fats so my body has all the nutrients it needs for a speedy recovery. It’s amazing how your diet affects your health and your body’s ability to cope with sickness. When you eat healthfully on a regular basis, you keep your immune system strong, so you’re not only less likely to get sick, but you also bounce back much more quickly after coming down with something. Sleeping enough and exercising when you can also help our bodies stay strong enough to deal with obstacles like sickness.

It’s so interesting to me how much we can actually control what’s going on with our bodies through something as simple as food- it just takes the knowledge of what to do, and the commitment to do what we know is best.

In addition to eating well, I always find that a warm cup of tea is a great way to make myself feel better when I’m ill. The warmth is great for soothing a sore throat and for breaking up mucous in your nose or chest. It’s also nice to drink something warm if you have a fever and are suffering from chills. Lots of teas also contain antioxidants and other powerful nutrients that work with our bodies to keep us healthy. Aside from physical benefits, a cup of tea is so cozy and comforting and always reminds me that it’s important to take care of myself. One of my favorites is my Hot Coconut Herbal Tea. The coconut adds such a unique flavor to the tea, and you can use this recipe with any of your favorite tea varieties.

Whether you’re feeling sick or are just looking for a warm and cozy pick-me-up, this Coconut  Herbal Tea is exactly what you need. Click here for the complete Coconut Herbal Tea recipe.

 

About the Author:

Amie Valpone

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was submitted by Amie Valpone. Amie is a Manhattan-based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple Gluten-free, ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. Check out The Healthy Apple for more great recipes.

 

 

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A Guide To Long-Term Seed Storage

February 20th, 2014

producer_pintrest

Seeds are living things. For that reason, you have to treat them as such. Just like any living creature – exposure to too much cold, heat, sunlight – even moisture – can kill their essence. In fact, as a general rule, any 1% increase in moisture can mean seed life is cut in half. Knowing more about long term seed storage will ensure their viability when you need them most, and can guarantee a never-ending food supply.

Remember that the only seed that can produce another fertile seed are non-hybrid or open-pollinated seeds, so be sure your pick has these qualities before you start preparing for long-term seed storage.

Why Try Long Term Seed Storage

For one thing, having a continuous supply of fresh produce is one best investments you can make for your health. Additionally, people from all over the country are making efforts to prepare for the worst. Can you blame them? In an unsteady global economy and food market, and considering the impact of natural and man-made disasters – it’s vital to consider your food supply in an emergency situation. You may want to consider, what you would do if our food supply were cut off? Or if the price of food became unaffordable? Stockpiling cans and dried goods can be lifesaving, but what happens if it runs out?

Here’s how to get started for long term seed storage.

The Three Most Effective Ways To Store Seeds Long-Term

Refrigerating Seeds: This method can prolong seed lifespans. Many seed savers simply place seeds in zip block bags with another fabric or brown paper bag over it to prevent light seeping in and penetrating the seeds. Do keep in mind that depending on the availability of refrigeration in an emergency situation, this method isn’t always dependable. Also, refrigeration exposes seeds to some moisture and can decrease viability. If you do have access to a refrigerator, vacuum sealing seeds and refrigerating combined was found to have one highest rates of germination after 12 months.

Vacuum Sealing Seeds: As we mentioned above, moisture is one of leading reasons seeds deteriorate quickly. Vacuum-sealing ensures seed humidity levels are low and can keep seeds dormant for years. While there is an initial investment in purchasing a vacuum seal-packaging machine, the end result is a reliable method to seed storage, even without refrigeration.

Water Proof Storage Containers And Bags:  Traditional seed packets just won’t cut it in terms of long term seed storage. There is too much risk of exposure to sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuation. Re-sealable Mylar® bags and other FDA food safe containers that are air-tight and waterproof can be very reliable in terms of seed storage. Because seeds are dormant and you do not want to activate the seed, store seeds in a dark, cool location.

The Problem With Freezing Seeds: While some seed savers swear by seed storage in a freezer, many are on the fence about freezing seeds. The argument: since seeds absorb and expel moisture in the air, there’s a chance a seed’s moisture level will shift. Freezing seeds can even force seeds to expand, causing the fibers to deteriorate. What do you all think about freezing seeds? Have you tried freezing seeds with success?

***Friends, what are your favorite methods for long term seed storage? What have you tried that worked? What didn’t work***

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.

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History of the Rose

February 11th, 2014

What is it about February that has us breaking out in Shakespeare whenever the mood strikes us? A simple inquiry about our Rose Tomatoes and suddenly we’re answering in iambic pentameter …

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

by any other name would smell as sweet?

It must be that Valentine’s Day is around the corner (or we’re a little nutso), and we couldn’t help but wonder: why are roses the symbol of Valentine’s Day, and what is their history? So we dug a little deeper, and this is what we discovered:

History of the Rose

Red roses (more so than yellow or pink roses) are the traditional symbol for love and romance. The popularity of these flowers began when Europeans imported roses from China in the early 1800’s. Consequently, rose breeding started gaining some momentum, but it took Napoleon’s wife’s passion for roses to make them fashionable. Empress Josephine began the first largest recorded rose garden at her estate. Visitors were drawn to Josephine’s garden of vibrant red colors, and beautifully scented flowers that could flower all year round in temperate weather. Immediately following, gardeners began feverishly breeding roses and they became a cult favorite across Europe and the United States.

But the history of roses didn’t begin in Europe or China. Roses also have roots in Greek Mythology. We associate the rose with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, but it was Chloris, the goddess of flowers who created the rose. The story starts with Chloris cleaning in the forest, as she stumbles upon a beautiful nymph who was laying lifeless. Devastated, she called upon Aphrodite and Dionysus to help right the wrong of the dead nymph. After giving the color of wine, nectar and a sweet scent, Zephyr, the West Wind blew away the clouds for Apollo the sun god to shine on the new flower to bloom. This flower became the rose.

Roses also have places in Hindu legends, as well as Egyptian and the Roman Empire history. From stories of grooms offering their brides a red rose, to rose petals being used as confetti at elaborate parties and decadently spread on tables along with the feast to impress guests – red roses have been read, admired in paintings, and told in stories for centuries. While red roses didn’t truly get become a romantic symbol until the last 200 years, their meaning might be slowly evolving. In the last 50 years, some view the rose as a symbol for “peace” over “love.”

*Friends, did you learn something new about the rose? How are your roses doing this year? Any plans to give or receive them for Valentine’s Day?

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.

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