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The Value Of Humble Seed: We ExSeed Expectations!

April 29th, 2014

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Imagine opening one palm full of conventional, store bought seeds, and the other with Humble Seeds. Would you be able to spot the difference? Most probably not. But is investing in Humble Seeds worth it? Absolutely! While your two hands full of seed may look the same, only conventional leaves the buyer with numerous unanswered questions: For starters….

*How long were the seeds in the store for? 

*Were they exposed to the sun, rain and other elements? 

*Were they seeds genetically modified? 

*Or perhaps inoculated with pesticides? 

*What other chemicals were these seeds treated with?

*Is there a possibility that these seeds were hybrid or pollinated in a controlled environment, and are now unable to regenerate a seed for future planting? 

In essence, life is like a package of store bought seeds, you never know what you’re going to get. We soon begin to realize that all seeds are not alike.

The Difference Humble Seed simply doesn’t leave unanswered questions. It’s a relief for so many of us who care about what ends up on our plate. We do this by ensuring all of our seeds are non- GMO and non-hybrid quality. We also feature numerous organic and heirloom varieties in each seed kit. In addition, all of our products are carefully stored within temperature controlled environments prior to being shipped directly to your home or business, ensuring the most reliable seed available with the highest germination rates.

Furthermore, our seed offers…

*Fresher herbs, fruit, and vegetables with more nutritional value than their store-bought counterparts.

*FDA food-safe containers, along with our re-sealable Mylar® bags, keep seeds fresh in between plantings, allowing you to plant now or later.

*Seed without the direct exposure to chemicals 

*An opportunity to save money by purchasing seeds in bulk and growing your own foods.

*More family engagement around a backyard experience, and an opportunity to educate children on the importance of gardening for a sustainable way of living.

*A chance to learn how to garden using organic growing practices. 

*An opportunity to sustain yourself with garden know-how in case future disasters deplete our nation’s food supplies. 

*Open-pollinated seeds, meaning all seeds are pollinated the way nature intended. 

*We offer our seeds in themed, bundled kits. When you purchase a garden kit, you get to choose from a variety of carefully themed packages that are convenient and wonderful for busy lifestyles. Whether you are a spicy food fan and prefer a variety of hot and spicy chilies, want to grow your own herb garden, or you’re someone who desires the freshest and most nutritious vegetables to choose from; Humble Seed has a package that will suit your gardening needs for all growing regions within North America.

Our Full Line of Themed Seed Kits

Uncle Herb’s Favorites

Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles

Veggin’ Out

The Producer

Other Popular Items You Might Like

Haven Brand Natural Brew Tea

Humble Seed Garden Planner

We’d love to know: What are reasons you choose Humble Seed over conventional seed?

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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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:

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Seeds That Can Thrive Anywhere

May 10th, 2013

A common question we hear frequently is, “do your seeds grow well in my growing region/state?” To put it simply, the answer more often than not is “yes.” Our seeds are specifically selected to do well in growing conditions throughout North America under normal growing conditions.

Humble Seed’s premium garden seed kits are intentionally bundled to suit a variety of needs and lifestyles, while our re-sealable Mylar® bags keep seeds fresh in between plantings, allowing you to plant when it’s convenient in your region. Need more proof? Check out these examples below!

Red Saladbowl -Veggin’ Out seed kit

Description: This slow bolting red oak-leaf type of saladbowl is very appealing. Its finely divided leaves that are a rich, deep-red color characterize it. Gardeners enjoy its sweet flavor and the wonderful color that it adds to a variety of salads

Where these seeds grow best: This seed will germinate in a low 40 degrees F soil temperature, making it pretty forgiving to cold weather. They do quite well in a variety of regions across the United States. Red Saladbowls will flourish in most parts of the northeast, west, and Midwest, and in places like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Illinois, Idaho, Oregon, and more.

Scarlet Nantes CarrotVeggin’ Out seed kit

Description: The Scarlet Nantes has a reputation for abundant production and a consistent quality that offers up crisp texture and sweet flavor. The roots, which average about 6” long, are bright orange and cylindrical to slightly tapered.

Where these seeds grow best: You can start this seed outside 2-4 weeks before an average last frost, and in warm climates with lows above 25 degrees all winter long. This seed can do well in a variety of locations that don’t experience harsh winters – particularly the west coast and southwest (places like California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Arizona), as well as parts of the Midwest and the south (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia – and more).

Washington Cherry TomatoVeggin’ Out seed kit

Description: This organic variety produces tomatoes that are meaty and very flavorful. It is a high yielding plant that produces 1 ¼” red cherry tomatoes that are excellent for appetizers, salads, snacking and more.

Where these seeds grow best: This seed grows best when sown in the spring; after the average last spring frost and when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees. Generally, regions in the south, southwest, and Midwest will offer these types of conditions – whether you’re in California, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri or Kansas. They can also be planted in the early fall for a winter harvest if you live in a warm winter/hot summer area.

Superbo BasilUncle Herb’s Favorites seed kit

Description: This Genovese-type of basil provides thick leaves and wonderful flavor. It is great for homemade pesto and complements a variety of foods, including fish, poultry, rice, vegetables and more.

Where these seeds grow best: Basil is loved not only for its abundant flavor, but also for its ability to grow very well in a variety of regions and conditions. This seed does best in the springtime, 1-3 weeks after the average last frost, and when soils are warm. With these requirements in mind, anyone living in California to New Jersey (and in between) can grow basil in their backyard when the weather turns a bit warmer. If your location experiences a harshly cold spring, basil can also be grown indoors near a sunny window.

Yankee Bell Pepper  - Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles and Veggin’ Out seed kit

Description: This plant provides wonderful red bells for northern climates. It is a strongly branched plant with good cover, producing 6-10, 3 to 4-lobed, medium-size, green to red fruits. The Yankee is less likely to make too many peppers in the initial crown set, resulting in a higher percentage of thick-walled and smooth fruits. These peppers last well into the sweet red stage.

Where these seeds grow best: Grow these seeds in the springtime, 3-4 weeks after the average last frost date and when soil temperatures are at least 65 -70 degrees. While these peppers prefer warmer climates, they truly do well in a wide range of areas across the United States – particularly the south, southwest, Midwest, and northern regions. What we love about these seeds is how well they will grow in places like Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, but will also do quite well in Arizona and California – and even in Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York.

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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Saving Heirloom Seeds 101

May 9th, 2013


For many, preserving an heirloom seed in its original genetic makeup is important.


When we think of the word “extinction,” a head of lettuce normally doesn’t pop up in our minds. It’s also obvious that our grocery stores aren’t full of endangered fruits and vegetables either. But think about the prize-winning heirloom beets you boasted last spring, or your grandfather’s special heirloom tomatoes you remember eating every summer. If these heirloom seeds are not saved, the legacy of these plants will eventually die out.

Furthermore, preserving heirlooms creates diversity, making some gardeners feel it’s their responsibly to save these seeds so that genetic variation doesn’t become extinct. If you decide to save your heirloom seeds this year, there are some important ideas to learn and put into practice to ensure success.

How To Preserve The Genetic Makeup

Ensuring an heirloom variety doesn’t accidently change its genetic makeup is a top priority. Luckily, there are some simple practices that can help limit genetic loss. One is to ensure heirloom plants do not cross-pollinate with other varieties. The easiest way to avoid this is to separate varieties a fair distance away from one another. It’s a good idea to research each plant to ensure the distance is far enough away. For example, lettuce may only require separating it 25 feet, while some pepper varieties are considered a safe distance when distancing them at least 500 feet.

Other gardeners prefer time isolation, caging, bagging, and even individually hand pollinating - these are all techniques that can help avoid accidental cross-pollination. Keep in mind that while these practices take time and thought, if two varieties cross – their genes are permanently mixed.

How To Harvest Heirloom Seeds

When you’re ready to harvest, specifically select seeds from the plants that grew quickly and with vigor.  A common mistake is to choose seeds randomly, and from mediocre plants. One major rule of thumb? Never save seeds from malformed fruit, or a fruit that has been damaged by insects, mold, or disease. Plants should be strong, healthy and not exposed to stressful conditions when early seed formation begins.

Removing any diseased plants away from potential seed saving plants will increase the viability of the plant and its seed. Diseased plants can also spread pathogens to otherwise healthy plants, and can affect the success of succeeding generations as well. During seed formation, be sure to provide the plant with sufficient moisture at flower time – this will promote pollen development and flower set.

Furthermore, learning how to properly harvest seeds from a variety of plants can ensure you’re getting the most from each plant. We look forward to sharing how to properly clean, dry, and preserve your heirloom seeds in a future post.

Friends, which heirloom varieties are you growing this year?

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Announcing Humble Seed’s First Fundraising Initiative

March 13th, 2013

We are pleased to announce that Humble Seed is partnering with Saline High School’s Future Farmers of America for our first fundraising initiative!

Would you like to learn the exciting details?

Who we’re working with: We are fortunate to have David Mellor, Saline High School’s Agriscience teacher and FFA advisor working with us directly to spearhead the project. Together, we will support students as they sell our premium garden seed kits to their friends, family, and community members.

We are incredibly impressed with the dedication Saline students have demonstrated during the course of this fundraiser! Students have been hard at work handling all the sale orders, shipping, and delivery of seed kits. Furthermore, they will continue to educate the community on how to grow a home garden, as well as the importance of gardening with non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds.

What’s for sale:  Humble Seed is offering our favorite seed kits to support the endeavor. This includes Veggin’ Out, Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles, Uncle Herb’s Favorites, and The Producer seed kits.

Why we’re doing it: 50% of all sales generated will be donated back to the school! From this initiative, we hope to encourage families to grow a garden that will provide a source of healthy, safe and nutritious food all while saving them money.

Our promise: As always, we offer heirloom, certified organic, non-GMO, and non-hybrid varieties in our seed kits at an exceptional value. We are providing the same quality packaging – utilizing Humble Seed’s unique resealable Mylar packs that keep seeds fresher, longer- allowing gardeners to plant now or later.

Thanks for all of your hard work, Saline Hornets! We are proud to be part of such a worthy cause, and look forward to continuing these types of fundraisers in the future.

Want to fundraise with Humble Seed: If you have an organization that is interested in partnering with Humble Seed for an upcoming fundraiser, please send your information to




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Give The Gift Of Humble Seed

December 1st, 2012

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s never too early to start planning thoughtful gifts for your family and friends. If you’re looking for a unique and useful gift this year, Humble Seed offers a variety of prepared gift baskets that will delight any avid or aspiring gardener. Each of our four featured gift baskets includes one of Humble Seed’s quality seed kits, along with a variety of useful gardening goodies including a mini-tool tote, a soil conditioner, and freshly scented hand soap and lotion. We also carry four individual seed kits, bundled with our most popular seed varieties.

Uncle Herb’s Favorites Gift Basket: Have a home chef in mind that loves adding freshly picked herbs to their flavorful dishes? Uncle Herb’s Favorites Gift Basket may be one to hit the mark! It’s also a great gift for first time gardeners. This basket features our Uncle Herb’s seed kit, which contains 10 varieties of quality non-GMO and non-hybrid culinary herb seeds. Included in the basket is our 7-Piece Humble Garden Mini-Tool Tote, which contains gloves, assorted tools and a mister. We also add Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew, which will enhance the vitality of the garden. Finally, we added a hand-crafted, hand-cut bar of Annie’s Goat Hill chamomile and neroli scented goat milk soap, and a 4 oz hand lotion; perfect for refreshing tired hands after a day in the garden. Each basket is shrink-wrapped for secure shipping ($86.95 – Buy now)

Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles Gift Basket: Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles Gift Basket is perfect for that person who loves to spice things up in the kitchen! This basket features our Hot Mama’s seed kit, which contains 10 varieties of chilies and pepper seeds. Included in the basket is our 7-Piece Humble Garden Mini-Tool Tote, which contains gloves, assorted tools and a mister. We also add Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew, which will enhance the vitality of the garden. Finally, we added a hand-crafted, hand-cut bar of Annie’s Goat Hill chamomile and neroli scented goat milk soap and a 4 oz hand lotion, perfect for refreshing tired hands after a day in the garden. Basket is shrink-wrapped for secure shipping. ($91.20- Buy now)

Veggin’ Out Gift Basket: This basket is ideal for those who love freshly picked crisp vegetables, and for first-time gardeners. This basket features our Veggin’ Out seed kit, which is equipped with 11 different non-GMO and non-hybrid vegetable seed varieties, ideal for backyard and container gardening. Included in the basket is our 7-Piece Humble Garden Mini-Tool Tote, which contains gloves, assorted tools and a mister. We also add Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew, which will enhance the vitality of the garden. Finally, we added a hand-crafted, hand-cut bar of Annie’s Goat Hill chamomile and neroli scented goat milk soap and a 4 oz hand lotion, perfect for refreshing tired hands after a day in the garden. As always, this basket is shrink-wrapped for secure shipping. ($92.50- Buy now)

Humble Seed Trio Gift Basket: For that avid gardener in your life, The Humble Seed Trio Gift Basket is the ultimate holiday gift! It features all three quality seed kits: Uncle Herb’s Favorites, Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles, and Veggin’ Out. This basket contains over 30 varieties of vegetables, peppers and culinary herb seeds with non-GMO, heirloom and organic varieties. Included in the basket is our 7-Piece Humble Seed Garden Mini-Tool Tote, which contains gloves, assorted mini-tools and a mister.  We also add Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew, which will enhance the vitality of the garden. Finally, we added a hand-crafted, hand-cut bar of Annie’s Goat Hill chamomile and neroli scented goat milk soap and a 4 oz hand lotion, perfect for refreshing tired hands after a day in the garden. Basket is shrink-wrapped for shipping. ($134.50- Buy now)

Individual Seed Kits: Looking to surprise your favorite gardener with a variety of seeds, thoughtfully customized to their taste buds? Our four individual seed kids are bundled with our most popular varieties, and are shipped in a FDA food-safe container so that the gardener you have in mind can plant now or later.

*Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles (approx. 500 seeds per kit. $32.95): A great gift for chile aficionados, this seed kit contains ten different varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, including certified organic and heirloom seeds. Seed varieties range from mild bell peppers to the hot habanero. (Buy now)

*Uncle Herb’s Favorites (approx. 3500 seeds per kit. $27.95): This is the perfect gift for home cooks that love fresh herbs in their dishes. Ten flavorful varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds are conveniently and economically packaged so that your favorite gardener can access fresh herbs throughout the year, and just a few steps away. (Buy now)

*Veggin’ Out (approx. 5,000 seeds per kit. $34.95): A genius gift idea for the foodie, health food fan or avid gardener in your life. This gift is perfect for families as well. Veggin’ Out contains 11 quality non-GMO and non-hybrid seed varieties that can be grown both indoors or outdoors. (Buy now)

*The Producer (approx. 26,000 seeds per kit. $139.95): Looking to buy a gift for your church or temple, a large organization, a disaster prepper, or your community? The Producer is sure to excite them. This seed kit boasts 26 varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, and includes certified organic and heirloom varieties. This seed kit, as with our other kits, is stored in an FDA approved waterproof, rodent proof container, and allows the gardener(s) to conveniently grow now or later. (Buy now)

Looking for a Humble Seed gift, but not sure what to get? Our $30.00 Humble Seed Gift Card is also a great option.

*All  Orders ship UPS or USPS Ground Shipping. Please allow 4-5 business days. Use coupon code Holiday15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order!


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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Lose Weight and Eat Healthy With Peppers!

July 13th, 2012

A member of the nightshade family, peppers have been around for over 7,000 years, and were first enjoyed by the Native Americans.  Peppers can range in color and size, and can taste intensely hot, or even delicately sweet. With so much diversity and flavor, many can’t help but ask, ‘What is it that the humble pepper cannot do?’ They can spice up your favorite salsa, add a hint of sweetness on the grill, add nice color to an omelet — even prevent disease and help you lose weight.

Yes, that’s right!  Many are discovering that these vibrantly colored delights have some pretty amazing health benefits to boot.

The Health Benefits

Peppers and chiles are wonderfully nutrient rich, and contain important carotenes, flavonoids, and more vitamin C than most citrus fruit! Their vibrant colors, ranging from red, yellow, orange and green (and sometimes purple) can be associated with different nutrients. Eating a diverse combination of peppers can offer vitamins A, C, B, beta-carotene and lycopene. These nutrients alone can strengthen eyesight, improve mood, provide energy and vitality, and support the immune system.

Furthermore, peppers are a natural anti-inflammatory, which help ward off disease as well as cancers in the pancreas, bladder and prostate. Consuming them on a regular basis can also lower blood pressure, which consequently, can lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Why Peppers Can Help You lose Weight

Peppers contain few calories, and zero fat and cholesterol.  Yet, this is not the only reason why eating peppers can aid in weight control. A study at UCLA Center For Human Nutrition found that eating chili peppers can better control metabolism.  Even better, participants who consumed the peppers’ nutrients in pill form burned an additional 80 calories and appeared more energetic than those that were given a placebo.

How did that happen? Researchers found that a compound in peppers raises the body’s temperature; a similar effect to when a person goes for a light jog, or jumps rope.  A pepper’s ability to warm the body can also keep us warm in the winter, yet cool in the summer when we perspire.

Finding The Best Peppers To Plant

Choosing a variety of natural peppers to include in your diet can offer the most diverse nutrients, and can keep your body balanced. Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles offers ten varieties of non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, including certified organic and heirloom seeds. A few delicious peppers to try are our sweet Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper; perfect for summer sandwiches, our Yankeee Bell Peppers; stuffed with your favorite seasoned goodies, and spicing up chili, fried potatoes and tacos with Habaneros and Conchos Jalapeños.


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Plant the Garden of Your Dreams with a Customized Humble Seed Kit

April 3rd, 2012

Spring is officially in full swing, and many of us are eager to get back into our gardens and harvest the delicious benefits.  Selecting the seed varieties that work best for your own growing conditions, environment and dinner plates is all part of the fun – and can produce very positive results in your garden.  With this in mind, Humble Seed is pleased to offer a popular demanded option to take advantage of: the opportunity to customize your own seed kit! We are thrilled to partner with Very Jane once again to bring gardeners this much requested option for a limited time.  We also look forward to featuring a permanent customized seed kit option in the near future on our own website.  Review the details below so you can begin your seed selecting right away!

How To Customize Your Seed Kit

To get started, simply review the 28 varieties of premium seeds that are offered exclusively for this promotion. Select 10 different seed packs of your choice. Due to inventory demand, we will not be able to fulfill multiple packs of the same seed type within a single order. Each customized seed kit is priced at $32.00, a 20% discount from the retail price ($40.00) and offered exclusively for this promotion! We are offering the following premium seeds for each customized kit:



Scarlet Nantes Carrot

White Bunching Onion Scallion

Crimson Sweet Watermelon

Amazing Cauliflower

Tavera Green Bean (organic)

Red Express Cabbage (organic)

Green Romaine (organic)

Rosa Bianca Eggplant (organic / heirloom)

Washington Cherry tomato (organic)

Rose Tomato (heirloom / organic)

Black Seeded Simpson (heirloom)

Marketmore Cucumber (organic)

DeCicco Broccoli (organic /heirloom)


Yankee Bell Pepper

Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper (organic)

Padron Pepper (heirloom)

Joe’s Long Cayenne (organic)

Conchos Jalapeno


Superbo Basil

Purly Chives

Banquet Dill

Bronze and Green Fennel (organic)

Greek Oregano


German Winter Thyme

Titan Parsley

Common Sage

Santo Cilantro (coriander)

As always, Humble Seed offers non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds with heirloom and certified organic options at an exceptional value. You can also trust that our premium seeds have one of the highest germination rates when compared with other seed companies, and we ship them directly to you in a re-sealable and airtight Mylar® bag; guaranteed for long-term storage and effective seed saving.  At Humble Seed, you can trust that “ex-seeding expectations” is an affirmation we take seriously.

Click here to start building your seed kit!

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Hot For The Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper!

March 19th, 2012

Looking to spice up your meals at dinnertime? Consider, for a moment, the Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper found in The Producer as well as Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles. This bright yellow pepper that ripens into a brilliant red will entice your taste buds with its bright, sweet flavor.  It tastes sweetest fried, but can be baked, sautéed or even grilled for full flavor.  If you are new to growing peppers, plan on sowing the seeds indoors in mid to late March.  When spring is in full swing, you’ll find that they will become the coquettes of your garden. While you nurture and dote on them; they will ripen and plump, and undoubtedly bring promise of a flavorful dish!

Contrary to the popular belief, peppers are not annuals. Yet, they can be easy to grow if offered warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight.  These frying peppers also do quite well in drained soils rich in calcium and phosphorus. Be sure to harvest them when they are green or mature, and use gardening scissors so to not damage the plant.  Picking peppers when they are fully mature also encourages new buds to form.

These peppers are exceptionally flavorful when cooked in olive oil, and make a great addition topped on your favorite sandwich, or added to a stir-fry.  The recipe below is fresh and tasty — one bite will have you lingering over the thought of leisurely dining on a Mediterranean coast. The best part?  This sandwich can be ready in 20 minutes. Is it just us, or is it hard not to puff up your chest a bit when making a delicious sandwich using vegetables from your own garden?

Mediterranean-Style Vegetable Sandwich

(Makes 4 Sandwiches)

1 medium sized eggplant, sliced length-wise into ¼ inch thick rounds

1 tomato, sliced into rounds

½ onion, cut into half moon slices

5-6 Antohi Romanian Specialty frying peppers, de-seeded and sliced

8 ounces of Mozzarella cheese, ¼ inch slices (optional)

10-12 basil leaves

4 teaspoons Balsamic vinaigrette

¼ cup olive oil

8 slices of crusty French bread

salt and pepper to taste

Method:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lay a single layer of the eggplant rounds on a baking tray.  Brush each round with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway for even cooking. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium high heat.  Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the pan, and add the onion, a pinch of salt, and your frying peppers.  Sauté until tender and fragrant.

Once the eggplant has cooled, layer on the eggplant, onions, peppers, basil and cheese (if using) on a slice of crusty bread.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

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The Great Indoors. A Guide To Indoor and Windowsill Gardening

November 20th, 2011

Whether you’re an urban gardener, or would like to bring your plants safely indoors for the winter; windowsill and indoor gardening is an easy way to grow your favorite herbs, vegetables and peppers.  In fact, many plants grown in containers require minimal care, and grow just as well indoors.  You will also find that the proximity of the plant is ideal when indoors, as herbs can be easily snipped and thrown into your favorite dish, and you can leave that cumbersome winter jacket in the closet as you harvest your veggies.  You’ll also find easy access in recycling your used coffee grounds. This blog post about Container/Vertical Gardening may also be particularly useful as you grow your indoor garden.  Follow these simple steps below and grow your own beautiful indoor garden without the worry of frost and weather damage.

 Step By Step Indoor Gardening:

  1. Find a container that is at least 6 inches deep.  Containers vary in shape, colors, price and materials used.  Wood, plastic and strawberry containers are the least expensive, but may rot easily.  Choose Redwood and Cedar wood, ceramic and metal containers if available, as these are less likely to experience wear and tear.  Wide containers are also ideal for growing several herbs in one container.
  2. Scout out a good location in your home for your garden. The location must provide light for at least 5-6 hours a day – keep in mind that south or southeast facing windows yield the most light.  Windowsills work well, but be certain that sneaky drafts will not bother your plants.  Also, stay clear of heating vents and kitchen appliances, as these can deplete your plants of the humidity needed for proper growth.
  3. Select herbs, vegetables and chilies that will not grow too tall or wide.  The Producer, Veggin’ Out and Uncle Herb’s Favorites have a variety of plants that are easy to maintain in an indoor garden.
  4. When transplanting plants to the in-doors, add 2 inches of soil to the container and place plant carefully inside.  Patting down the soil gently, fill the remaining areas with soil leaving an inch of room at the top of the container for water.
  5. It’s easy to forget about watering your plants if your location is in a less used room or behind a couch.  Create a watering schedule, and ensure plants are getting enough water by allowing water to seep through the holes at the bottom of the container.  This helps water infiltrate the roots of the plant.  If your containers do not have holes, drill them and place a plastic or decorative container at the bottom of the pot to collect water. Herbs will need less water than vegetables and chilies, and remember to fertilize the soil once a month with organic fertilizer or compost.
  6. To avoid disease and dust, mist your plants with tepid water, and carefully wipe down leaves that may have accumulated dust.

Using Lights For Indoor Gardening:

Uncle Herb’s Favorites and The Producer have a wide variety of herbs and salad greens that grow well using indoor lights.  Obviously more costly than natural sunlight, growing lights can be purchased at any home goods store and many find they are more reliable than waiting for sunny weather.  If you live in an area that receives little sunlight (even if just in the winter months), this may be an excellent option for your indoor garden. Because plants need a full spectrum of light for photosynthesis, be sure the lights you purchase are either fluorescent or have high intensity discharge.  Both of these methods will ensure your plants grow as naturally as they do in the great outdoors.

Get The Kiddos Involved!

Gardening is a fantastic way to keep your children active while learning about the science and nutrition behind each plant.  Are you looking for ideas to get their hands dirty (in a good way)?  For one, encourage your children to decorate the plant containers with paints and other artistic tools.  They’ll love decorating something for the home! Or, take a family nature walk and pick out unique and odd shaped rocks to place between containers.  Label the plants’ names on each rock and set them beside each container.  Also, ask children to pick out which seeds they prefer to grow and allow them opportunities to nurture each plant until harvest time. This could be a great opportunity for kids to experience the science of plant growth!  Lastly, allow children to help in the kitchen and give them easy jobs using the herbs and veggies they grew!  Children will have more awareness about what food goes into their bodies if they take an active role in their daily meals.

What herbs, vegetables and/or plants are you planning on growing indoors this winter?

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