Newsletter: March 2013 Gardening Tips


March 2013 Edition

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

~Gertrude Jekyll

In This Issue-

  • Chile and Pepper Growing Tips
  • Two Options with Vandana Shiva
  • All Seeds Are Not Equal
  • Junk Food Designed to be Unhealthy And Addictive
  • Salsa Collection and Two Great Peppers

Hello Subscriber!

Cindy and Stephen Scott of Terroir Seeds

Welcome to the March edition of our Gardening Tips newsletter! Our usual March wind has arrived on schedule, but it hasn’t been quite as cold as last year with the added benefit of more moisture. We haven’t seen the traditional Spring Robin yet, but should soon as the full moon has passed, known as the Worm Moon which brings warming soils and renewed earthworm activity. Our anticipation is building for this year’s garden.

There are a number of new folks that are just joining us and we want to extend a very warm welcome to all of you! We have a Newsletter archive on the signup page, so don’t worry if you’ve missed previous editions. We are also on Facebook, so please join in our conversations and information sharing there.

The folks at The Healing Grapevine that provided the video of Stephen’s talk on glyphosate have posted an introductory interview with Terroir Seeds and our philosophy, answering some questions on modern agriculture and what we as individuals can do about the quality and health of our food supply.

There are two major projects that you will be seeing soon on our blog and Facebook. One is reading weed populations to determine what the soil needs, both in structure and nutrients. This will be a series of articles that might result in a class in the future. The second project introduces home scale agriculture techniques that have fed a large nation for over 1,000 years and continues to do so today in a short season environment. On 3% of the arable land, 50% of the food crops by value are produced! Interested? Stay tuned for more!

If you have questions on planning or planting for your garden such as what varieties will do best or when to sow or transplant, let us know! We have a lot of resources that will help you be more successful this year. We believe in helping you grow the best garden!

We have some great information and growing tips for you, so let’s get started!

Chile and Pepper Growing Tips

Chile pepper seedlingsHowever you call them – Chiles or peppers – they are a mainstay in the garden right alongside their traveling companions the tomato.

In fact, they are almost a phrase at this point, “I’m planting my tomatoes and peppers this weekend.” Sort of like “Peanut butter and jelly”, they just go together. An interesting side note is that salsa has taken over the #1 spot as America’s most loved and used condiment, pushing ketchup to #2!

We’ve gathered together a number of solid and proven growing tips for your crop of chile peppers this year to help you have the best year ever. Chile and Pepper Growing Tips has all of the info for you.

Two Options with Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva at Terra MadrePhysicist, world renowned environmental activist and educator Vandana Shiva shares how traditional open pollinated seeds that farmers have saved for hundreds to thousands of years are replaced with genetically modified ones and the process that is used.

She shows not only how farmers are affected on a local or regional scale, but how public seed breeding and research at universities have been influenced and ultimately stopped.

She speaks of her struggles and triumphs in her native India in starting a seed saving initiative along with Bija Devi, a former farmer. They speak of the 60 types of rice that they started saving seeds with and how there are now almost 1,500 varieties. It is one of the best 8 minutes you can invest! Watch Two Options with Vanadana Shiva to be inspired!

All Seeds Are Not Equal

Handful of seedsYou’ve spent a lot of time reading and researching how to grow the best garden, building the soil fertility and seeing many positive indications that you are heading in the right direction. Earthworms are becoming more common, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators are starting to call your garden “home”.

With all of this work, are you sure that your seeds are up to fulfilling their side of the equation, keeping their part of the bargain? If you don’t know your seed supplier, that may not be quite what you expect. Read All Seeds Are Not Equal for the whole story, and prepare to be (possibly) surprised!

Junk Food Designed to be

Unhealthy And Addictive

Potato ChipsCommercial, highly processed junk food is almost universally known to be unhealthy, but did you know that it is ever so carefully engineered to be addictive as well?

You read that right, it is engineered to make you want another bite or just one more sip. Most of the packaged foods we are exposed to each and every time we walk into the supermarket has been “optimized”, or engineered for a better sensory perception that drives us to eat more. I want my website to be “optimized”, not my food!

How did this come about and what can we do about it? As with many complex issues, the history and back-story make for intriguing reading and the solution is not as simple as some would have us believe. For the solution that is achievable by each of us, read Junk Food Designed to be Unhealthy and Addictive!

Salsa Collection and Two Great Peppers

Melrose Sweet PepperWhile we are talking about growing peppers in this edition, let’s look at a couple of varieties that are perennial favorites and a collection to get your salsa on!

The Melrose pepper is a classic Italian sweet frying pepper that was brought to Melrose Park, IL by Italian immigrants. It has been such a sought-after favorite, we get many emails thanking us for carrying it by folks who have retired or moved away and have lost the seed. Locals who are familiar with it say it is equal or superior to the better-known Nardello sweet pepper.

We have found an excellent Jalapeno pepper to offer this year- the Jalapeno M. It is an improved variety with a medium heat and great flavor that we find missing in many of today’s hybrids. It is best to let these fully ripen to the red stage to get the spectrum of flavors that only the mature chiles have!

Our Salsa Collection takes the guess work out of what to grow for the perfect salsa! We give you a mild and hot chile to create the perfect amount of heat for your family, along with what we consider the perfect tomato and tomatillo to make your taste buds dance. A couple of classic herbs round out the mixture, along with a short guidebook on the process.

Our customers are friends that we have not yet met, as you share our interest and passion for growing incredibly delicious foods, preserving heirloom seed traditions and biological diversity for the future through our own home gardens. Sharing this is possibly the most important work, as it helps all of us make a definite, positive impact in our lives and in those that we share.

Thanks for your time this edition, we hope you have enjoyed it! Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions, as we are always working to improve.


Stephen and Cindy Scott

Terroir Seeds | Underwood Gardens



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