Newsletter: March 2014 Newsletter


March 2014 Edition

“As I weed and cultivate the basils, savories, and thymes in my garden, touch their furry or glossy leaves, and breathe in their spicy scent, they seem like such old friends it is difficult to realize that only three years ago these aromatic herbs, except for parsley, sages and mint, were quite unknown to me.”

~ Helen Morgenthau Fox

In This Issue-

  • We’re On the Road in March!
  • Peel Garlic in 10 Seconds
  • Improving Garden Soil: Milk and Molasses Magic
  • History of Spinach
  • Szechuan Button and Mango Sorbet

Hello Friends!

Stephen and Cindy Scott of Terroir SeedsWelcome to our March Newsletter! Thanks to all of you who gave us great information in our Reader’s Survey last issue, we will be honoring those requests and giving you more of the information and education that you’ve asked for, starting with this issue. For those who haven’t taken it yet, just click on the link above and give us your input.

We’ve finally gotten some rain this past weekend, but not nearly enough to make a dent in our 20+ year drought. With our devastating fire season last year, all of us in central Arizona are wishing, hoping and praying for more moisture soon. It seems that the weather is flip-flopped all across the country this winter with none of us really getting what we need. Either too much cold and snow or too much sunshine, with very little in the middle!

More extreme weather patterns are appearing to be the new normal, with hotter and drier summers and/or colder and wetter winters. This makes gardening more challenging, but here’s where we can help you out: healthier, more biologically active and more fertile soil helps plants deal much better with weather pattern disruptions and harsher weather than that treated with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. This has been proven in both university research as well as several hundreds of organic farmers that are next door or across the road from conventional, industrial ones.

Keep reading our Newsletters, read our past issues in our Newsletter Archive and spend some time browsing through over 240 articles on our blog to get more information and education on simple, proven things that you can do to improve your soil and have a good if not great gardening season this year!

We’ve had a number of comments that we act like a non-profit with all of the education, inspiration, recipes, knowledge and information that we share, but the fact is we depend on you, our customers, for your support to keep the lights on and the information flowing. All of the knowledge we provide is done at no charge, which surprises many folks. Much of what we write about takes a significant amount of time to research, learn, cross check and publish, simply because it is not available out there.

You can help us continue this work by passing us on to your friends, family, neighbors and gardening clubs or groups. Share the information we freely give, and let the person you share it with know where you found it. And last but not least, buy some seeds, a tool or a book from us!

We feel that we are working on one of the most important things to individuals and families today – food that is healthy, tasty and nourishes us that we have a hand in growing and making. If you agree, please share what we are doing with your friends, family and community.


Quick Gardening Tip-

When you get your seed order in the mail, mark the seed packets with the date and their germination life expectancy. Many times we gardeners order more seeds than we really need and wind up with excess that we simply don’t know what to do with. Keeping seeds to share or plant for next year is ok, if the seed will still be alive. Onion, leek, parsley and parsnips seeds will be good for one year. All other vegetable seeds will live for at least 2 years, more under ideal conditions. For a more in-depth look, read our article “Home Seed Saving and Storage” or look in our “Seed Saving” section of our blog.

Now let’s dig in!


We’re On the Road in March!

We will be on the road this month, attending a couple of events in our home state of Arizona. If you are interested in either of these events or are already planning on attending, please stop by and say hello!

The first one will be at the 21st annual Cochise County Master Gardeners Association’s High Desert Gardening Conference, March 13 and 14 in Sierra Vista. This conference is the longest running Master Gardener conference in the state of Arizona and we will be presenting our Quality Seed Saving program with a breakout session to answer questions and go more in-depth from the presentation.

Our second event is PrepperFestAZ, March 21 – 23 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. We will have a booth there and will be educating folks that having a seed vault isn’t the only answer, as learning to garden and grow your own food is more important than just having a can of seeds and no idea of what to do with them!


Peel Garlic in 10 Seconds

Do you know how to peel garlic in 10 seconds? Not just one clove, but a handful or even a whole head? Can you do 5 or 10 in a row?

Sure you can, we show you how in our very short video! Extremely simple, works every time and completely eliminates the mess, fuss and frustration of peeling garlic. This never ceases to amaze anyone who’s never seen it, especially after asking the questions above! Watch and see  for yourself how to “Peel Garlic in 10 Seconds.”


Improving Garden Soil: Milk and Molasses Magic

Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! A fringe benefit of spraying the milk and molasses mixture on the garden is a biologically friendly weed population control. See how and why they work in our newest article for Mother Earth News Blogs Organic Gardening section – “Improving Garden Soil: Milk and Molasses Magic.”

As always, if you like this and think it is useful, please share it with your friends, neighbors or Gardening Club!


History of Spinach

After Ellen’s article about “Alternative Spinach Greens” she now tells us more about the original spinach. Grown in the cooler season in a rich soil, spinach is delicious – juicy with a nice crunch to it; a mildly sweet flavor and no bitterness. Sort of like a bolder leaf lettuce. “History of Spinach” has the rest of the story!

To celebrate Ellen’s article, make sure to visit our Spinach Recipes section of our blog, where we’ve added a brand new delicious recipe – Spinach Salad with Sesame and Ginger.


Szechuan Button and Mango Sorbet


Taste one of these little bright yellow jewels and you’ll immediately discover why they’ve gained a loyal following and a number of equally colorful names. They initially give a strong burst of citrus-like tang, quickly followed by a curious, tingly jolt of electricity sensation that spreads from your tongue to fill your whole mouth that ends in a numb feeling. This all repeats itself for about 15 minutes.

They have become very popular with restaurants that use the buds finely diced in fresh salads, with sliced chiles and lime as a condiment, lightly pickled or candied with desserts. Here is a unique, complex and attention-grabbing sorbet that will intrigue and delight your friends or a dinner party! Get started on your own “Szechuan Button and Mango Sorbet.”


We believe in a world of healthy soil, seed, food and people. Everyone has a fundamental need for vibrant food and health, which are closely linked.

We work to achieve this by challenging and changing conventional gardening thinking, providing successful and unique methods and techniques while inspiring the power of choice and action for the individual.

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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