Chipotle Cultivate Festival, From the Range to the Garden & Cucumbers
Chipotle Cultivate Festival
The recent Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Phoenix, AZ was a fantastic event, exceeding our expectations by a wide margin. We expected it to be fun and busy, but weren’t prepared for just how involved and engaged both of our partners in this project were, making it much easier to educate and inspire kids in gardening.
Andy Nowak and Lauren Howe from Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program worked closely with us to determine what seeds would be best for kids in Phoenix in mid-April, and Chipotle had things organized and detailed, making setting up and running the event a pleasure. With all of our combined experiences, we were flexible in the education for the kids, answering lots of questions from both kids and parents.
Unofficial attendance numbers that we’ve heard are at 25,000 for the one day event! From just a few minutes after the 11AM opening time to after 1:30PM, there was a 100+ foot line waiting to get up to the table to hear our short presentation on what was being given out and how to start their seeds at home. Even with a couple of slow-downs in the early afternoon, the booth was always busy. The Slow Food Phoenix chapter sent several volunteers to help out and kept things running smoothly, which was greatly needed and appreciated.
There were 2,000 seed packets and planting kits given out during the day, with lots of parents just as excited as their children to get home and start planting a seed. It was very gratifying to work with excellent partners who are serious about inspiring a new generation of gardeners and heartwarming to see thousands of eager young faces wanting to learn and get started with gardening.
Gardens offer endless opportunities for developing a deeply rooted sense of wonder in children that often last their whole lives. We invite you to celebrate your garden with a child and our “Little Sprouts” seed collections, and remember that your child’s wonder will spring from the deep roots of the seeds you planted in the fertile soil of imagination during your time together.
From the Range to the Garden
Terroir Seeds’ foundation is in soil, as most of you know. That is one of the main reasons for our choice of name for our seed company. Through personal experience and learning from those who have much more experience, we have seen time and time again that those who take care of their soil have better health and productivity, along with more pest and disease resistance than those who don’t.
In organizing some old magazines, Cindy ran across an article we wrote for Range Magazine way back in the spring of 1996 after attending a Public Rangelands Grazing Conference at Arizona State University. This was the start of our learning curve, when we were seeing wildly different philosophies about how to best conserve and improve our arid Western soils.
We wanted to share one of the foundations of Terroir Seeds with this article we wrote almost two decades ago!
For many of us, the soil is getting warm enough to think about tasty veggies that we can direct sow the seed; cucumbers are towards the top of the list. They are easy to grow, prolific producers and can be enjoyed a number of different ways, from freshly sliced into salads and sandwiches, added to cold summer soup to pickled and fermented for a taste of summer in the cold months.
Cindy wrote about her grandmother’s cucumber preference in her “Armenian Cucumber” article and explains just why they are burpless, as well as giving a delicious, easy to make Peasant Salad using fresh cucumbers from your garden. She also shares one of our most-loved pickle recipes that always gets raves from whoever tastes them with her Cilantro Freezer Pickles.
In addition to the Armenian cukes, here are a few of our other favorites:
Suyo Long – a remarkable Chinese heirloom that is great for fresh eating, pickling or cooking with a mild to slightly sweet flavor. Fruits are spiny when young, and become smoother at peak maturity. Fruits tend to curl on one end; trellis vines for straight fruit. Widely adapted, heat tolerant and sets early and often.
True Lemon – Lemon-like in color, size and shape, the True Lemon Cucumber’s white flesh is sweet with a superb crunch. The perfect size for snacking, salads or sandwiches. They start producing a little later than other cucumbers, but keep producing after everything else has quit. Very popular with chefs and gardeners who know them.
Fuzzy White Italian – a small, sweet, round to oval-shaped greenish-white cucumber with fuzzy skin, like a tennis ball. The crisp, slightly-sweet fruits are best to eat at golf or tennis-ball size, just after it starts to elongate. Creeping vines yield countless numbers of fruits and the more you pick the more you get. A rare and unusual, Italian heirloom.
Parisian Pickle – a fine French heirloom gherkin that makes excellent pickles when picked small. Selected for the cooler northern climate of Paris since the late 1800s for gherkins, or small pickles. Also a good slicer when slightly larger. Introduced in the US around 1892 by James J. H. Gregory of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
If you can’t decide or want to give a very thoughtful gift this spring – our In A Pickle Collection will have your bases covered!
From the soil to the seed to the food you eat – we’ll help you grow your best garden!
“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.”
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