Dragon Tongue Beans

dragon tounge beansQuite a bean if I say so myself. This 18th century Netherlands heirloom has never been manipulated, so the bean you grow in your garden is the same as the original cultivar. They are versatile, use them as a snap bean, or as a dry bean. I chose to let them dry on the plant, and I'm glad I did. I made a pot of soup today with the dry beans, and for me, they are the best tasting beans I've ever had. Slightly sweet and nutty with a creamy texture, they had a unique flavor that transcends any bean flavor I've ever had. I like beans, so I've sample a good number of varieties. I did sample a few fresh off the plant in the garden, and they weren't much different from a fresh string bean. In my experience, they are a bean well worth drying.

The plants are compact and I was quite satisfied with the yield. I'm glad I didn't plan my garden before I had the soup. I might have overlooked these tasty morsels. They will be my bean of choice until further notice.


Rat Tail Radish

Sorry, I don't have a photo for this heirloom variety yet. You can find one here, along with a seed source. Hoover your mouse over the thumbnail and you can see a larger photo. I like radishes, and until a couple of years ago all I knew were the small, vibrant red, pungent, crunchy balls of flavor. Once korean cuisines entered the trendy foodie scene, the Daikon radish appeared. These large, white cylindrical shaped roots challenged what I knew and thought a radish was. Once the fascination starts, the researcher and historian kicks in, and all of sudden I have a new subject matter to explore, which makes me happy.

Now, as an advocate for heirloom vegetables and pure food, it gives me great pleasure to find different varieties of vegetables as content for what I do. This year, Rat Tail Radishes will be in my garden. When I saw the photos and description of this edible seed pod, I felt a deja vu, which is always a plus for me.

The Rat Tail Radish arrived in England in the early 1800s from Java. They made their to America, and became a very popular addition to gardens during the 1860s, and like a lot varieties fell out of vogue for a number of reasons including this snip from From Kitchen Gardens International ;

...  The plant may have become a victim of the hype, begun by Mr. Bull, who exhibited the curious radish at the great International Horticultural Exhibition in London in 1866. The new unnamed radish caused a sensation and was accompanied by claims of spectacular performance. It was claimed that its pods grow three inches overnight and attain a length of three to four feet. It was “destined to supersede root radishes of all kinds, and render us no longer dependent upon crops that were uncertain, and good only at certain times.” It was predicted that breeding with the garden radish would produce hybrids with both edible pods and roots. Soon there were others reporting growing it, and the descriptions, names used and place of origin were so different that it caused much confusion in the botanical and horticultural world. The disputes over name and classification were more easily settled than the claims of its marvelous qualities. ...

I found the above an interesting read about the Rat Radish. Again, here's the link.

All root varieties of radishes produce edible seeds pods, the unique aspect fo the Rat Tail variety is they are grown for their edible seed pods, not for their root. The plants grow up to 5 feet tall, produce delicate flowers which I've seen described ad edible also. Harvest the pods when small, up to 4 inches in length, they can become tough when they get large from what I've read. They attract pollinators, always a plus, and the young leaves are also edible, which makes sence Since they are members of the Brassicaceae family, otherwise know as the mustards, or cabbage family.

You can search for Madras seeds or Rat Tail Radish if you want to do your own research. And finally, I love the name. It adds to the quirky nature of heirloom vegetables.

Caramelized Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin Butter, Infused with Orange and Bay

waffle with butterWhen I planned my garden this year, I was looking forward to growing Winter Squash Marmellata, as it's known to the Italians, and Jaune Gros de Paris, as it's known to the French. I was intrigued hat this variety was used for making jam in Italy. In my neck of the woods, pumpkin jam is not very common. I like the flavor of pumpkin, and I tired of tasting pumpkin pie in everything pumpkin around here.

My garden didn't do well, and I did get a early, small pumpkin which was rotten. Pumpkin jam,  it seemed, at least from this variety, wasn't going to happen this year. One day however, day, good people at The Framed Table asked what flavors we were looking forward to this fall. I volunteered roasted pumpkin marmalade. I knew I could count on my farm stand having Blue Hubbard squash, a solid pie variety, and they do carry some Cheese Pumpkins, so I took a ride over to see what I could find.

blue pumpkin photoWhen I got there, my eyes immediately locked on the Blue Jarrahdale depicted in the photo on the left. Even thought I had no idea what kind of pumpkin it was, my gut told me it was good. I asked if they knew what kind it was, they didn't, so I was off to Google to ask for help.

The Blue Jarrahdale is a New Australian heirloom. It's a cross between a Blue Hubbard Squash, and the Cinderella Pumpkin, which it is said was the inspiration for the pumpkin in Cinderella. The Blue Jarrahdales run from 10-20 pounds, they have a very hard exterior, a sweet orange flesh, and a stringless texture. It's a good, manageable size for cooking,great balance of flavor and sweetness, and the texture is superb. It has a hard skin, be careful cutting it, a small seed cavity, and is stringless.

I knew I wanted to caramelized it, which would require a sweetener. I've seen coconut sugar around recently, and I did some research about it. The glycemic index is low, which means it sweet without spiking your blood sugar when consumed, and it's packed fulled of nutrients. Livestrong.com provides the nutritional analysis here. First and foremost, food is nutrition. I wanted to create a sweet treat recipe that's packed with nutrients, and with a minimal amount of ingredients. I was able to do that, and the result is the recipe below.

Since I wanted to get away from the whole pumpkin pie flavor profile, I went with a flavor combination that's a favorite of mine, orange and bay leaves. Ever since I grew my first bay plant, I've been hooked on fresh bay leaves, or the dried version of the leaves I grow. As it is with most food, there's a world of difference between the fresh and the packaged variety on a store shelf. I find the flavor of bay leaf is a nice compliment to orange.

A few notes first, while I was fortunate to find a Blue Jarradale, if you can't find one, I'm sure any pie squash or pie pumpkin will work. If you can find a Blue Hubbard squash, which is fairly common, use that. If you can't find a fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin should work. The caramelization steps would be different.

I used fresh squeezed Valencia oranges. They have a great flavor, but use what you can source easily. Same thing with the sweeter. If coconut sugar is not an option, go with brown sugar. Also, if dried bay leaves are all you have, use them.

The butter is finished in a crock pot. For pumpkins and squash, I like the steaming feature that the crock pot offers. The texture is well suited for this slow, moisture-based cooking process. Since the crock pot slowly adds a flavor-induced moisture, a nice rick texture is created for finishing with a blender stick.

Caramelized Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin Butter, Infused with Orange and Bay

Aproximately 7 lbs. of pumpkin 1 cup organic, gmo free coconut sugar, more if needed 1.5 cups fresh squeezed orange juice 2 fresh bay leaves, 3 if dried 1 orange for rind, about 1 tbspn. needed Parchment paper

Yield 4 quarts

  1. Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds and stem. Cut into equal size pieces leaving the skin on. (See seed saving notes below.)
  2. Coat the cut sides of the pumpkin with the coconut sugar. If the flesh is very firm, and the sugar is not adhering to it, scrap the flesh a little and than apply the sugar. Once the sugar starts absorbing the moisture, it will become tacky. The sugar will stick better.
  3. Put in a bowl, or large pot with a lid, cover and let stand overnight on a counter.
  4. Place the organe juice into a small bowl, tear the bay leaves and place into the juice. Add the orange rind into the juice/bay leaves mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Next morning, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Place orange juice mixture into a crock pot, put the lid and use low setting.
  7. Take the sugared pieces of pumpkin out of the bowl or pot, and place on the lined baking sheets.
  8. Pour syrup from the bottom of the bowl or pot into the crock pot.
  9. Roast the pumpkin for approximately 30 minutes, or until desired level of caramelized is reached.
  10. Remove from oven, remove skin from caramelized pieces, they will be very hot, be careful, and place into the crock pot.
  11. Let the pumpkin and orange juice mixture cook in crock pot for two hours, occasionally stirring and mashing with the back of a spoon.
  12. Finish with blender stick to create a smooth, creamy and rick texture.
  13. Process in jars, or plastic bags for freezing.

Seed saving note – Pure seed is extremely important to the biodiversity of our planet. GMOs are dangerous, and one way to combat them is to save seeds. Pumpkin and squash seeds are nutrient dense, so there's another good reason to save them. Whether you save them for sowing or food, the process is a simple one.

Seed Saving Notes

For sowing, remove the seeds, rinse in a strainer under warm running water, and remove any flesh. Dry on a paper towel, set out on a board or screen to dry completely. To save for the next season, place in an envelope, and keep in a cool, dry place until ready to plant. An airtight jar in a refrigerator is an option. Keep in mind though, if you use the refrigerator, and lose power for an extended period of time, the humidity and heat will build up, signalling the seeds to sprout.

For roasting, clean the seeds as above. Drain well. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray a cooking a cooking sheet with oil, or line one with foil and spray with oil. Spread the seeds out in single layer, and salt them, or season them as desired.  Place in oven, until they turn a light brown. Keep an eye on them, timing will vary from 10 to 20 minutes.

Now that this is posted, I'm on my way back to the farm stand to scoop up anymore of these Blue Jarrahdales I can find. They are good keeper, up to a year, from some of the references I've read. With a span like that, who needs a can?

A Cornucopia of Sensual Delights

Sorry for not writing a new post last week, things got crazy in my life. I wrote an earlier post about how I was going to have two gardens this year, and I was going to compare and contrast the results. Well, it seems like some egos, and one ego in particular connected to a city government, conducted a micro coup d'état. This cabal took over a local community garden from the folks who built it over the last 6 years. I was told the offer for my plot would have to be renegotiated with the new regime. No thank you. I can do much better things without drama. And for the record, I believe the new leaders will destroy it.

I'm back to one garden, and that's fine by me. Now, granted I could've split my current plot up, but there are vast differences in how these two community gardens are structured. Those conceptual differences were going to be as much of the story as the harvests from the gardens.

For this year I will have a 20'x60' plot, which I'm going use a Square Foot Gardening/Intensive Gardening (SFGIG), hybrid technique. I will also be mixing some containers into the layout. I've always used my own version of intensive gardening, but always planted in rows. This year will be a new challenge. I have A LOT of new varities to grow, photograph and write about. So the SFGIG approach is approprite for me this year.

Both techniques demonstrate a efficient use of land. Following Thoreau's lead in the Economy chapter in Walden, both techniques fit into the philosophy he laid out in that chapter. As I move forward with Thoreau as an influence in my work, it's natural to demonstrate how I apply that influence, and share it here. With economical use of resources that nature provides, you can create an abundance.

I will have 8 squares to work with. Each square will be 7'x7', and I'll have an approximated 2' wide path around each square. The containers will have White Belgian Carrots, Crapaudine Beets, Lime Green Salad Tomatoes, Tequila Sunrise Peppers, Castelfranco Radicchio, and Rossa Di Treviso Radicchio.

Square 1 –  This will be heirloom tomatoes. I have 15 varieties to choose from including Hawaiian Pineapples, a new one of me this year. They are not to be confused with Pineapples, which I also have seeds for. While both varieties are late season beefsteaks, Hawaiian Pineapples are solid yellow with a hint of pineapple in the flavor from what I understand. Pineapples, are bicolors, and have notes of citrus in their flavor. This I know firsthand.

Square 2 – This will be interesting square since there will be an area that goes vertical. Growing vines vertically are part of the efficiency of SFGIG. So with that in mind, and always looking to push the boundaries, I'm creating art on a trellis. I view it as a blank canvass, and will growing Chinese Red Noodle Beans with Zucchino Rampicante. It should be nice contrast of foliage, flowers and fruit. The rest of the square will have Purple Tomatillo, Silver Edge Squash, Giant Cape Gooseberries and Golden Marconi Peppers.

Square 3 - Here will be Wild Garlic, Greek Pepporcini, and Green Nutmeg Melons. This square is a little light so something else may end up here.

Square 4 – This will be divided between Purple Majesty Potatoes and the classic 3 Sister combination using Morado Purple Corn, White Scallop Squash and Dragon Tongue Beans. While a traditional 3 Sisters planting uses a vining bean, I chose a bush bean since Dragon Tongue Beans are a famous Dutch heirloom variety.

Square 5 – More tomato plants here along with Winter Squash Marmellata, (Jam Pumpkin), as it's known in Italy, or Jaune Gros de Paris, (The Large Yellow of Paris Pumpkin), as it know in France. It can be a very large pumpkin, with a pinkish-orange skin and sweet yellow flesh. In Italy it's used for preserves, hence it's Italian name. I plan on making some pumpkin jam later on this year. I will also be growing some Giant Orange Amaranth and Greek Giant Amaranth in this square.

Square 6 – This will be my succession planting square. Succession planting is where you plant with the intention of harvesting crops is a succession. Whether this done with specific type of vegetable such as tomato, where you plant early varieties, mid-season varieties and late-season varieties, or plant a vegetable such as lettuce once a week for three weeks in a row so the harvest will last for three weeks in succession after maturity. Or, you do something like I will be doing. I'm going to do a succession of Viroflay Spinach, which dates back to 1885, and is the father of many modern hybrids, and Broccoli Rapini and Sorrento Broccoli Rabe all at the same time, followed by yet to be determined radishes, and than Tuscan Kale.

Square 7 – Here will be Black Lentils, Padron Peppers, and Delice De La Table (Delight of the Table) Melons, a famous French cantaloupe. It's very rare here in North America, still around in France. It's an old variety of a true cantaloupe, not like the cantaloupes that are sold in supermarkets. They are muskmelons. I can't wait have them delight my table.

Square 8 – This will have Jing Orange Okra, which I have seen described as a Asian or African variety. Any okra plant is a beautiful, and this one produces orange-red pods, and beautiful white flowers. I expect some beautiful photographs, and tasty pickled okra this summer. There will be Rouge D'Hiver Lettuce, an old french heirloom, which may get moved to the succession square with the kale. Since cool weather brings out the red color, that could be why they would be moved. Rounding out this square will be Shisgigatani or Tonas Makino pumpkin, a Japanese pumpkin developed in the ealry 1800's and is considered one of the kyo yasai, which are traditional vegetables of the Koyoto area of Japan. It's used in a vegetarian cooking known as shojin ryor, which is eaten by Buddhist priests. It will be a nice contrast to the Jam Pumpkin from Square 5, which is from France, and used for jam in Italy.

Still to be determined, Flat Red Onion of Italy, a red cippolini, and Romanesco Italia, a cauliflower that is called a broccoli, and is a chartreuse example of fractal geometry with a nutty flavor.

So while the tale of two gardens are gone, the economy of land use will provide a abundance for a cornucopia of sensual delights. It's a nice trade off.

A Bounty of Delight

I just placed my final seed order! I love looking around and discovering new heirlooms. A fascinating aspect that I learned this year is the threat that feed carrots face. While lingering over the vast selection at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, I found Blanche A Collete Vert, or White Belgian Carrot. A large white carrot that was popular as animal feed in the 1800s, it's well suited for the kitchen. If you haven't guessed by now, I'm growing it this year. It will be my first attempt at carrots. Interesting enough, while browsing around Heritage Harvest Seed I found the Jaune de Doubs, a french heirloom carrot originally grown as fodder. While I won't be growing them this year, it did occur to me that heirloom feed crops for animals are just as endangered as heirloom table crops. An aha moment that gives me another avenue to explore. Love it.

Another exciting first for me will a three sisters plot. I have Morado Purple corn, White Scallop Squash and Devil Tounge Beans. The corn is very old Peruvian variety, the squash, an Native American variety, and the beans are a Dutch heirloom variety. What a beautiful perfect protein they will create as a meal.

 Zucchino Rampicante, is described by Baker Creek as the Italian vining zucchini pumpkin. I knew I had to grow this. It's a an aggressive vine, with an abundant harvest of crookneck squash that can grow rather large. I'm not a fan of zucchini, but I LOVE the plant. It fascinates me that I will have a aggressive vine that references zucchini, and has the texture of a acorn or butternut squash. Nice content for some beautiful photographs I'm sure. It's also known as the trombone squash.

I'm branching out into Asian heirlooms this year. Shishigatani or Toonas Makino is very rare Japanese pumpkin. I'm intrigued by the shape, color and texture  of this variety. It's shaped like a bottle gourd and it's skin is covered with warts. Why does a wart covered skin intrigue me so? That's for another post.

Another Asian variety for me this year is Chineese Red Noodle Beans. I love string beans, and the long Asian varieties of beans are a favorite of mine. It's a heat tolerant bean, which is nice because I'm using a trellis as canvas this year. I will attempt an modern art installation piece with these and Zucchino Rampicante.

And finally, at least for the Asian varieties, I will have Jing Orange Okra somewhere in the two gardens this year.

There will be purple tomalitos, giant cape gooseberries, two kinds of amaranth, and for the first time ever, Hawaiian Pineapple tomatoes.

Having two garden plots this year offers the chance to experiment and experience more than ever before. Nowhere is it written that you need to have a full row of any anything. Why limit yourself? I may only have a couple of each variety, but that's ok. I want sensory overkill with what nature offers. It inspires me, and by doing so, I can share it with you. With this way of paying it forward, we all win.

Made in the USA since 1784, D. Landreth Seed Company

Ask any gardener which seed company is their favorite, and the response will be as varied as the garden they grow. Fortunately, you can shop for the seeds of your choice online. The choice for your garden is yours, not the limited selection offered by a big box retailer. For too many years, small independent seed companies have fallen to the wayside, just like a lot of heirloom vegetables. Without the seeds, we have no plants. Seed companies are part of the heritage and knowledge that I will advocate for. By raising the awareness of heirloom vegetables to save then from extinction, the sources that supply the seeds can be saved from extinction also.

The idea for this post has been lurking around in my head for a while, so while searching for Purple Majesty Potato sets, I came across the D. Landreth Seed Company. From the font page of their website;

Since 1784, the D. Landreth Seed Company has been providing its customers with one of the most extensive selections of fine lawn and garden seeds in the world. Our founders introduced into the United States some of the most beloved flowers and vegetables known today including the Zinnia, the white potato, various tomatoes, and our own Bloomsdale Spinach. We have become the oldest seed house in America because we are passionate in our quest for excellence in quality, service and innovation.

Needless to say this got my attention, along with the fund raising drive they conducted to save the company. They fell well short of their goal, however, they will get some of my business this year, and by writing about them I hope to help them survive. You can too by buying their catalogue, which is designed by an American company and printed in America on a family-run press;

The catalogue is designed by a small, Baltimore-based and family-owned business, Victor DiPace Associates and it is printed by a family-owned local printing company. Producing this catalogue is far more expensive than it is for most companies who are outsourcing their printing requirements overseas. We charge for our catalogue to help with some, but not all, of the costs to produce and mail. Each catalogue that you purchase from Landreth is helping to keep an American employed and therefore making this country stronger.

Take a look at their site and see if something interests you. It would be a shame to see this company fold. Too many varieties of heirloom have disappeared, as well as so many small, independent American companies and jobs they provided. By supporting independent seed companies and organizations, you are keeping plants from vanishing forever, as well the livelihoods of people who have the same passion and commitment that you have. And in the end, you will delight your senses the unique palette of flavors, colors and aromas that Mother Nature provides.

I've dedicated a page to resources for heirloom seeds, plants, nut trees and fruit trees.


Bisignano #2 Tomatoes – One Plant, Four Shapes of Fruit

photo group of bisignano2 tomatoes I like to think of this tomato like this as the anti-Cello pack tomato. The Cello Packs as I recalled were 3 bland tomatoes in a small, white rectangle shaped basket wrapped in cellophane. It was the perfect synthesis of what was, and still is wrong with the industrial food machine today.

Tomatoes bred for shipping not flavor, uniform in shape and size, and the shelf life and texture of the wax fruit that one could interchange in a pinch if needed. The packaging might have tasted better than those tomatoes.


Fortunately though, with a little luck, I think I found the Bisigano #2 tomato. Or I should say, the tomato found me. While I'm not sure the tomatoes I grew last year are Bisignano #2s, I will confirm it this year when I grow them side by side.

Last year I wrote about some seeds that came my way from a friend of mine. My friend got these seeds from a friend of hers. He had grown them for 36 years, did not know the name of the variety, and said the seeds came from a family in Italy. There was an air of mystery about this, and was sounded like many seed collecting and seed saving stories. I tried to research what variety they were based on the little information I had. No luck though. I needed a full season to observe all of the characteristics of the plants.

To my fascination I watched these seeds take off and grow into these large, lush and tall plants. The circumference of them was astounding to me, think a wooden bushel, and not only wide but tall also. I felt awkward staking them since they grew in such a perfect circle. I knew these were going to produce some special fruit, and they did.

green bisignano2 tomatoes

The first fruits were these large bell  shaped tomatoes that looked like bell peppers as you can see on the right. As if this was not enough to blow away a fanatic like me, I could sense the plants were laughing at me and saying to themselves "you ain't seen nothing yet."

And they were right. I observed harvested 3 other shaped tomatoes, on the plant. One a, standard plum shape, one oblong, and a globe shape. Some had a small tip at the end of them. This might have indicated that this variety were Opalkas, which has the tip as a distinctive characteristic. While a few did have it, the majority did not.

In my search for seeds this year, I happen to come across the Bisignano #2 tomatoes. I read this description, (scroll down the web page to the description), and it seems to describe the tomatoes as accurately;

A favorite plum tomato. From Italian, Mr. Bisignano. Sturdy, rampant vines, set out four different fruit shapes; oval, globes, plums, and large heart shapes. All are thick walled and meaty, deep orange-red with full, rich tomato flavor. One of the best processing types you'll ever find, they are equally good in salads. Some of the first plants I set out, and the last fruits I pick each year. A true all season tomato

While it will be a full season before I have the results of the side by side comparison, my gut tells me this is the tomato I grew last year. I hope it is. It's another example of the wonders of heirlooms and nature itself. And one I will advocate for since it seems to be less popular.

You can purchase seeds at the site of the description above, or here.

Hopi Dye Sunflowers – Ancient Tradition, Modern Challenge

Hopi-dye I've written a lot about heirloom varieties of vegetables, but there are heirloom varieties of just about any plant. Take for example sunflowers. They have been around for a very long time. Some dates I have see put them back to 2600 b.c. While it's generally it's thought they originated in Central America, The Ancient Greeks have a myth about how the sunflower was created.

From Thomas Bullfinch;

Clytie was a water-nymph and in love with Apollo, who made her no return. So she pined away, sitting all day long upon the cold ground, with her unbound tresses streaming over her shoulders. Nine days she sat and tasted neither food nor drink, her own tears, and the chilly dew her only food. She gazed on the sun when he rose, and as he passed through his daily course to his setting; she saw no other object, her face turned constantly on him. At last, they say, her limbs rooted in the ground, her face became a flower,* which turns on its stem so as always to face the sun throughout its daily course; for it retains to that extent the feeling of the nymph from whom it sprang.

* The sunflower.

Sunflowers have been a staple with Native American nations for food, oil, and dye. They are credited with domesticating them in the Americas. The Hopi Dye Sunflower is a plant that I have known about for a very long time. I recall reading about them when I was young. I was fascinated by the concept that a dye could be made from something I snacked on. That thought got tucked away in my brain until this year while perusing sunflowers for my garden. I came across the Hopi Dye Sunflower and that thought popped out of hiding. I ordered the seeds.

The Hopi used it for dying yarn, baskets and face paint. The seeds will stain your fingers purple when harvesting them, and to extract the dye, boil the seeds. My fingers did get stained when I was harvesting the seed. I did extract they dye, the water in the pot turned black. I've read that you can extract dye from the stems and leaves which will be green. While researching this, I found out there's many plants and techniques that are used for creating dye. This presents another opportunity for those who wish to create a vegetable dye garden, and create a heirloom out that.

The plants are gorgeous. Sturdy, with deeper roots than the other sunflowers I grew this year. They are large plants but not overwhelming. There is one large central bloom, and multiple smaller blooms on the plants. The petals are nice rich yellow color, and the plants I grew, the center with the seeds were the dominant feature of the blooms. The seeds I planted were a rich, solid black with a sheen that looked they were varnished. The seeds I harvested did not have that full black color, but I also harvested them early since a hurricane was coming and I didn't want to lose the plants to the weather.

From reading some the information out there the Hopi Dye is a rare seed to come by. Sunflowers are so trendy now that there are more popular varieties that are more uniform and more appropriate as cut flowers. This trend is pushing the older varieties out.

As I have written before and will continue to write, one value of these heirloom varieties is the history and tradition with them. Take a minute and consider that a nation of people grew this plant for centuries. That is is not a trend, it's a a sustainable tradition.

Another value is you can't buy them at the market. You can only grow them. For those who don't garden that presents a challenge, to those folks I say this, think about the people in your life who do garden, ask them if they start their plants with seeds. If they do, consider these varities as gifts for them.

By doing so you can start a trend to sustain tradition.

If you love sunflowers and are looking for calender for 2012, check out Sunflowers a Go Go. The proceeds will benefit Vanishing Feast.