A few days ago, I wrote about a great subscription service for those who love plants, but not necessarily the care-taking aspect of them. However, for every lack of green thumb we have, there are several who love dedicating their time to plants and their watering, feeding, and trimming.
Many of us also love growing plants that we can eat – think agriculture in your own backyard. It’s a feat that several of us aspire to, as we hear the health benefits of organic produce, and prefer knowing where our food came from. However, in several ways, it can be unrealistic. Hours spent setting up beds of soil, and weeks spent endlessly watering and tending to your seedlings only to get a very small return. That’s not to say that the seeds we buy are truly organic – for those of us concerned about the environmental impact of genetically modified seeds, how do we know what we are really buying unless we spend countless hours to educate ourselves?
SeedsNow! is a company that’s aiming to fix that problem, at least with the seeds. They specialize in heirloom seeds – that is, seeds that are not hybrids, and therefore are in their purest, organic state – the way they’d grow most of the time if found in nature. Plenty has been said about the benefits of heirloom seeds and vegetables, such as higher vitamin content and the ability to collect seeds from crops for the next harvest. Overall, I’ve had an amazing experience from SeedsNow!, and I’ve used their seeds to grow my own food since the beginning of high school. Here’s three selections I have loved most:
1.) Thai Basil
You may think of basil as a staple of Italian cuisine, however it’s actually used in several dishes all around the world. In fact, there’s also several different types of basil besides genovese, the common strain we see sold in produce aisles. Thai basil is a type that has a flavor reminiscent of licorice. We often see Thai basil used in Thai chicken dishes, however, I once used it in this Thai chicken pizza recipe and it was a great addition!
Thai basil is also extremely easy to harvest seeds from. Simply allow the plants to flower and, as bees do their job, the flowers will pollinate and grow seeds that can be reused for the next harvest.
2.) Black Beauty Zucchini
Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used in several different types of dishes, but did you know it’s also super easy to grow? Well, the black beauty strain is, anyways! This strain is perfect for those who want to grow squash, but don’t have the proper space for a vining plant – black beauty grows as a bush rather than a vine. Black beauty also produces several fruit per plant, so be prepared to make some zucchini fries or even eat the flowers to control supply!
3.) Sugar Snap Peas
Sure, you can find them on most super-market produce aisles, but sugar snap peas are soo much more sweet and flavorful when picked right from the vine! These do require more space to grow, being a vine, and the seeds are a bit harder to harvest if you aren’t an experienced grower. But these seeds do sprout with ease, and they tolerate both hot and cold temperatures, unlike other strain of pea. Best part? Just like tomatoes, these taste great when heated from the sun – pick and eat right away for a healthy and delicious snack!