The Howdy Farm is home to many varieties of plants. Many of these plants are not recognizable to many individuals because they are not grown in modern large-scale agriculture. Before the Agricultural Revolution, a wider variety of plants were used for human consumption. In today’s agriculture, most crops are grown in large monocultures. These modern crops are used in little variety in order to maintain consistency, produce high yields, withstand transportation, and drought. Gardening that utilizes heirloom plants is the reaction to this “trend”. An heirloom plant is defined many ways but is commonly known as a plant that is open-pollinated and grown in a previous era. The advantages of growing these heirlooms are that they have a wider variety, they may have better flavor, and they encompass a larger genetic diversity.
The heirlooms that we purchase here on the farm are bought from Baker Creek Seeds which can be found online at rareseeds.com. The company was founded in 1998 by Jere Gettle. This family owned company carries one the largest collections of seeds from the 19th century, and with 1900 varieties from 75 countries you will certainly find something fun to grow from their catalog. All the seeds used by Baker Creek Seeds are non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented. Some of the heirlooms that we purchase thru Baker Creek include the Chinese green noodle bean, giant red re-selection celery, and Red Rubin basil.
The Chinese green noodle bean is an import from China and gets up to 20” in length. It is a smooth, straight, bright green bean that does well in stir-fry.
Giant red re-selection celery is of the European red-stalk celery variety. It has a richer flavor than other green celery and was selected for its disease resistance.
Red Rubin is a fragrant basil which is best known for its spice and overwhelming aroma.
We recommend you try some heirlooms in your gardens at home - the results will be both attractive and delicious. You'll have some great conversation starters in your garden as well!
HEIRLOOM TOMATO BLT RECIPE (Courtesy of Whole Foods http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/heirloom-tomato-blts)
Lay bread out on a work surface. Combine mayonnaise and pesto; spread evenly over one side of each bread slice. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and layer onto half the bread slices. Top tomatoes with bacon and lettuce, and cover with remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal and pile onto a platter.
Howdy Farm Summer Intern