Get to Know Your Seeds: A Seed Type Guide

Get to Know Your Seeds: A Seed Type Guide 15

We’ve had an influx of calls inquiring about the specifics of seed labeling—questions like “What is the difference between sprouting and microgreens seeds and traditional garden vegetable seeds?” and “Are heirloom seeds and open-pollinated seeds the same thing?” and a slew of others. We know it can be overwhelming looking at all the varieties of seeds and their types, reading terms like “microgreens seeds” and “sprouting seeds”, "treated" and "untreated seeds", and "heirloom" and "open-pollinated"—you just hope that you’ll pick the right ones for you. We hope that the following article will help you understand seed identifiers and how it...

June: Companion Plants & Beneficial Insects

June: Companion Plants & Beneficial Insects 1

Now that the growing season is underway, an abundance of life begins to spring up in our garden: seedlings take root and begin branching out, showing signs of their future production. But with new growth and life, comes the chance of pests finding their way into your garden. Some folks never have to deal with an infestation of pests—and hopefully you won’t either. When invasive species of insects happen to make their way into a garden, some folks rid them by spraying with pesticides. But we believe avoiding harmful pests by taking preventative measures and treating them using safe and...

May: Easy-Going Transplanting & Sowing

May: Easy-Going Transplanting & Sowing 0

Now is the time of year that folks are sowing seeds outdoors and transplanting indoor plant starts. Many beginner or inexperienced gardeners would like a clear-cut date and time that is best to sow and transplant. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. But no worries—you don’t have to break your brain trying to be the “perfect” gardener. Just understanding a few basics and taking it easy will keep gardening an easy-going and fun practice that will pay off! Knowing the estimated frost date and being aware of the weather patterns of your area will help you know when the...

April: "Hardening Off" The Right Way

April: "Hardening Off" The Right Way 1

As your starts begin maturing, bearing their “true” leaves, we know the time is drawing near to transplant. Transplanting can be a stressful time for growers as it is not uncommon to lose plants to “transplant shock.” When our plants spend the first few weeks of their lives indoors, a virtually weatherless environment, and then are dropped into the ground, they are slow to begin growing again because of the shock of the outside elements—and sometimes they are unable to recover. The heat and cold, sunlight, wind, and rain can all damage your plants when they aren’t used to receive...

Consume Better to Kill Sugar Cravings

Consume Better to Kill Sugar Cravings 0

Lately, I’ve been getting serious about quitting my sugar addiction. In the past, I’ve gone a couple days abstaining from sugar, feeling pretty good about myself until the cravings cause me to dive back into eating an abundance of sweets with a vengeance. Sugar cravings are the leading cause of people falling off of their diet wagons, according to Dr. Axe, and I can attest to that. The craving for sugar is a powerful one, and working to kill that craving, may be the key to helping people get control of their sugar consumption for good. Turns out a balanced...

Sprouts and Microgreens: Enzyme Powerhouse and Teaching Aid

Sprouts and Microgreens: Enzyme Powerhouse and Teaching Aid 0

Growing initiatives in schools and community centers around the country are teaching kids and members of the community how to grow their own sprouts and microgreens and the health benefits of including them in their diets. We see the importance of educating kids and adults about these high-nutrition food sources because, in this day and age, clean food packed with nutrients is hard to come by and eating sprouts fills you with the nutrients to lead to longer and fuller years. One thing both microgreens and sprouts are full of is enzymes. And according to Dr. Mercola, a diet rich...

The 3 Essential Steps for Storing Winter Squash

The 3 Essential Steps for Storing Winter Squash 0

The process of storing winter squash may seem to be long and complicated. Although it may take up to two weeks, the steps for preparing your squash for long term winter storage can be as easy as brewing summer tea. All you need it to know these three essential steps:   1. Be Careful When Harvesting Try not to damage the squash or its main stem as you harvest. Be sure to use scissors or pruners when cutting vines. Pulling can cause damage to the main stem, making it likely that the squash with rot. Any squash with blemishes or...

A Long Winter: Cover Crops

A Long Winter: Cover Crops 0

Winter is coming! And we know what that means—it is time to rejuvenate your soil with cover crops. It is a bit late in the season to plant and expect immediate results, unless you’re planting cold hardy grain, like Winter Rye, Wheat, and Triticale, which can be sown nearly the day before the killer frost. Cold hardy grains are tenacious cover crops, ones that sprout up quickly and survive the icy winter and begin to grow again in the spring. In fact, these grains germinate in 34 to 40-degree soil, so this time of year is not only suitable for...

Getting the Most Out of Your Spring Harvest!

Getting the Most Out of Your Spring Harvest! 0

The coattails of spring welcome additional responsibilities for the gardener as the temperatures rise and as the air becomes drier. The gardener must be sure their crops are drinking enough water but not drowning in it. The gardener also must not let the crops burn in the mid-day sun. Needless to say, the work of the gardener becomes much more rigorous and demanding. But early summer also brings its gifts: the spring harvest vegetables such as lettuces, radishes, snap peas, and Swiss chard. Here are some tips to get the most out of your spring harvest vegetables. Leaf Lettuce This...

The Master Communicators

The Master Communicators 0

Flowers are among nature’s most important, beautiful, complex, and symbolic creations. They are like antennae that transmit messages to the natural world through colors and patterns, and fragrances that let the insects and birds know where the nectar is. For this reason, vegetable and fruit gardeners plant flowers alongside their crops, hoping to attract beneficial pollinators. Not only do flowers communicate with their surroundings, they communicate to us too. For centuries, we have used flowers to tell someone “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “It’s going to be alright.” They can also speak to us all on their own....

The Ant's Advice

The Ant's Advice 0

The Ant's Advice We are all probably familiar with Aesop’s fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper, in one form or another: A grasshopper sings one summer day when an ant passes by, carrying a great ear of corn. “Come sing with me,” the grasshopper says. The ant says, “I’m helping to lay food for the winter. I suggest you do the same.” The grasshopper ignores the ant’s advice and continues to sing. When winter comes, the grasshopper has no food and it watches the ants distribute corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. The grasshopper...

Fire it up

Fire it up 0

Fire it up For many of us, we can get used to sticking with the same tried-and-true crops; the ones we know we like and will eat. The one we know will not offend or shock us in the garden, kitchen, or local neighborhood pot luck. While this strategy is a great place to start, why not step out of the comfortable vegetable zone this year and try something that will make you sweat, squirm, and eventually, smile. This season is a perfect time to get started on some hot peppers and to pique your interest, let’s get to know...

Teaching Through Gardening

Teaching Through Gardening 0

Teaching Through Gardening   “What can educators do to foster real intelligence? We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation, and wildness.” --David Orr With the growing interest in local food and alternative teaching methods, school garden programs have been sprouting up all over the country in the last decade. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, local non-profits, neighborhood communities, and schools are working together to establish teaching gardens in elementary schools. Gardens are a great way to teach kids math and...

Garden Cover Crops

Garden Cover Crops 0

Garden Cover Crops So, your garden has been a success this season, showering you with snap peas and string beans and squash—oh my! Now, as the kids return to school and the weather cools, it is time to put your garden to bed. After you clean out your garden beds from leftover fruit and vegetable plants, weeds, and trellising structures, you can simply cover the beds with leaves or straw for the winter. However, after all that your garden has given to you this season, wouldn’t it be nice to give it something in return? This fall is a great...

Sprouts and Wheatgrass Production - Summer Tips

Sprouts and Wheatgrass Production - Summer Tips 0

Sprouts & Wheatgrass Production - Summer Tips   I was especially in love with spring this year. Rain and cool weather were so plentiful that I began to believe Utah would soon become a paradise of green forever. Nevertheless, this week things started to heat up and summer arrived. What to do? What to do? May I suggest we follow this admonition: “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” --George Santayana With consideration to these wise words, I present to you a few insider tips for...

Master Gardening Pop Quiz

Master Gardening Pop Quiz 0

Now that you all have your gardens in for the season… can you identify the following plant starts? Answers:1. Cauliflower 2. Basil - Thai 3. Cabbage – Golden Acre4. Arugula 5. Sunflower 6. Chia7. Red Amaranth 8. Corn- Batam 9. Kale – Blue Curled. I hope you did well; these seedlings can be pretty tough to identify when they are just a few days old. If you were given the chance to taste these as part of the identification process you would be amazed at how much these small seedlings called microgreens reflect the flavor of their adult counterparts.Microgreens and...

Try Quick Greens in your Garden

Try Quick Greens in your Garden 0

Garden Planning Season has officially begun. We at True Leaf Market feel excitement in the air. Our phones and store have been flooded with discussion and ideas of what a 2015 garden will look and taste like. With all of this information flowing in from you, our customers (the best of the best sprouters, gardeners, and farmers), we wanted to share with you one of the most recent ideas from the Spin Farming group: the idea of Quick Greens. Spin gardeners and farmers are now growing baby sunflower greens, pea shoots, radish greens, broccoli greens, baby lettuce, and cabbage greens...

The Winter Season Plant Based Kitchen

The Winter Season Plant Based Kitchen 0

What is an Ideal Plant-Based Kitchen Setup, especially through the winter? Being successful at sticking to a new vegan or vegetarian diet is very easy if you have the right tools and get set up for success. In a perfect vegan kitchen, you would have your own indoor sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and grasses growing for fresh food year round, along with other fresh produce as available. On your patio, just off the kitchen, or out in your garden, you could have lettuces, veggies and fruits growing and if you are super good at growing your own food, you might even...

Guide to Living Food Storage

Guide to Living Food Storage 0

Freshly grown and picked foods are at their height of flavor and nutrition. Our body needs fresh livingfood to survive and stay healthy. This brings up a predicament to many who store long term emergency food and supplies in case of emergency. You can subsist on a ½ cup of dry food a few times a day, butcan you LIVE WELL and LONGTERM? Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning to discover that you will have to stay on your own property for an extended period of time . . . weeks, months, perhaps even longer. What resources would you need...

Creative Uses of Sprouts

Creative Uses of Sprouts 0

This month we want to share with you some fantastic recipe videos that came to our attention from Kelsey’s Korner. They feature some of our sprouting seed mixes used in innovative and creative ways. The videos are exceptionally well done and fun to watch. We hope you’ll check them out. Tropical SmoothieAn amazingly delicious raw tropical smoothie recipe that includes mango, banana, pomegranate, cinnamon and . . . our Protein Powerhouse Sprouting Mix as the source of living protein--a great alternative to protein powder. Powerhouse SmoothieA very cool recipe for a super-food smoothie made with our Protein Powerhouse and Crunchy...

Growing Hydroponically

Growing Hydroponically 0

This month, we are introducing a new organic, hydroponic growing pad by Handy Pantry: Micro-Mats! For thirteen years now, we have been selling kits to help folks grow their own living foods in their own homes: wheatgrass, barley grass, sprouts, herbs, sunflower greens, buckwheat lettuce, and most recently, a huge line of microgreens through our sister website: www.trueleafmarket.com. We have always offered soil based kits with animal-free forest compost soil mix. For the last ten years or so, we have also offered some soil-free (hydroponic) solutions for wheatgrass, and subsequently microgreens. Our customers have preferred our soil-based solutions by about...

Holiday Dinner Survey Results: Vegans Don't Cheat

Holiday Dinner Survey Results: Vegans Don't Cheat 0

Let's set the scene: You have been invited to a big holiday dinner with friends or family... the only problem? Your host and the other guests don't follow the same diet as you do. You might be a vegan, vegetarian, raw/living food dieter, or a very health conscious ominvore and most if not all of the dishes at the event are sure to be diet busters. What do you do? We surveyed our newsletter subscribers to find out, and the results might surprise you. First we asked our subscribers to put themselves in the category that best describes them: We...

Summertime Wheatgrass Growing Tips

Summertime Wheatgrass Growing Tips 0

During the heat of the summer, months growing wheatgrass can be subject to a few potential complications due to the heat. Generally speaking, wheatgrass does best below 75 degrees F, but not cooler than 65 degrees. We hope these tips help! Heat Problems During the Initial Soak – if your soak water gets too hot the seeds can actually spoil in the water. The solution is to soak less time (8 hours) or put your soak container in the refrigerator and soak 8 to 12 hours. Root Problems Due to Heat - Wheat does poorly in hot temperatures and grows...

Trace Minerals & Help For Migraines

Trace Minerals & Help For Migraines 0

Eighteen percent of American women and six percent of American men suffer from migraines. Magnesium and trace minerals may help with this and other health disorders. Unbeknownst to a surprisingly large audience of nutritionally uneducated Americans, insufficient mineral density in the food we eat is a major contributor to disease and dysfunction. This silently growing deficit has not resulted from a quantitative problem, as there is rarely a recognizable food shortage in this country, but rather a qualitative one. Trace elements and minerals are most prevalent in fresh produce and other organic food sources, not synthesized and manufactured foods. Unfortunately...

Wheatgrass & Mold

Wheatgrass & Mold 0

We occasionally hear from customers who experience mold growing at the base of the wheatgrass stems. This is a common problem, usually due to environmental issues like spores in the air or growing warm humid areas of the country. The good news is that there is an easy fix for mold if you do find it near the bottom of the flat: treating your seed-soaking water with about 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract. It will provide enough all natural "citruscide" to prevent or inhibit the growth of mold. For years, we have offered our own very generic bottle of...

Cautions Concerning Buckwheat

Cautions Concerning Buckwheat 0

A few years ago, someone wrote an article about how they experienced skin light sensitivity as a result of consuming large amounts of buckwheat greens juice. We have enjoyed the delicious tang of buckwheat greens in moderation for many years without problems, but we don’t doubt that large quantities of buckwheat greens or buckwheat greens juice could cause the described condition. A wise approach would be moderation in all things, as we believe the issue with buckwheat greens is a question of dose. For example, some nutrients like salt, some vitamins and even water are vital in appropriate doses but...

Build Your Own Basic Worm Garden!

Build Your Own Basic Worm Garden! 0

Converts food scraps to wonderful Earthworm Castings Design by Vermitech specialist, Todd Spratt PARTS NEEDED: 30 gallon plastic storage container 8-2 inch square pieces of window screen Top and cap from a typical water bottle 2 heavy duty nursery flats 12-1 inch screws or fence staples 3-1x3 wood stakes 3 ft. in length or like material TOOLS NEEDED: Drill and 1 inch drill bit or hole saw Hand or power saw Screw driver and hammer Glue gun or caulking with silicone Scissors or tin snips and tape measure The basic idea of this design is to create a raised interior...

Worm Bin Instructions

Worm Bin Instructions 1

Instructions for Using A Worm Bin | Raising Red Earthworms The following information is provided by Todd Spratt, Vermitech Specialist Buy Earthworms here. See Also: Instructions for Building a Worm BinOUR CURRENT CRISES Our world is facing a number of environmental challenges, one of which is garbage and what to do with it all! Many states are requiring counties within their borders to reduce landfills by 50% by the year 2000. It is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of our waste is organic in nature (yard waste, table scraps, paper, etc.).   It takes approximately 8 gallons of water...

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