Tag Archives: seeds

Enjoy Earth Day

Earth Day 2017
© herjua/Getty Images

Earth Day 2017

Saturday, April 22 — earth day started on April 22, 1970.

Dear Readers, There are no ads in Greeneroo blog posts. Why? I hope that we can share information, rather than pushing you to BUY something. I do like to let you know about really cool books, but I’d really rather have you go outside and have some fun!

Happy Earth Day!!  — the editor

Some activities:

Enjoy a meatless meal! Why? Pasture and alfalfa – the food for cattle to graze on are two of the highest water using plants. Save water, eat a veggie meal.

Plant a Tree! Why? Trees help keep soil in place, they provide homes for many animals and birds, they produce air for us to breath and they provide shade in the summer. A tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, remove harmful particulates in the air – wow!

Take a Walk! Why? Discover your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.  You’ll learn more about the history of the area, and what other people near you like to do. I often share mint from my garden with people that pass by.

Plant a seed! Why? You’ll learn more about how plants germinate (sprout) and grow. You’ll be responsible for watering and caring for your plant.  You’ll learn about how seeds really look different from one type of plant to the next.

Turn off your lights, Computer, TV, Washer, Dryer and think about walking/ biking rather than driving! Why? Trying out new methods of doing something are the first step of making a healthy habit. Use less energy, turn off the lights and other devices when you aren’t using them.

Don’t buy anything on Earth day! Why? We tend to buy what we want rather than what we need. This leads to throwing so much stuff away. Millions of pounds of clothing are tossed in the trash each year, by people who “bought it … but didn’t need it”!

Type “parks in California” in your computer browser (substitute your STATE for California or write in your Zip code)  Why?  You’ll get a list of parks. Get outside and have some fun! You’ll feel better and you may meet some friends that live near you.  Now that you have a list of places close enough to walk to and enjoy! I used the zip code and found 5 parks that are great and I can walk to each one!

Go to a Farmer’s market. Why? These open air markets are so much fun. You can taste things you have never tried, make friends with a farmer and buy local fruits, vegetables, nuts other stuff that is tasty and fresh. Remember to bring a reusable bag to put your purchases in.

For each of the suggestions, there are many more reasons to try out the activity. Can you think of other reasons to try something new or go outdoors and play?  I bet you can.

Some links to enjoy:

  • www.filoli.org  – beautiful estate and garden in Woodside, CA
  • parks.smcgov.org/san-bruno-mountain – San Bruno mountain is often ignored, commuters say they drive past it all the time. But they don’t stop. It has great hikes, picnic tables, views of SF and flowers to enjoy.
  • birding.sequoia-audubon.org – the audobon society has bird watching information and events everywhere!
  • www.discovery.com/…/1-top-10-most-amazing-hikes-in-north-america – take a hike, learn more!  The Sierra Club has many hikes.

New Burpee Seeds

Burpee Breeds Eggplant That Subs for Meat

for 2016 Gardening Season;
Revolutionary ‘Meatball’ Eggplant Healthful Alternative to Meat

New ‘Meatball’ Eggplant for 2016
WARMINSTER, PA (Dec. 7, 2015) — Americans are cutting down on meat consumption to both lower fat and cholesterol intake and to save money. Responding to this growing trend, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., America’s home gardening industry leader since 1876, will introduce a revolutionary new eggplant for 2016 specially bred for texture and flavor. It just might be, says Burpee, the best meat substitute ever.

Heading the lineup of breakthrough new items for Bucks County, PA-based Burpee for 2016 is ‘Meatball’, a delicious new eggplant that will make culinary history, according to Burpee. ‘Meatball’s density and texture make it a suitable meat substitute—as a “hamburger,” eggplant steak “cutlet” or in any recipe calling for meat.

“Whether you bake, fry or grill it, ‘Meatball’s texture and flavor are amazingly like beef,” says George Ball, Burpee’s chairman and chief executive. What makes ‘Meatball’ a game-changer, he notes, is the sweet, succulent, buttery taste, and dense, meaty consistency.

For many years, home gardener-chefs seeking healthful meat substitutes have had to rely on conventional eggplant varieties, according to Mr. Ball. Thanks to Burpee’s breeders–who have combined the best traits from heirlooms and hybrids, he adds, ‘Meatball’ overcomes three eggplant gripes: seeds with a bitter aftertaste, surplus water, and fast-oxidizing flesh that quickly turns brown. ‘Meatball’s meaty texture, overall mouthfeel and flavor make it an eggplant like no other.

Mr. Ball predicts eggplants will soon be the “new kale.” Like culinary superstar kale, eggplant offers rich flavor, big nutritional dividends, and a multitude of delicious uses. “Eggplant is the most versatile food there is,” he notes.

Eggplant, Mr. Ball explains, excels as an entrée, appetizer, sauce, in salads, or dessert. In addition to eggplant “steaks” and “burgers,” favorite dishes include eggplant parmagiana, baba ghanouj,moussaka, pasta alla Norma, ratatouille—and, for dessert, melanzane al cioccolato.

Kale’s emergence as a favorite of home gardeners and chefs is a recent phenomenon, according to Mr. Ball. Until the last few years, sales of kale lagged far behind other leafy greens. “There was a kale cult,” he adds, “but it was a small one.” Now kale ranks among the leading dark, leafy greens sold to home gardeners.

For 2016, Burpee is introducing ‘Kale Storm’: a kale salad mix that comes in easy-sowing seed pellets with three different varieties: purple, green and blue. The kale mix, a Burpee exclusive, is pretty enough to merit planting in a patio container—putting a healthy snack just a snip away.

Burpee’s 2016 annual catalog, due out in time for the new year, features an outstanding collection of new vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits.


‘Madame Marmande’ Hybrid tomato
Broad-shouldered, juicy, richly flavored, ruby-red French gourmet tomato.

‘Cherry Baby’ Hybrid tomato
Jewel-like clusters of mini-tomatoes bursting with sweetness, light, and tingly-tangy “pop.”

‘Kale Storm’ Kale blend
Magnificent, purple, green and blue multicolored kale crop from multiseed pellet.

‘A La Carte’ Hybrid spinach
Loaded with dense, savory, nutty flavor—and nutritional ka-boom!

‘Pegaoda’ Pea
A tree of peas, paragon of the patio pea patch: edible architecture at its most incredible.

‘Little Darling’ Hybrid watermelon
Super-productive watermelon built for two, with sugar-sweet pink flesh.

‘Little SnapPea Crunch’ Snap pea
Patio-perfect pea plants—plump, crunchy pods packed with pearly peas.

‘Royal Tenderette’ Hybrid broccoli
Harvest after harvest of snackable baby broccoli with mini-florets.

‘Aphrodite’ Hybrid cantaloupe
6-8 lb. breakfast-ready lovelies with tender, honey-sweet orange flesh and heirloom flavor.

‘The Wrinkles Family’ Collection pumpkins
Magical mix of 3 awesomely textured fruits from 7 to 29 lbs.

Crocosmia, ‘Orange Pekoe’
High-impact tropical color: florid blaze of long, multicolor reblooming spikes with rich orange, yellow and fuchsia hues.

Monarda ‘Humdinger’
Produces a flurry of showy violet-pink fragrant flowers in late summer that bloom, bloom, bloom.

Sedum ‘Oriental Dancer’
Glorious masses of red-pink flowers, star-shaped clusters accented by dark green-red leaves.

Heliopsis ‘Sweet Sunshine’
Stunning show of high-wattage, long-distance, super-rich color: blooms early and long.

Echinacea purpurea, ‘Butterfly Kisses’
Stunning succession of giant, luminous 3″ semi-double blooms with deep-pink centers and light-pink petals.

Phlox paniculata, ‘Kirchenfuerst’
Unleashes great-big trusses of purple-red blooms from July to October.

Hydrangea quercifolia, ‘Queen of Hearts’
Produces abundance of large, upright 9″ inflorescences morphing from white to glowy deep-pink.

Agastache, ‘Blue Boa’
Sturdy 4-5′ spikes spangled with fragrant purple-blue blooms and super-showy, extra-large, dark-purple 6.5″ flower clusters.

Alstroemeria, ‘Indian Summer’
Peruvian lily produces stunning five-month display of radiantly gorgeous flowers and rich, bronze foliage.

Perovskia atriplicifolia, ‘Rocketman’
Supercharged rocketlike plant’s sturdy, silvery stems shimmer with large, fluffy, lavender-blue flowers.

Cosmos, ‘Xanthos’
Very first yellow Cosmos bipinnathus sets the border aglow with serenely radiant, soft-yellow hues.

Sunflower, ‘Crimson Blaze’
Bicolor sunflower radiates sensuous, high-definition color.

Petunia, ‘Night Sky’
Petunia’s starry white-on-purple pattern sparkles like the night sky.

Flowering Basil, ‘Snow White’
Nonstop-flowering ornamental basil beauty unleashes sense-reeling masses of fragrant 10-12″ white spikes.

Verbena rigida, ‘Santos Purple’
Magic carpet of large, high-definition purple blooms on floriferous spikes.

Marigold, ‘Triple Treat’
Produces three juicy colors at once: nectarous shades of yellow, orange and red.

Stoechas, ‘Bandera Purple’
Flurry of dreamy fragrance and stunning dark-purple spikes: flowers first season.

Cosmos, ‘Cupcake White’
Dazzles with eye-popping chalicelike petal pattern.

Celosia, ‘Dragon’s Breath’
Blazing plumelike flowers, dazzling green-red foliage.

Dianthus barbatus, ‘JoltTM Cherry’
A shock of super-charged color all summer long.

Zinnia, ‘Double Zahara Yellow’
Great big, double-flowered beauty with thrilling lemony-yellow color.

Strawberry, ‘Sweet Kiss’
High-yielding petite plants loaded with shapely, delicious, large strawberries.

Raspberry, ‘Amira’
Delectable, crunchy, sweet raspberry keeps flavor and juiciness 3 to 4 days longer.

Fig, ‘Violette de Bordeaux’
The finest, most flavorful fig: produces bumper-crop of purple-black fruit with sweet, rich flavor.

Blueberry, ‘Nocturne’
Towering 5-6′ plants’ abundant, delicious, vivid orange fruit morphs to luscious, dusky-black.

Blueberry, ‘Razz’
Outsize crop of pleasantly plump powder-blue berries with raspberry-accented flavor.

Blueberry, ‘Pink Popcorn’®
Bountiful pink-cream- to pink berries, bursting with true blueberry flavor and aroma.

Raspberry, ‘Autumn Bliss’
Early-to-fruit high-yielder of large, perfectly sweet red raspberries.

Fig, ‘Texas Blue Giant’
Delicious great big blue fig with mouth-melting amber flesh and purple skin.

Lingonberry, ‘Koralle’
Super-tasty European berry favorite loaded with vitamin C—perfect in jams and jellies.

Free Film- Open Sesame Screening

Open Sesame Film Screening
Monday, November 23, 6 p.m.
Sunnyvale Public Library Program Room

Sunnyvale Public Library and the Sustainable Community Gardens bring you this event!

This timely and emotionally moving film illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS.

Visit the Open Sesame website for more information about the film.

Oh, and want seeds? We have them for free! Check out our Seed Library in the Patent/Business area.

Seed Banks, Heirloom Plants and Resources to Learn more

There are about 6 million accessions, or samples of a particular population, stored as seeds in about 1,300 genebanks throughout the world as of 2006. This amount represents a small fraction of the world’s biodiversity, and many regions of the world have not been fully explored.

  • The Millennium Seed Bank Project housed at the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building (WTMB), located in the grounds of Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, near London, in EnglandUK. It is the largest seed bank in the world (long term, at least 100 times bigger than Svalbard Global Seed Vault), providing space for the storage of billions of seed samples in a nuclear bomb proof multi-story underground vault. Its ultimate aim being to store every plant species possible, it reached its first milestone of 10% in 2009, with the next 25% milestone aimed to be reached by 2020.  Importantly they also distribute seeds to other key locations around the world, do germination tests on each species every 10 years, and other important research.
  • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been built inside a sandstone mountain in a man-made tunnel on the frozen Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the Svalbard archipelago, about 1,307 kilometres (812 mi) from the North Pole. It is designed to survive catastrophes such as nuclear war and world war. It is operated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The area’s permafrost will keep the vault below the freezing point of water, and the seeds are protected by 1-metre thick walls of steel-reinforced concrete. There are two airlocks and two blast-proof doors. The vault accepted the first seeds on 26 February 2008.
  • Local communities and stores can help us learn more about seeds and how they affect our gardens. You can also learn more  by going to libraries, gardens, conservation groups and garden shops. Filoli Nature Center (www.filoli.org) has tours of the orchard with many heirloom varieties and lists which seeds have been used in plantings throughout the garden. Stores are stocking more heirloom seeds (Petaluma Seed Bank, is one, Common Ground in Palo Alto is another).

Thinking about Fresh Food

Food Diversity — what an amazing idea to celebrate!

Watch SEED: The Untold Story  – this movie is being funded by the community.

  • To participate – you can contribute through Kickstarter.

Look at this site on food abundance and variety.

Check out the Center for Biological Diversity

Think about SEED BANKS, they are more important than food banks, or most banks!

What about FOOD-scaping rather than Landscaping? Everyone grows something to eat and we all share. Its happening.Photo: This is called "Foodscaping"...and it is what everyone should be doing in every neighborhood in the US and around the world.<br /><br /><br />
Geneva,Switzerland. Each yard is a vegetable garden and neighbors consult and plan what each will grow so they can trade. Imagine if we did this in the US. Our commute to get groceries would be 24 feet and we would be certain it would be organic ...

Some cities are trying to get rid of water-wasting lawns. This goes way further.
In the photo you can see every home has a garden and is growing something, small spaces and large are used for growing. How beautiful and green!

The benefits are hard to calculate:

  • better quality, fresher food
  • a society that knows the value of farming
  • independence from large farm plantings and varieties selected
  • variety of foods
  • a way to show small is better
  • no transportation costs, for getting food to market
  • knowing the needs of your neighborhood
  • building a community around great healthy food

The list of benefits is long, much longer than these few items.

Why buy it when you can grow it yourself?

Easy tips and tricks for making and growing your favorite food and kitchen products, right in your own home. 

Back to basics is the name of the game in TakePart’s Home Grown Kitchen Series which launched today and is the ultimate guide to getting a sustainable kitchen up, running and fabulous. Want to help change our food system and the way you eat for the better? TakePart is providing the DIY Nitty Gritty on 6 areas that anyone can easily make changes in their personal life, including:

  • Canning & Preserving
  • Green Cleaning Supplies
  • Kitchen Gardening
  • Heirloom Seeds & Produce
  • Composting and even raising Backyard Chickens!

TakePart has gone to the experts and learned that the solutions are actually very simple! They’re the kinds of things our grandparents and great grandparents parents used to do.

Highlights include:

  • “Saving the Season’s” Kevin West who says “home canning is just home cooking by another name” and shows us how easy it is to savor the fruits of summer year-round. West says, “If you have the kitchen skill to make cookies from scratch, or the patience to simmer a pot of tomato sauce for pasta…, then you have everything you need to make a batch of jam, pickles, or relish.”
  • Dianne Ott Whealy, founder of Seed Savers Exchange which she started to share her Grandpa’s Morning Glories and German Pink tomatoes talks heirloom varieties and what the big whoop is, especially given the current Heirloom Hysteria, a condition seen today in grocery aisles and on restaurant menus everywhere.
  • 5 Simple Make-Your-Own Green Cleaners—You don’t need chemicals to keep your kitchen sparkling!
  • 10 Essential Beginners’ Tips for Raising Backyard Chickens from Robert Litt who wrote the book on it and says “Raising backyard chickens is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a healthy source of protein while eating more sustainably and cutting down your carbon footprint.”
  • And tips for making homemade jams from Los Angeles Restaurateur Jessica Koslow—something she knows a thing or two about since she launched her career with signature flavors like kumquat-rhubarb and strawberry-rose geranium.

You will want to read more, here is the FULL FEATURE: http://www.takepart.com/homegrown