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Mexican Elderberry
Mexican ElderberryPacket: ~50 seeds (1 gram) More info150 available
Elder trees are prevalent across most of the Northern Hemisphere, but are suited for most climates in the world. Mexican Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L. ssp. Caerulea) is native to our region in Mediterranean Southern California. The trees are commonly found in wild areas and grow in outlying unirrigated parts of our land. They’ve displayed a tenacity to withstand California’s extreme drought conditions. For many years, my primary relationship with the elder tree was to its wonderfully fragrant flowers, which bloom as early as March in our region. They can be gathered used fresh or dry to make cordials or help heal from colds and coughs. However, this past year I’ve developed a relationship with the berries, which have a complex, tart sour flavor. It’s my suspicion that the irrigation and fertility we have given to our trees has made the cultivated berries more palatable than the wild ones. I’ve made lot of thick teas and added no honey and discovered a natural, subtle sweetness to the berries. Another pleasant combination I identified is a mixture of 75% yerba mate and 25% percent mixture of dried elderberries and caramel rooibos. -QuinRicho Cech over at Horizon Herbs provides the following guidance for starting Elder from seed: "Soak berries overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. This can be done manually (smash and wash in a tea strainer) or by flotation… Sow these (now moist) seeds in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. "Fall sowings of the soaked seeds would seem to make the most sense. Six months from seed. Perennial.
Korean Licorice Mint
Korean Licorice MintPacket: ~50 seeds (0.025 gram) More info2660 available
Agastache rugosa. This mint family plant native to Asia has aromatic edible foliage with a minty licorice flavor and dense dark purple blooms that attract a host of beneficial insects and are quite pleasing to the eye. Korean Licorice Mint leaves are excellent minced in salads but they also make a delicious tea that mixes well with any number of other herbs in our seed catalog. Plants will perennialize in areas with warmer winters and has some degree of frost tolerance. This one's easy to fall in love with. 60 days from transplant for baby leaves. Perennial. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Hopi Red Dye Amaranth
Hopi Red Dye AmaranthPacket: ~600 seeds (0.6 gram) More info955 available
This Amaranth variety (Amaranthus cruentus) was sourced from a Hopi Reservation in the late 1970s and brought into circulation by Native Seed Search. Known as “Komo,” the scarlet flowering heads add color to Hopi piki bread – thus the name “Hopi Red Dye. ” The plants grow four to six feet in height and produce beautiful black seeds that are nutritious and easy to process for eating. Hopi Red Dye is also a popular variety for flower bouquets. 21 days baby leaf. 70 days to flower. 110 days to seed. Annual. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
True (Common/Wild) Dandelion
True (Common/Wild) DandelionPacket: ~50 seeds (0.03 gram) More info4550 available
While True (or common) Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is widely understood as an invasive weed and spreads readily through its iconic puff ball seed heads we all use to send our wishes. However, its benefits far outweigh its propensity to reproduce. Its early flowering period makes it one of the earliest seasonal sources of pollen for beneficial insects. Dandelion's bitter leaves and roots are completely edible and rich in vitamins and minerals. While “Italian” Dandelion or Chicory are more commonly used in salads and stir fries, baby True Dandelion leaves work just as well. The lush yellow flowers are also used to make homemade wines. Dandelion is a perennial plant that produces harvestable leaf material 40-50 days from seeding and ideal root material from 90 days onward. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Lemon Sorbet Calendula
Lemon Sorbet CalendulaPacket: ~75 seeds (1 gram) More info124 available
We are serious calendula (Calendula officinalis) growers, growing them nearly every season of the year on our farm since 2009. In recent years we've had the luxury of making selections from the bounty of landraces that now exist on our farmland. Lemon Sorbet is a selection from the remnants of an insectary blend that we sowed around the rabbit fence of our circle garden. I was struck by one barely irrigated plant that was nevertheless flowering with light pastel yellow blossoms. I stuck a couple of seed heads in my pocket and went about working up a larger population of plants and began selecting for the same variegated pastel shades. We're now in the third generation of this plant-breeding project and are excited to offer this farm original variety to our customers! -Quin70 days to bloom. Hardy re-seeding annual. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Peshawar Poppy
Peshawar PoppyPacket: ~350 seeds (0.2 gram) More info5395 available
Peshawar Poppy (Papaver somniferum var. album) is a wonderful cool season ornamental native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. Its showy white blossoms – approximately seven to 10 per plant – give way to giant seed pods with substantial white seeds typically used for baking. A standout in the garden, the large white flowers are very attractive to bees and other beneficial flying insects. We’ve had great success direct seeding rows in early spring after frost danger has passed; to get plants producing earlier, start seeds in a greenhouse or protected area and later transplant. 90 days from seed to flower. Annual. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Matilija Poppy
Matilija PoppyPacket: ~200 seeds (0.2 gram) More info
Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri) – also known as Fried Egg Plant or California Tree Poppy – is a West Coast native that produces large, showy white blossoms with a deep yellow center. Plants are tall perennial shrubs and establish blue-green colored foliage in their first year, with blossoms forming in the second year and beyond. Seeds require smoke and fire treatment to properly germinate; consider this an advanced yet rewarding technique; plants or root cuttings may be more viable for others. Second year flowers. Perennial.
Anise Seed
Anise SeedPacket: ~125 seeds (0.35 gram) More info87 available
Native to Mediterranea, Anise (Pimpinella anisum) yields a flavorful seed of culinary and medicinal significance. Anise seed is a lovely addition to baked desserts and is commonly used for flavoring biscotti. Medicinally, Anise is a wonderful, gentle digestive aid. Chewing on the seeds or sipping a tea made from an infusion of the seeds brings about relief from gas, bloating and nausea. Additionally, it can be used as a gentle and effective respiratory anti-spasmodic, calming and soothing nagging cough symptoms. Anise is easy to grow. The gorgeous white-flower umbels attract beneficial insects to the garden. 120 days to seed. Annual. Seeds are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Licorice Root Seeds
Licorice Root SeedsPacket: ~35 seeds (0.4 gram) More info6 available
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is perennial pea family plant best known for its sweet roots, which are often used in herbal teas, but can also be chewed raw or dry. Plants are extremely hardy and tolerant of low fertility soil conditions. The plants are slow growing, but once established require minimal water. Plants can be propagated relatively easily through root divisions. Harvest late season first year roots minimally, but second year roots can be really fun to follow in the soil and dig up for much larger harvest. 200 days from seed. Perennial.
Apricot Sprite / Hummingbird Mint
Apricot Sprite / Hummingbird MintPacket: ~50 seeds (0.03 gram) More info8 available
Apricot Sprite (Agastache aurantiaca) is a low growing (approximately two feet tall) perennial plant related to Korean Licorice Mint and Anise Hyssop. These extremely fragrant plants smell of mint and licorice and produce gorgeous curved orange blossoms that are attractive to hummingbirds and a host of other beneficial insects. Plants thrive under poor fertility conditions and have low water requirements. Our mother stand was planted in Riverwash (rocky/sandy) soil, and in an area of heavy squirrel predation. While the squirrels did nip at the roots, they never touched the plants again once they got a little more established. Apricot Sprite can be grown as an annual in colder winter climates but will perennialize in zones 9 and above. Expect flowers within 120 days when spring sown.