Category Archive: Heirloom Seed Collection

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam Branded

 

 

Husk Cherries (Physalis pruinosa) are related to the tomatillo and tomato.  They share the same scientific family with tomatoes and the same genus as the tomatillo.  The marble shaped fruits are sweet and earthy with a tropical note.  Their flavor defies easy explanation.  Each bite is equal parts sweet and citrusy.  Imagine a sweet, ripe cherry tomato married with the citrus flavor of pineapple and mango.  You really have to try one to understand how beautifully these seemingly unrelated flavors meld together.

The husk cherry isn’t just delicious.  It’s also simple to grow and hits its stride Husk Cherries at 1840 Farmjust as the rest of our garden is wrapping up for the season.  It sets beautiful lantern shaped husks on its low growing vines during the summer.  Inside those husks, the little fruits ripen until they are ready to harvest.  The husk provides a measure of protection from pests and I have found them to be vigorous even during years when pests are helping themselves to other plants in our garden.

When the fruit is ripe, the husk begins to change from its brilliant leaf green color to a straw, parchment color.  It takes on a dry texture and will fall to the ground when ready to harvest.  This habit of falling to the ground when ripe gives the husk cherry their other name, “ground cherry”.

The past few years, I have planted Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry, a variety that has a Polish heritage.  This variety has produced a lovely harvest of beautiful gold fruits with an amazing flavor.  This variety has a high pectin content, making it perfect for sweet or savory jams.  I find that these little papery husks can be kept at room temperature for nearly a month before the fruit begins to suffer.

I remember the first time I tasted a husk cherry.  It was nearly a decade ago.  I was at one of our local farmer’s markets shopping for fresh produce.  One of the farmers had a small basket of husk cherries.  I asked if they were some sort of tomatillo given their papery husk.  The farmer was happy to tell me all about this interesting little fruit.  He even passed over a few for my small daughter and I to taste.  One bite and I was hooked.  The flavor was so unique, so completely original from anything I had ever tasted.  He went on to tell me a bit about them and I purchased several ears of corn and heirloom tomatoes from him before moving on.Photo Sep 13, 8 33 53 PM

I remembered those little husk cherries and looked for them at our local community seedling sales.  I never found them and worried that our painfully short growing season wouldn’t allow me the time needed to grow them from seed for our garden.  A few years ago, I finally decided to try.  I was overjoyed when I picked that first ripe fruit from our garden.  I was even more excited when we had enough of them to make something with them in our farmhouse kitchen.

Of course, then I had to decide what I should make with them.  I couldn’t seem to find a recipe that didn’t mask their distinct flavor.  I was looking to highlight their unique flavor, not cover it up.  So, I kept trying until this simple preparation was bubbling away on the stove.  It may be the simplest option I tried.  It was undoubtedly the most delicious.  This savory jam celebrates the best of the husk cherry’s flavor and offers a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity accented by rosemary fresh from the garden.  It’s delicious served with a cheese course or as a spread on a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

I hope that you will find husk cherries at your local farmer’s market and that you’ll join me in planting them in your garden.  Trust me, one taste and you’ll be planting them along with me year after year.

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 6 ounces husk cherries, papery husks removed
  2. 2 Tablespoons (24 grams) brown sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 4" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
  5. 1 pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer before reducing the heat to low. Using the back of a large spoon or a potato masher, gently crushing the fruit to break the skins and release the juice. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. This savory jam can be stored in a Mason jar in the refrigerator for several weeks. Serve it chilled or at room temperature with a cheese and charcuterie course.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/09/savory-husk-cherry-and-rosemary-jam/

Heirloom West Indian Burr Gherkin


West Indian Burr Gherkin
Cucumis anguria

Planting Depth: 1″ below the soil’s surface
Plant Spacing: 12 inch hills containing 6-8 seeds each
Row Spacing:  18-24 inches
Days to Maturity:  60-65


The West Indian Burr Gherkin is a native of Africa.  It is believed that it was brought to the Caribbean and then the United States through the slave trade during the 1780s.  It was first sold by Minton Collins in his store located in Richmond in 1792.

President Thomas Jefferson grew the West Indian Burr Gherkin in his vegetable gardens at Monticello.  He was also known for keeping a pickleWestIndiaBurrGherkin barrel for guests visiting him at the President’s House in Washington during his two terms as President.

The West Indian Burr Gherkin has an assertive vine and small leaves resembling those of a watermelon.  The resulting gherkins are round, firm fruit approximately 2” – 3” in width.  They are covered with small, blunt spines protecting them from garden pests.

I find that the prickly vine and leaves of this plant provide an excellent deterrent to garden pests.  I often plant it among our heirloom tomato plants.  Tomato hornworms and other crawling pests dislike crawling over the spiny vines and leaves, making our garden a less appealing place to spend a summer day.

Plant the West Indian Burr Gherkin in full sun after the danger of frost has passed. Plants can be fed monthly with a side dressing of compost or fish emulsion to increase yields.  Harvesting the ripe gherkins on a steady basis will encourage the vine to continue setting and producing more gherkins.

I like to create a quick pickle with the ripe gherkins.  I simply slice the gherkins and toss them in a bit of white vinegar with salt and sugar to taste.  In less than an hour, the crisp slices are filled with the bright flavor of the brine.  They’re delicious served with grilled meats or on a burger.

We have been planting the West Indian Burr Gherkin in the heirloom gardens here at 1840 Farm for over five years.  It’s hard for me to imagine our garden without them.  We enjoy them so much that they’re a member of our 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection year after year.  You can rest assured that they’ll be part of the 2016 collection which will be in our Etsy Shop in October.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/09/heirloom-west-indian-burr-gherkin/

French Harlequin Heirloom Marigold

The 1840 Farm Pollinators GardenFrench Marigolds have a centuries old secret:  they aren’t really French.  It is believed that they made their way to France in the 1500s.  An illustration of a striped French Marigold appeared as early as a 1791 edition of Curtis’ Botanical Magazine.  This marigold was described as being yellow with red striped petals.

Centuries later, we still refer to some varieties as “French”.  Perhaps this is a nod to the gardeners of France who worked diligently to cross their most beautiful specimens in a quest to better the blooms.  Or, it could simply be due to the fact that all things French were thought to be beautiful and of the highest quality at the time that the marigold first came to America.

American gardeners in that era were eager to  attempt to replicate the beautiful gardens in France.  Travelers took garden tours, carefully noting both the species and methods used to create France’s most notable gardens.  One of those travelers was  the man who would become our young nation’s third President:  Thomas Jefferson.

The French Marigold was a common sight in Colonial gardens, bringing beauty and utility to the garden plot.  In 1808, Jefferson wrote in his garden journal about having two varieties of marigold in his gardens at Monticello in Virginia.  It is believed that the French Marigold was one of the two varieties that he had growing on the grounds at Monticello.  He often referred to the French variety as the “lesser African marigold” as it was thought to have made its way to France via Africa.

Jefferson enjoyed marigolds so much that he sent them to his granddaughter Anne.  Anne happily wrote to him, reporting that the two varieties of marigold seeds he had given them were still flourishing.  It is thought that the French Marigold was one of the two varieties he had sent her.

Marigolds were long thought to be poisonous due to their pungent aroma.  Gardeners believed that any flower with a strong, unpleasant scent was sure to be poisonous.  Centuries later, we can still use their scent and pest deterring qualities to our advantage in the tomato patch.

Marigolds make excellent companions for tomato plants.  Their pungent aroma is thought to help deter harmful nematodes who love to decimate the tomato patch.  They also bring beauty to the tomato garden by filling the space beneath the towering vines.

Their beneficial properties can be taken advantage of long after the growing season has ended.  Allow spent marigold plants to dry in the garden at the end of your growing season.  Before the first frost, break the dried marigold plant into small pieces and turn them under the top layer of the soil.  Doing so will discourage nematodes from overwintering in your garden’s soil, giving next year’s plants a head start on overcoming these garden pests.

Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce is one of the four varieties included in our The Pollinators Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/05/french-harlequin-heirloom-marigold/

The Easy Keepers Garden Heirloom Seed Collection

We have been growing heirlooms here at 1840 Farm since 2006.  Every summer, we embark on a challenge that lasts through the entire growing season:  we try to grow heirloom tomatoes from seed.  For added fun, we add in a geography component to the challenge.

Here in New England, we have a painfully short 90 day growing season.  In the case of tomatoes, peppers, and other warm weather loving crops, that short 90 day window can be a race against time.  Once we have finally arrived at the last frost date and can introduce those plants into the garden, the race is on.

Maybe that never-ending battle with the calendar is why I love the heirloom varieties that are so much easier to grow.  They are more tolerant of our cool evenings and short growing season.  These varieties don’t need to be started weeks earlier inside the farmhouse.  Instead, they can be directly sown into the garden soil while temperatures are still much cooler thank our beloved tomatoes will tolerate.

The 1840 Farm Heirloom Easy Keepers Collection includes heirloom varieties that are perfectly suited for the beginning or casual gardener. Each of the varieties can be directly sown into a small garden plot or in containers. They are also among our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four historic heirloom varieties:

+ Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
+ Dwarf Siberian Kale
+ French Breakfast Radish
+ Tennis Ball Lettuce

The 1840 Farm Heirloom Easy Keepers Collections available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

This year, 1840 Farm offers five heirloom seed collections for purchase. The 1840 Farm Favorites Garden includes six of our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens here at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four varieties that are perfect for the beginning gardener and can be sown directly into a small garden plot or containers. The Pollinators Garden features six flowering plants that will help to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden. Our Three Sisters Garden includes four packets of seed that allow you to enjoy delicious produce and an American history lesson as you put into practice one of the oldest forms of companion planting.   The Tomato Lover’s Garden features six of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties.

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/the-easy-keepers-garden-heirloom-seed-collection/

Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce

Tennis Ball Lettuce was found in the United States as early as the eighteenth century.  It was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson.  He grew it in the famed garden at Monticello beginning in 1809.  When describing Tennis Ball, he wrote, “it does not require so much care and attention” as other varieties of lettuce.

Tennis Ball Lettuce is a Butterhead variety of lettuce.  It is considered to be the origin of today’s Boston lettuces.  Heads of Tennis Ball Lettuce grow in tightly formed rosettes.  The leaves are light green in color and have a soft, smooth texture.

Lettuces can be succession planted to be enjoyed throughout the growing season.  They prefer the cooler conditions of spring and fall to summer’s heat.  When sowing in the summer, consider planting lettuce in the shade of larger, established plants.  They can be grown as companions with dill, mint, chives, beets, cucumber, and beans.  Lettuce is one of the few vegetables that can be grown successfully with dill.

In Thomas Jefferson’s day, the leaves of Tennis Ball Lettuce were preserved by pickling them in a salt brine solution.  Doing so allowed the leaves to be stored and enjoyed during the long winter when fresh greens were unavailable.  The leaves were then served as an accompaniment to the main course during a meal.

Here at 1840 Farm, we don’t feel the need to pickle these tender greens.  Instead, we enjoy them dressed lightly and served as a main course or side dish.  They pair wonderfully with roasted potatoes.

Tennis Ball Lettuce is listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste.  The Ark of Taste lists 200 foods that are in danger of becoming extinct.  Here’s hoping that we’ll all be able to enjoy delicious Tennis Ball Lettuce from our gardens for many generations to come.

We plant Tennis Ball Lettuce every year in our heirloom garden.  We’ve even included Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce in our 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection.  Tennis Ball Lettuce was included in our Easy Keepers Garden Heirloom Seed Collection this year.  You can learn more about all of our seed collections by visiting The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.

The Easy Keepers Heirloom Seed Collection

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/tennis-ball-heirloom-lettuce/

French Breakfast Heirloom Radish

Here at 1840 Farm, we eagerly await radish season each spring.  Radishes are the first vegetable crop harvested from our garden and announce the happy arrival of the growing season.  They also enable us to enjoy eating a spring menu favorite:  sliced radish tartine.

French Breakfast Heirloom Radishes are always among the radishes planted in the 1840 Farm garden.  They are beautiful and delicious.  They have a crisp exterior and are full of earthy flavor.

The French Breakfast appeared in French markets in the late 1870s.  This variety is more cylindrical in shape than others.  It exhibits its trademark coloring, with rosy pinkish red shoulders that fade to almost pure white at its tip.

Radish greens can be used as spicy salad greens or added to the compost heap.  If you are lucky enough to keep chickens  or ducks, serve the greens as a fresh treat.  Our hens come running when they see us in the radish beds, knowing that a delicious treat will be soon to follow.

Long before our beloved tomatoes are ripe or the raspberries are ready for picking, we can count on our heirloom radishes to be at their best.  In a matter of minutes, we can select a few radishes and make delicious tartines.   Taking that first bite seems like a delicious way to celebrate the arrival of another growing season.

The French Breakfast Heirloom Radish is one of the four varieties included in our Easy Keepers Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/french-breakfast-heirloom-radish-2/

Black Seeded Simpson Heirloom Lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson Heirloom Lettuce is a staple in our 1840 Farm garden every year.  I first tasted Black Seeded Simpson four years ago when I reached down on a sunny day to pull a fresh leaf from the lettuce bed.  One bite of a crunchy, ruffled leaf was all it took to make it one of my favorite tastes of summer.  Since then, I have come to appreciate its beauty as much as its flavor.

The color of this lettuce is stunning.  Its large, deeply textured leaves are a brilliant bright green color with just enough of an undertone of yellow to stand out among the other lettuces we grow.  Each leaf is large and reaches upright towards the sun.

Black Seeded Simpson is quick to mature, making it one of the first fresh harvests from our raised bed garden each year.  Throughout the season, it resists bolting unlike many other lettuces that we have tried.  This variety consistently thrives during the heat and drought of the summer.

Black Seeded Simpson is a loose leaf variety of lettuce.  Instead of growing in tight heads, it produces individual, loose, leaves attached to a central stalk.  This growing habit allows leaves to be harvested throughout the growing season without disturbing the plant.  This method of harvest when paired with succession planting will ensure a steady crop of delicious greens all summer long.  It’s no wonder that gardeners have been growing Black Seeded Simpson in their salad gardens for over 150 years!

Black Seeded Simpson Heirloom Lettuce is one of the four varieties included in our Easy Keepers Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/black-seeded-simpson-heirloom-lettuce/

The Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection

Throughout the year, we produce as much food for our family table as possible here at 1840 Farm.  We span the calendar year from spring’s maple syrup to summer’s garden produce to fall and winter’s fresh eggs from the coop and milk from our dairy goat herd.  Each season and crop has a purpose.

Each year, the beans, corn, and squash grown in our garden will be featured on our Thanksgiving table.  These three crops can be grown in a variety of ways in the garden, but I like to use an interplanting technique that may be as old as Thanksgiving itself.   Planting a Three Sisters Garden will provide delicious produce for our November celebration and allow us to participate in an American history lesson right outside our farmhouse door.

The Three Sisters Garden may very well be the first instance of the companion planting technique that gardeners still use today.  There is a wonderful old legend about the Three Sisters Garden that involves a Native American woman who had three daughters who struggled to peacefully coexist.

The legend tells the tale of her brilliant method for showing her daughters the value of diversity and peaceful coexistence.  She planted the three crops of corn, beans, and squash together to show her daughters that together, they could support each other yet retain their own individuality.  As members of the group, they were stronger than they could possibly be as individuals.

While some historians disagree regarding the historical accuracy of the story, the legend of the and its gardening technique have endured through the centuries.   In fact, artwork of a woman tending a Three Sisters Garden appears on the reverse side of the Sacajawea US Dollar coin that was released in 2009.  Now you can help to preserve the legend with The 1840 Farm Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Collection.

Last year, we offered a collection of three heirloom varieties used by the Wampanoag Tribe to our customers in our Three Sisters Garden Collection.  This year, our The Sisters Garden Collection features four historic heirloom varieties.  We have paired the original three heirlooms with a sunflower that was named for the Hidatsa Tribes that also famously planted corn, maize, and squash as companions in their gardens.  The 2014 Three Sisters Garden Collection includes four historic heirloom varieties:

Hidatsa Sunflower
Long Island Cheese Squash
Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn
Sunset Runner Bean

To plant a Three Sisters Garden, prepare a mound of garden soil approximately 48 inches wide.  Amending the soil with compost will help to improve the productivity of each of the crops during the growing season.  After the danger of frost has passed, plant the corn in the mound, making a circle about 24 inches in diameter.   Plant four to six seeds in each inch deep hole.   Space the corn plantings about 8 inches apart along the perimeter of the circle.

Once the corn has grown to between 4-6 inches tall, plant the bean seeds.  Evenly space the beans around the base of each corn stalk.  Seven to ten days after planting the beans, plant the squash seeds.  Plant 2-3 squash seeds in each of three or four holes inside the circle of corn and beans.

Planting corn, bean, and squash together is a sustainable method of companion planting, allowing each plant to help contribute to the success of the other varieties.  The towering corn stalks serve as a trellis for the climbing beans, allowing them to be grown without the need for a supplemental support system.  As the beans grow, they help to enrich the soil.  Their roots produce nitrogen which feeds the corn and squash plants throughout the growing season.

In the Three Sisters Garden, the large leaves of the squash plant shelter the soil, suppressing weed growth and discouraging pests from damaging the trio of crops.  The prickly vines of the squash plant deter pests from the garden and help to protect the developing crops.  The flowery blooms of the bean and squash plants help to attract pollinators to the garden, increasing the productivity of the entire garden.

The sunflowers can be planted along with the other three varieties in the Three Sisters Garden.  Their bright blooms will help to attract pollinators to your garden. When spent, the large flower heads can be harvested for their delicious seeds or shared with your flock as a nutritious treat.

I look forward to showcasing produce directly from the garden at 1840 Farm on this year’s Thanksgiving table.  Beans, corn, and squash will join spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs in our favorite holiday dishes.  Enjoying this homegrown produce on our family table will make our holiday celebration even more memorable.

The Three Sisters Garden Collection is available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

This year, 1840 Farm offers five heirloom seed collections for purchase. The 1840 Farm Favorites Garden includes six of our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens here at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four varieties that are perfect for the beginning gardener and can be sown directly into a small garden plot or containers. The Pollinators Garden features six flowering plants that will help to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden. Our Three Sisters Garden includes four packets of seed that allow you to enjoy delicious produce and an American history lesson as you put into practice one of the oldest forms of companion planting.   The Tomato Lover’s Garden features six of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties.

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/the-three-sisters-garden-heirloom-seed-collection-2/

Sunset Runner Heirloom Bean

The Sunset Runner Bean is beloved for its ability to bring beauty and a nutritious crop to your garden plot.  The beautiful salmon pink colored blooms are unique to the sunset variety of runner bean.  The vines can grow to be six feet tall and make a wonderful climbing vine for arbors and trellises.  Continually harvesting the pods will encourage the plant to keep producing until the first freeze.

While there are many varieties of runner beans, the sunset is unique in many ways.  First, the seeds are a beautiful, dark black color. The climbing vines bear their beautiful pink blossoms early and continue to produce edible pods and beans during the growing season.   While some beans have only one purpose in the kitchen, the Sunset Runner Bean is delicious when used as a fresh snap bean, canned or frozen for later use, or as a dried bean.

The Sunset Heirloom Runner Bean is one of the most beautiful plants that we grow in the garden at 1840 Farm.  Its hardy vine and beautiful flowers are a constant throughout the summer.  We love to walk through the paths in between the raised beds and snap fresh pods straight off the vine.  Most of them are eaten right in the garden and never make it back to the farmhouse.  Those that do are blanched briefly before being sautéed lightly in butter.  Either way, they’re a delicious, healthy treat straight from the garden.

The Sunset Runner Heirloom Bean is one of the four varieties included in our Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/sunset-runner-heirloom-bean/

Stowell’s Evergreen Heirloom Sweet Corn

Biting into a perfectly ripe ear of sweet corn is a summer rite of passage.  There’s just something about the sweet, juicy flavor of sweet corn that instantly transports me back to my childhood.  When I watch my children enjoying an ear of corn grown in our garden, I know that they are building a memory that will stay with them for years to come.

Stowell’s Evergreen is an heirloom variety that dates back to the mid 1800s.  Nathaniel Stowell lovingly crafted this sweet corn by crossing Menomony Soft Corn and Northern Sugar Corn.  The resulting corn combined the best traits from both.

In 1855, Nathaniel agreed to sell two ears of seed corn to a friend with the understanding that they would only be used in his family garden.  They settled on a price of $4.00.  Unfortunately for Mr. Stowell, his friend promptly sold those two ears to an established seed company for an incredible $20,000!  In 1856, Thoburn and Company Seed offered Stowell’s seed for sale to their customers.

More than 150 years have passed since Nathaniel watched as his beloved sweet corn’s future slipped between his fingers.  Somehow, I feel like I’m helping to right a wrong when I plant these heirloom seeds in our family garden.  I can only imagine that Mr. Stowell hoped that generations of family farmers and gardeners would lovingly grow his corn for their family.  I hope that you will join me in growing Stowell’s Evergreen Heirloom Sweet Corn for your family’ table.

Stowell’s Evergreen Heirloom Sweet Corn is one of the four varieties included in our Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/stowells-evergreen-heirloom-sweet-corn-2/

Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash

There are few images more synonymous with autumn than that of a ribbed, round pumpkin.  Each fall, the Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash grown in our garden move inside the house.  They decorate the farmhouse during the season and through our Thanksgiving holiday.  Once fall turns to winter and Thanksgiving yields to Christmas, those beautiful squash are stored for serving at our family table.

Throughout the fall and winter, we use each squash in our favorite hearty dishes.  We clean each squash, cubing the flesh before freezing it for use in a variety of dishes throughout the long New England winter.  The seeds become a healthy treat for the heritage breed hens that live here at 1840 Farm.  They eagerly greet us at the door of their run when squash seeds are on the menu.

I love pumpkins of every size, shape, and color.  The Long Island Cheese is perhaps my favorite.  Its appearance is unique, with a slightly flattened shape and heavy ribbing.  Its skin is smooth with tan undertones.  The name originates from its strong resemblance to a wheel of cheese.

The Long Island Cheese Squash is very well suited for use in pies and pureed dishes.  The flavor is slightly sweet with a balanced earthiness.  When fully cooked, its texture is smooth and velvety.  It is equally delicious is savory and sweet preparations.

The Long Island Cheese stores very well.  It’s not uncommon to find whole squash in the farmhouse at 1840 Farm long after we have celebrated the arrival of the New Year.  As soon as we have finished the last cube of squash, we begin dreaming of planting the next crop of Long Island Cheese in the gardens at 1840 Farm.

The Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash is one of the four varieties included in our Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/long-island-cheese-heirloom-squash-2/

Hidatsa Heirloom Sunflower

The Hidatsa Heirloom Sunflower is named for the Hidatsa Tribes who made their home in the Northern Plains along the Mississippi River’s floodplain.  Their style of companion planting with corn, maize, and squash varied slightly from the Wampanoag’s traditional Three Sisters Garden. The Hidatsa added sunflowers to their gardens and planted their seeds in a square pattern rather than the circular style of the Wampanoag.

No matter the shape of the garden, the technique is similar and certainly an early example of what we now call companion planting.  While the method is simple, the results can be dramatic.  Planting beneficial crops in close proximity not only encourages each plant to be healthier, but makes the work of tending the garden easier and the harvest more bountiful.  Adding the Hidatsa Sunflower to a Three Sisters Garden infuses the space with bright beautiful color and helps to attract beneficial pollinators to the garden.

The Hidatsa Heirloom Sunflower can grow to an impressive height of eight feet tall. Each stalk will produce a large central flower head and several smaller heads on side-shooting stems. Its seeds are sizable enough to be harvested and used as food.  Here at 1840 Farm, we prefer to treat our heritage breed hens to the spent blooms.  Watching them enjoy their sunflower seed pinata on a sunny day is pure entertainment.

The Hidatsa Heirloom Sunflower is one of the four varieties included in our Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/hidatsa-heirloom-sunflower/

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