5 Sisters Seeds Collection
We could not just stop with the classic three sisters, corn , squash, and beans; we had to throw a few more in the mix! Plant your corn first, then, once established, plant beans at the base of the corn to provide structure for the pole beans. Squash shades the corn roots. Beans provide some nitrogen. Amaranth and Sunflower provide beauty and added nutrition
Oaxacan Green Corn
Zea mays ‘Oaxacan Green’
The stunningly beautiful ears of corn come in a range of greens, from yellow-green through emerald, with every imaginable shade in between. The deeply dented kernels have been used for centuries by the Zapotec people to make a regional favorite, green-flour tamales. Also makes excellent cornbread! The 6- to 10-inch ears are on plants that reach 7 feet, are very drought-tolerant, and perform well even at higher latitudes and cooler climates. 85-100 days..
Bean ‘Hidatsa Shield Figure’
A prolific pole bean that is a selection of the Slow Foods Ark of Taste. Drought and heat tolerant. It is a traditional 3 sisters bean originally grown in the Missouri River Valley of North Dakota by the Hidatsa Indians. Creamy texture. Holds shape well when cooked. Can be eaten as a fresh or dry bean.
The white seeds were an important grain in the Aztec diet. Amaranth grain is gluten free and a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids including lysine, which is lacking in cereal grains. Grow this as a nutritious, rice-like grain, or for the bright leaves to use in salads. Amaranth is an edible landscaping star with its human height and plumed flowers.
Sunflower ‘Hopi Black Dye’
A traditional dye crop developed and selected for generations by Hopi farmers who used the dark black seeds to produce a purple or gray dye for wool and baskets.
Grows to 6-12’ tall depending on fertility and spacing. Produces a large main flower at the top of the stalk up to 12” across. 65 days to flower and 100 days to mature seeds.
Green or Yellow Summer Squash
Seeds feed the world! This is a collection of nutritious grain seeds that you can grow and harvest with your students! Leave some on the stalk for the birds too! Collections will include an assortment of amaranths, quinoas and Dakota Black Popcorn
Dakota Black Popcorn
One of the earliest maturing and easiest to grow popcorns. 6-8” ears on 6′ tall plants. Dark black kernels have a ruby-red, glassy shine when held in the right angle of light. The pointy kernels pop bright white with a small black hull still attached. The flavor is delicious, hearty and crunchy. Many popcorns lack this richness, which gives Dakota Black the ability to act as a meal all by itself. Developed by the Podolls of Prairie Road Organic Farm, seed growers in North Dakota.
Amaranth ‘Hot Biscuits'
Golden orange branching plumes stand upright
and approximately 4’ tall with tan seeds. Grown by some for its edible seed, Amaranth has been grown for over 8,000 years and was a staple food of the Aztecs. Very high in many nutrients. Beautiful ornamental. Plant in May or June.
A shorter season variety that is perfect for cool Northern climates as well as hotter inland climates! Growing 5-6’ tall, these slender plants produce chubby club-like flower clusters in Summer ranging in color from yellow to vivid red to mauve and all the colors in between. Space plants 1’ apart and provide excellent drainage and protection from strong winds. Seeds are ready for harvest in the Fall when they have hardened. Fully dried and de-chaffed seeds can last 6 months or more! The tasty leaves can be eaten at any time. Prepare them as you would spinach. Seeds contain a bitter saponin so you must thoroughly rinse until water runs clear.
Dry beans are the ultimate garden fall harvest. Harvest once pods have completely dried and watch the students eyes as they discover the jewel like seeds within the pods. Bean seeds can be saved to grow again the following summer or shared with other school garden programs
BLACK COCO - BUSH BEAN-DRY
Black Coco is much larger, oval round and very shiny compared to other black dry beans. Although it is said to be a good snap green bean, the pods quickly become tough and stringy once they mature. It is very good for making a rich flavored black bean soup. This variety is early maturing and grows on an upright, strong bushy plant.
Whipple - Bush Bean-Dry
Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Whipple’
Great rich flavor when cooked, it is especially good in chili. This bean is on the short list of favorite bean varieties that are adapted to the Pacific Northwest. Vigorous bush plants may have short runners. The beans themselves resemble Early Warwick but are larger and a darker maroon color. The Whipple family, for which this bean is named, worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. before moving to Douglas County, Oregon, in the 1970s. Eventually this bean was introduced to local growers and gardeners via seed swaps. Purple Speckled. 95 days. Plant in May. Harvest when pods are completely dry
Tiger's Eye - Bush Bean-Dry
Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Tiger’s Eye’
Prolific plants reach 36 inches tall so need some room to sprawl or climb. Pods dry down early. Handsome, ocher-colored beans from Argentina have a maroon swirl for the look of a cat's eye. They have a buttery-smooth texture and rich, hearty flavor. Great for refried beans. Plant in May. Harvest when pods are completely dry. These are usually the earliest to dry so start checking in late August early September.
SALSA PARTY IN THE GARDEN
This collection will include 4-6 Peacevine Cherry tomato plants; 6 sweet pepper plants, 6-10 onion starts; 3 cucumber plants and lemon cilantro seeds! Plant in May and harvest away in September. The Peacevine cherry tomato will also provide lots of juicy fruit for grazing children!
Tomato’ Peacevine Cherry’
Indeterminate. Developed by Dr. Alan Kapuler. Tremendous producer of 3/4 inch cherry tomatoes borne on trusses. Most fruit is red, although occasionally orange/gold; exceptionally delicious and high in vitamin C. Peacevine earned its name from its high content of gamma amino butyric acid, an amino acid that acts as a calming body sedative.
Pepper ‘Sweet Italian Sunset’
A blend of yellow, orange, and red sweet peppers. Terrific salad peppers with few seeds and rich saturated color. Early setting and long bearing plants get to 24” tall.
A mild - medium pepper grown in the Hatch valley of New Mexico since 1894. It’s possible that some fruit could have some heat so taste before working with the students. Plant in well-drained, amended soils. Peppers enjoy some overhead water before fruiting to get a good canopy. This canopy will protect fruit from sunburn.
Cucumber ‘White Stallion’
A crunchy sweet white cucumber originally from China. Provide a trellis for it to save space in the garden. Transplant in May in very well amended soils. Provide consistent water through out the summer. Harvest while small, 4 -6 inches.
Open, sprawling bushes are covered with fat, pointed, papery husked, 1 inch fruits. Rich flavor makes it great for salsa. We found that the flavor is at its peak when fruit easily falls off the plant when shaken.
This collection will delight the senses and provide nectar and pollen for the birds and the bees.
See if you can find some reasonably priced mortar and pestles (check Asian markets) to make pesto the classic way in the garden with kid power! Likes well amended soils, even watering and regular harvesting once it has sized up or it will flower.
a delight for the senses this is one of our favorite sensory plants. Give it room as can grow to as much as 5’ across. Will die back in winter but will recover in spring
Another sensory delight. Rub the soft leaves for a faint scent of pineapple. Hummingbirds love to visit. A wonderful edible flower. Can grow up to 4’ across. Plant together for better impact for hummingbirds.
A wonderful edible flower and can bu used as a natural dye producing a soft yellow color. Can infuse oil with the slightly dried petals and use for a soothing skin salve. Produces abundant seeds for saving for the next year.
A fantastic plant for the bees and for our noses! Leave most of the flowers for the honeybees but dry some to scent dream pillows. Drought tolerant.
New! Flowers for pollinators, birds & joy!
(H. annuus) A well-adapted introduction, most likely of Canadian Mennonite origin, later adopted by the Tarahumara tribe. Solid gold flowers are 8-10" in diameter. Primarily ivory-colored edible seeds with an occasional striped seed. Tolerant of poor conditions. Plants grow 6-9' tall. Annual, 80 days.
Cosmos bipinnatus is considered a half-hardy annual, although plants may reappear via self-sowing for several years. The plant height varies from 2–6 ft (0.61–1.83 m) to (rarely) 9 ft (2.7 m). The cultivated varieties appear in shades of pink and purple as well as white. The branched stem is usually densely to occasionally occupied by fine, split up, rough trichomes, some specimens are completely hairless. The petiole itself is inconspicuous, winged, 10 (rarely to 15) mm long, sometimes the leaves are almost sessile.
Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia
The genus Tithonia in the daisy family (Asteraceae) includes 10-15 species of bushy annuals, perennials and shrubs native to Mexico and Central America that have large, brightly colored daisy-like flowers on thick stems. Mexican sunflower, T. rotundifolia, is a vigorous, drought tolerant warm season annual that is easy to grow in the ornamental garden with other common names of red sunflower of just tithonia.
Tithonia plants grow 4-6+ feet tall with a large central stalk and a somewhat gangly branching habit. The stems can be brittle. The dark green leaves are ovate to deltoid (triangular) in shape with serrate to crenate margins. The coarse leaves are usually entire but occasionally will be three lobed. The foliage and stems are covered with a soft downy fuzz, and the underside of the leaves are hairy
Marigold, Shades of Gold
These 3'-5' tall monsters get loaded with stunning 2.5"-3" blooms from late summer through the first frost. POTENT dye. Why mess around with small French marigolds when you can get more dye for your pot with these bodacious flowers? Transplant to 2' spacing after the danger of frost has passed.
Native Pollinator Plants
California Narrow Milkweed
California Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is a western native species of Asclepias grown for its large white flowers and long, showy narrow leaves. Easy to grow in a wide range of soils, this variety is recommended for use in the West.