Friday, March 30, 2012

One Seed Chicago: Voting Ends April 1st!

Vote for your favorite herb seed here!  Voting ends April 1st.


Candidates:
       Chamomile
       Basil
       Cilantro

I can't believe it's March 30th and I'm just now getting around to writing about one of my favorite annual gardening projects, One Seed Chicago.

One Seed Chicago is a program hosted by NeighborSpace, Chicago's land trust for community gardens.  Mr Brown Thumb is the ambassador of the program. You may have seen him educating folks about the program at various gardening events around the city.

Each year three seeds are chosen and people in the Chicagoland area vote for the seed they'd like to grow.  The winning seed is then mailed, for free, to everyone who voted.  Not to brag, but the seed I voted for has won every year that I've participated. Last year was Swiss Chard.

This is such a fun little contest because spirited debates always break out, each gardener arguing, debating on behalf of their favorite seed candidate.  In fact, an actual debate was held this year on Mike Novak's radio show. You can listen to the podcast here.

I was really excited to see that One Seed went herbal this year because I'd already made a commitment to grow and eat more fresh herbs, myself.  When you think about it, herbs tend to really easy to grow in the home garden and I think they are so underutilized. We could all make a lot more delicious homemade dishes simply by using all the wonderful varieties of herbs available.  I grow the basic herbs every year...a thousand varieties of basil etc.  But this year after reading Gayla Trail's new book Easy Growing, about growing herbs and edible flowers, I'm inspired to try more new stuff.

As much as I would love to launch into a debate over why you should pick Cilantro over the Chamomile and Basil, there is already so much good information on the One Seed Chicago site about all the candidates. Please check them out.  Personally, I am voting for Cilantro because it's an herb I have been trying to establish a relationship with for a while now.  I have always been on one of the cilantro-tastes-like-soap people. But over the last year I've read so many good things about the healing properties of Cilantro.  Supposedly it's like a blood cleanser and besides that, it is such a versatile herb used in so many different cuisines.  But I wouldn't be disappointed if Chamomile won because, My God! Those cute flowers!  And who doesn't need more basil?

The voting ends on April 1st so please hurry over to the One Seed Chicago and vote for the herb you'd like to grow.  Regardless of which one wins, it's always fun to be growing the same exact seed as so many other gardeners around the Chicagoland area.

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