Friday, November 20, 2009

Making Brooms

We recently received these photos and wanted to share them with you. These people made brooms out of broom corn that they grew from our seeds. What a fun project!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Here is a delicious recipe to use up some of your pumpkin and celebrate the flavors of fall!

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Combine 2 slightly beaten eggs. 2 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup bran cereal. Mix well.

In separate bowl, stir together 1 cup whole wheat flower, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp ginger. Add to pumpkin mixture. Do not over mix.

Fill lined or greased muffin tins almost full. Bake for 30 minutes, cool pan on wire rack before removing muffins. Makes 18 muffins.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Broomcorn-a little history lesson

In honor of fall, we thought it would be fun to post some information about one of our favorite fall decorations- Broomcorn! Not only is our headquarters in Broomfield Colorado named after the plant, it also has a rather interesting history in the United States.

Benjamin Franklin brought the first broomcorn seeds to American in 1725 after finding them on a hat brush in England. A new broom industry was created shortly thereafter when it was discovered that broomcornmade a more efficient broom, whisking away more dust than brooms made from twigs or straw. In 1781, Thomas Jefferson listed it as one of the most important crops of that time. This type of sorghum was not called “Broom Corn” until the early 1800’s. At that time, the British called all seed-bearing plants ‘corn.’ In modern times, Arcola, Illinois is known as the “Broom Corn Capital of the World”. Broomfield Colorado, where our offices are located, was named after the broomcorn plant around 1900 when a lot of farmland was devoted to growing it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Zucchini Recipe

I HAVE to share with you my wife’s recipe which I personally LOVE! If you like the flavor of vinegar AND want to get rid of your massive quantities of zucchini, give this a shot:

10 cups zucchini, 4 cups onion, 5 tablespoons salt

Grate (food processor) the above ingredients and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse in the morning. Put in large pan and add:

6 cups of sugar, 2 1/4 cups cider vinegar, 1tsp each of Nutmeg, dry mustard, tumeric, and corn starch, 2 tsp celery seed, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 red and 2 green peppers finely chopped.

Cook for 30 minutes. Seal hot relish in sterile jars. Follow proper sterile canning methods (see Kerr or Ball website for instructions).

Curtis Jones, President
Botanical Interests, Inc.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our Favorite Squash Recipes

It’s squash time! Do you have more squash than you know what to do with? Here are some of our favorite squash recipes, they are all very easy!

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Open blossoms and check for bugs (or leave them in for extra protein:). Place a piece of mozzarella cheese and a pinch of either basil, parsley, oregano or your favorite herb inside the blossom (harvest blossom early in the morning). Twist ends of blossom to close. Dip into beaten egg, then fine corn flour. Fry in hot olive oil in a cast iron pan, turning them over when browned. Drain on towels and serve hot. Salt if necessary.

Koose (Stuffed Squash)


Several squash

1 cup rice

1 small can tomato sauce

1, 16 oz can tomatoes




1.5 lbs ground lamb

1 t salt

Directions: Cut squash stems and scoop out seeds

Mix rice and all spices together. stuff squash with mixture

arrange in pan, cover squash with tomatoes and tomato sauce. add a thin layer of water in bottom of pan to keep squash from burning. Bake for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.

Judy’s Squash Delight

Slice 4 crookneck or zucchini squashand mix with 2 cups of tomato pasta sauce and 1 cup italian bread crumbs. top with jack cheeese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Kids love it!

Sauteed Squash

Peel delicata squash, scoop out the seeds and slice squash into 1/2″ pieces. Saute in olive oil over medium heat until golden (about 5 min) turn and cook until tender. season to taste (try garlic, parsley, toasted chopped pecans, and/or salt and pepper) and serve!

Baked Squash

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Split squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down in baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash is easily pierced with fork. Turn over, make indentations in flesh with fork and drizzle butter or hot maple syrup. Serve hot.

What are some of your favorite squash recipes?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flowers to Sow Now for Fall/Spring Color

Even though the mercury may be sky high on the thermometer right now, it's the right time to consider starting flowers for fall blooms and to provide pretty bulb covers in the spring.

Pansies and Violas add a fabulous pop of color to fall borders or containers. July to August is the best time to start them. (It takes around 2 ½ to 3 months from the time you plant pansy or viola seed to get the first blooms.) Consider how 'Bewitching' the black and orange 'Bewitched Blend' Pansies would look in October if you start them now!

Burgundy Amaranth will give your garden bright jewel-toned burgundy leaves even if you don't have time left in the season to achieve their full height or plumes. The leaves are also edible and make a colorful addition to salads when picked young.

Coleus Rainbow Blend will add an explosion of bright color to those shady spots that may be looking a little barren or bedraggled by late summer and early fall. It can take the heat as long as it's kept moist and has some shade. Foliage will last until the first fall frost. When frost looms near, you can take cuttings of your favorite colors to root in a vase of water for some indoor color that lasts for a couple of months.

Perennials – If you start perennial flowers now, they will have time to put down roots and survive the winter, giving you lush blooms next spring and summer. Most perennials need to be planted 8-10 weeks before the average first fall frost date.

Bulb Covers
If you are planning to plant bulbs this fall (like tulips, hyacinth, crocus), consider sowing some Pansies, Violas, Candytuft Snowflake, or Alyssum Basket of Gold within the next few weeks to make a pretty bulb cover next spring to complement the blooming bulbs and to mask the foliage as the bulb blooms fade.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brown Spots on Your Tomatoes?

Tomatoes grown in containers and indeterminate (vining) heirloom tomatoes can be more susceptible to Blossom End Rot (BER) that is caused by an inability to adequately uptake calcium from the soil. This condition is more likely caused by fluctuating moisture levels rather than a deficiency of calcium in the soil. But, it can also be caused by an excess of nitrogen, a pH out of range of 6.5 (ideal for calcium uptake), or water logged roots that don’t have proper drainage.

If your fruit begins to get the telltale tan to brownish spots on the bottom, pick off and discard the affected tomatoes. Then make sure the plants are well mulched with dried grass clippings, straw, black or red plastic, or an extra layer of finished compost to reduce moisture fluctuation. Never let the plants dry out; keep them evenly moist, but not soggy. Then, switch to a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen (compared to phosphorous and potassium). Optional treatments include adding crushed eggshells to the soil, sprinkling some limestone powder around the plant, or spraying calcium nitrate on the leaves. With a little ‘TLC’, your plants will likely recover from this condition and produce healthy fruit.