Let’s all step into a time machine and travel back to a time when there were no refrigerators. No Vitamins. No Espresso makers and see what we would have in our pantry, our fields, and what we might expect to grow and harvest before Christoper Columbus arrived, and before the Mayflower. Today, we’ll be discussing the health and heirloom and native plants, vegetables, and fruit you can still find on this continent. When you think of a “Southwestern” salad, you might be thinking of corns and tomatoes, right? Well you’ve only listed two of the many foods you might eat every day and have no idea that it is indigenous too.

I’m going to share the health benefits of some vegetables,  a few trivia tidbits, and even better: DIY projects, recipes, and more with you.

One of the more obvious vegetables is maize, or corn. This vegetable dates back at least 7000 years and comes in hundreds of colors and shapes. Nowadays, it is used by industries as a filler in plastics, foods, chemicals, and more. It is also used as a great source of feed for livestock and cereals. Because it was primarily grown in the MidWest, it led to the phrase, “corn-fed,” which people can use to describe themselves, or hurl as insults. Corn is not always healthy, however, when it is processed as high-fructose corn syrup, and Scientific American recently argued it’s high time to rethink of corn as a major crop because of it’s inefficiency, overuse of natural resources, and economic vulnerability as a commodity. Instead of focusing on corn in general, we will shed light on the reemergence of heirloom corn, heirloom tomatoes, and heirloom produce.

What is heirloom?

 Let’s take a look at one of the more widely recognized fruit:

heirloom

Heirloom Tomatoes

You might see these juicy beauties at your local farmer’s market. To be called a heirloom, a fruit or vegetable has to come from a seed that has been passed down several generations, usually within a family. The resurgence in popularity of heirloom produce is also beneficial for native indigenous plants. While they might be a major component of Mediterranean cuisine, they come from Central and South America.

Five Fun Fall Recipes:

Pumpkin Okra Curry

Corn Bread

Corn Juice

Corn Souffle

Southwestern Salad

5 fun DIY projects

Embrace your inner Corn husk flower child.

Coasters, flowers and more from Apartment Therapy

Tomato and Lemon Face Mask. It’s edible, healthy, and minimizes pores…need we say more?

Light up your gourds, says Martha Stewart.

Happy Juicing!

 

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