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Thu, April 18

Heirloom seeds keep the past alive

Stephen and Cindy Scott of Chino Valley check the seedlings in the greenhouse at Underwood Gardens at their home.

Stephen and Cindy Scott of Chino Valley check the seedlings in the greenhouse at Underwood Gardens at their home.

Remember the wonderful tasting vegetables you used to pick and eat from

your grandma's garden when you were a child? Many of those heirloom seeds aren't around anymore or are hard to find. But a Chino Valley couple works to make these seeds available to avid gardeners.

Stephen and Cindy Scott had been members of the Seed Savers Exchange for years, and because they wanted to work together, and were interested in seeds, soil and gardening, they decided to start growing and harvesting heirloom seeds. The Scotts not only grow vegetable seeds but also herbs and flowers.

The Scotts started Terroir Seeds LLC at their home that they call Underwood Gardens. They publish a catalog they call "Grandma's Garden Catalog."

"Heirloom seeds means something that existed prior to World War II. I always say these are the seeds from what your grandmother grew," Stephen said.

"The whole reason we wanted to work with these seeds is because the heirloom seeds can't be found in the normal marketplace," Cindy added.

Cindy has been interested in gardening since she was a child because her parents always had a garden. She attended Yavapai College and received her degree in Greenhouse Management.

Stephen, on the other hand, enjoys gardening for the food aspect because he does the cooking in the family.

"Without wholesome food, your energy and health is greatly affected. It's the taste and flavor that is important, which is why a lot of chefs today search out these heirloom varieties," Stephen said.

Cindy and Stephen get their seeds from all over the world and specialize in the rare and unusual.

"We carry over 400 different varieties and also grow a portion of them ourselves such as tomatoes, peppers and beans. One of our goals is to expand to wildflower and grasses of the Southwest area," Cindy explained.

People can reach the Scotts at 888-878-5247 or visit www.terroirseeds.net.

Cindy and Stephen greatly enjoy working with these wonderful seeds from by-gone days, not only because of their love of gardening, but because they feel they are offering people a healthy alternative with these pure seeds.

"This work is almost meditative for me. It's rewarding because with these seeds you are seeing our genetic heritage," Cindy said.

Stephen likes the health aspect of using these natural seeds.

"The thing that excites me is because combining your heirloom seeds with family gardening will provide the nutrition that is missing from so many food sources of today."

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