Seeds of Change Review and Seed to Plate Challenge

A while back I was sent a few products from Seeds of Change to try out and review. I have actually purchased seeds from them in the past, so I thought it would be a good fit.

The package I received included two packets of seeds, a jar of tomato sauce, a jar of simmering sauce, and a box of seasoned quinoa-grain mix. The seeds will have to wait a few more weeks to get started, but all of the food products we tried were tasty and convenient.

When I started to write a review for Seeds of Change I glanced at their website and thought that I would say a few nice things about the company and then post the giveaway challenge that I am still going to share. Then I started poking around and realized that there was a lot I didn’t know about the company and thought that you might want to know it as well.

I saw on their website that they had a snippet about seed saving, which got me excited. So I clicked on it, but both products (a book and seeds screen) were no longer available. So I started to wonder about a few things, mostly who is this company and who controls them?

I found this on their website:

Seeds of Change was founded in 1989 with a revolutionary mission: To make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the "advances" of modern industrial agriculture.

That sounds really great, doesn’t it? That is something I want in a seed company. So then I did some research and read that Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars, the same multi-national corporation that produces such products as Snickers bars, M&M candy, and Uncle Ben’s processed rice products.

I wanted to make sure that information was correct, so I asked my contact at the company and she confirmed. So then if you go back to their site you will find this:

While that mission stills hold true today, our company has evolved to be a strong producer of Certified Organic Foods and Chocolates.

I then did a few searches on their site to see how readily available the information of their ownership is and could not find a reference to Mars anywhere. While the seed company seems to be a bit independent of the processed food side of the business I am left wondering if there is a bit of a conflict of interest going on.

Giveaway Challenge

One of the reasons I agreed to a review of the products is because they are promoting a Seed to Plate challenge in which blog readers can share photos or descriptions of a homegrown meal.

If you are interested in winning a basket containing the exact same foods and seeds as I have reviewed, then email me (shannon (at) nourishingdays (dot) com) with a photo or description of a homegrown meal that you fondly remember. Or if you are in a warmer part of the country let me know what you’re bringing from seed to plate. I will choose a winner at the end of February and they will receive their prize.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary basket of the products that I reviewed above, but the opinions are all my own.

Review and Giveaway: L’Equip 524 Dehydrator

 

I never realized how much I would use a dehydrator before I got one. I figured I would make crispy nuts and maybe some jerky, but what I didn’t realize was that I would count on it to put up a good portion of our preserved food.

This summer and fall I put away gallons of dehydrated fruits and vegetables that will find their way into soups and snacks throughout the winter. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I prefer dehydrating foods to canning, both in the process and the final product.

So, when a few weeks ago, Charlene from Pleasant Hill Grain contacted me to see if I wanted to review the L’Equip Dehydrator and even better give one away to y’all I said "of course." I already own an electric dehydrator and have been pleased with it thus far, so I gave Charlene a fair warning.

Honestly, I kind of figured I wouldn’t like it as much as the one I already own, which is why I told Charlene about it up front. I have been pleasantly surprised, however, to be reaching for the L’Equip 524 over our own as I have come to prefer it. Here are my thoughts:

Pros

Easy to clean. I wash 2-3 dish dish drainers full of dishes by hand six days a week so this is a huge selling point for me. Each of the rectangular dehydrator trays comes with a flexible screen. This screen’s hole patterns are much easier to clean than the triangular pattern of both the L’Equip trays and the other dehydrator I own. Stuck on food and debris are easily washed off these flexible screens with soap and water, while the actual trays just need a quick wiping.

Quiet. Even my four-year-old commented on how much quieter this dehydrator is than our other one. It’s not silent by any means, but we can have it humming away on our dining room table without feeling we need to turn it off to hear each other or listen to music or a video in the living area.

Rectangular Shape Means Easy to Store. This dehydrator is fits neatly on a shelf in our storage room without taking up too much space. The rectangular shape is compact to store and easy to handle.

Expandable. The dehydrator comes with four trays that measure 17" x 11.75". This will hold about 3 pounds of nuts comfortably. The good news is that you can expand the dehydrator up to 20 trays. The bad news is that two trays (with the screens) cost $25.

On/Off Switch. I know this sounds basic, but some dehydrators do not have an on/off switch. They simply turn on when plugged in. While this isn’t a huge inconvenience, I do like how the L’Equip dehydrator has a switch.

Even Drying. I have found that the trays of food seem to all dry fairly evenly as long as you don’t overload them.

Cons

Plastic. While I am not aware of a reasonably priced dehydrator that doesn’t contain plastic, I am always weary of it. On the plus side, I am told that the plastic used for this dehydrator is BPA-free.

Temperature Gauge Not Well Labeled. The knob that controls the temperature on the L’Equip has three markings – 93, 125, and 153 degrees. In between there are bars where you can estimate the temperature. I would prefer a clearer marking of the dial.

More About the L’Equip 524 and Conclusions

If you are interested in learning more about the 524 dehydrator check out this video by the manufacturers:

After a few rounds of testing, comparing, and researching I am happy to recommend this dehydrator for all of the above reasons. You can see Pleasant Hill Grain for the L’Equip dehydrator, the Nesco dehydrator, and a variety of other products like the Bosch Universal Mixer.

Win the L’Equip 524 Dehydrator

The people at Pleasant Hill Grain would also like to offer you the chance to win this dehydrator. There are two entries possible:

  1. To enter for a chance to win a brand-new L’Equip 524 dehydrator simply check out the Pleasant Hill Grain website, look around and find one other item that may be useful to you. Come on back and tell me about it in the comments below.
  2. For a second entry you can share this giveaway on your blog and leave a separate comment telling me that you did.

The contest will run through midnight Wednesday November 17th. A winner will then be chosen and contacted.

Disclosure: I was given the L’Equip 524 dehydrator at no charge to review. That said, all of the above opinions are purely my own in an attempt to give an honest review. Thank you to Pleasant Hill Grain for sponsoring the giveaway.

 

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