This food crop is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It was a highly prized in Babylon and Assyria at least 4,000 years ago!  In Hindu legend the seeds are a symbol of immortality. The Egyptians and Persians ground the seeds into flour, while the Romans made a spread for bread.  Today, in China, Japan and India it is an important source of cooking oil.  Sesame (Sesamum indicum ) or Ajonjolí, as it’s known in Spanish, arrived in the New World Tropics with the early colonists, and many Latin American countries are still today traditional producers of sesame seeds.  Unfortunately, Costa Ricans aren’t big consumers of sesame, so it’s often hard to find fresh seeds for recipes that require sesame… or for planting.  Look in your  local health food stores for sesame seeds.  Only fresh, unhulled seeds are used for planting. Sesame is a strong, slender annual, growing up to 6 feet in height with slender, green leaves.  Its pastel white to pastel lavender flowers form panicles that  later produce capsules full of sesame seeds.  The best planting time is April and May, although a second planting can  be sown in September or October.  A 100 square meter plot can produce 5 gallons of sesame seeds.  Most gardeners tend to plant smaller 5 or 10 square meter plots during the year to harvest smaller quantities.  Enrich the soil with aged compost fertilizer and sow the seeds in rows 15cm apart with 30-40cm  between the rows.  Caring for sesame can be tedious at first, since they need to be thinned and maintained weed free during their first month of growth. Another easier method is to start the seeds in flats, and later transplant them to the garden when they reach 5-6cm in height.    Sesame matures in 90 to 120 days when the plants drop their leaves and the stems and seed capsules turn to a yellow-brown color.  This is the time to harvest the plants and dry them in the sun on a clean cloth.  As the sun bakes the capsules, they pop open and release their seeds.  Threshing the capsules with a stick  gets most of the seeds from the capsules.  Finally the chaff is winnowed from the seeds,  and they’re ready to be stored and used in the kitchen for delights, such as chocolate sesame balls, tahini butter or creamy, sesame salad dressing!  Sesame seeds are a good source of Vitamin C and E, calcium and unsaturated fatty acids.  To make sesame butter, simply toast the seeds and run them through a hand grain mill or blender.  Add a little water or olive oil until the butter is creamy and smooth.  It’s great for salad dressing, vegetable sauces, or natural desserts  with bananas, coconut and honey.  The list just goes on and on.  Children love to work with sesame too.  They get to see one little seed turn into a beautiful flowering bush.   Later when the seed pods dry – open sesame!  Thousands of new seeds appear!  We’ve just harvested a good crop of sesame seeds and we’ll be offering them to interested gardeners in Costa Rica.

 Our aim is to promote the use of natural seeds which make up part of the rich bio-diversity of tropical food crops. 
Your seed purchase helps to fund our educational work in sustainable agriculture.

Sesame - grow your own sesame for home use.
Native Sweet Chile Pepper - hardy bush, needs no spraying
Native Pumpkin Squash - Can be eaten young like zucchini 
Sweet Basil - good flavor for salads and meals.
Dill - the young leaves of dill are delicious in salads.
Sweet Cherry Tomato - The best tomato for the tropics.
Cohombro – Native squash with sweet, cantaloupe taste.
Gandul or Pigeon pea- a hardy bush with pea-like legumes.
Zinnias - colorful flowers for the garden.
Cosmos – colorful wildflowers.
Native Yellow Corn- for elotes, tortillas and cornbread
  (each pack contains 300 seeds – price – 2500 colones)

Our seeds are organically grown, non-hybrid varieties that can be grown year after year in your garden from seeds you collect.  Germination guaranteed under normal germinating conditions.  

PRICE- 1200 colones/packet, postage paid
Seeds and Books are offered only in Costa Rica.

Call us at 2770-4229
for quick service with electronic banking

• 11/2 Tbs. of baking soda
• 11/2 Tbs. of Bio-land glycerin soap or other natural soap
• 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil
• 1 Tbs. of vinegar
• 1 gal. of warm water
Mix all ingredients together by shaking vigorously, then use a hand-held spray bottle to mist plants until they are  wet.
Pau d'Arco Botanical Formula -
An ideal tonic tea for the immune system made from the bark of the famous Pau d'Arco tree, the famous medicine tree of the Incas and Maya. Boosts your natural defenses of the immune system to heal many chronic illnesses, fights infections,     eliminates parasites and purifies the blood. 

Ground Ginger - Excellent for Chinese cooking and herbal tea.  
Jamaican Curry - A hot and spicy seasoning for many dishes.

1300 colones/30 gm packet, postage paid. 

New Dawn Also Offers These Services: 
Overnight Accommodations... $10
Healthy Meals from the Garden... $5
Garden Tours... $5/person
Permaculture Designs for  homes and farms... $100
Weekend Workshops (tropical medicinal plants, gardening and permaculture)... $100/person

For the month of August we were glad to host a permaculture designer's course for Susan Okeefe of Newfoundland, Canada, Laura Luis from Argentina and Tammy Leix from Brazil.  Shown in the photo here is Kelly Becker from Belgum, who studied medicinal plants with us.  She has fallen in love with our Pau d'Arco tree.  Our construction projects continue to near completion as we finish the details on the student's bamboo cabin.  It's also been a good year for gardening.  We have been busy harvesting corn, squash, sesame and green beans!
We'll be preparing the larger gardens for a second planting in September. 



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                                       ECO-GARDENS FOR A HEALTHY PLANET


    Ed Bernhardt, N.D. works with tropical medicinal plants & gardens in Costa Rica. He is the author of 
    The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide, Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica 
    Natural Health Care Therapies for Tropical Living.


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    New Dawn Newsletter

    Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica by Ed Bernhardt
    Medicinal Plants of Costa Rica 
    A truly useful guide to tropical medicinal plants. Learn how you can use over 100 tropical plants for your health - naturally. Over 140 pages with color photos. Extraordinary new plant friends await you.  

    $15 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included 

    OUR NEW EDITION   The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide 
    Includes a bonus reference CD with a color photo album of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs  and an extensive library on organic  home gardening plus the latest  research on ecological small scale food production with details on 150 fruits, vegetables and herbs. 
      Learn how to:
    design a natural tropical home garden
    make  organic fertilizers
    Prepare bio-dynamic garden beds
    Care for plants and trees naturally
    Control insects with natural methods
    Grow medicinal plants for your health
    Save money growing food at home
    Harvest yearly dividends of healthy
    fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs.

    Ecological gardening is one of the most important issues of our century.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Ecological Health Gardens!

    $25 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included
    Natural Health Care Guide for Tropical Living 
    A truly useful guide to holistic natural health care. Learn how to care for your health - naturally - with herbs, diet, massage and hydrotherapy, yoga and mind-spirit work. Over 165 pages with illustrations by the author.

    $25 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included
    Huertas Naturales Para Costa Rica 
    the Spanish translation of The Costa Rican Organic Home Gardening Guide.

    An ideal gift for your Tico friends.

    $20 (or the equivalent in colones) mailing included