Well the seed catalogs are all in and as the temps have dipped I have spent the last 6 weeks dreaming over them like a child with a Christmas Catalogue. Today was the day to finalize and complete all the orders . Thought I would share some of the successes of 2009 and new choices for 2010.
The Tomatoes were slow to ripen because of cooler spring temps last year, third coolest on record for this area, but had heavy yields once the hot days of late summer arrived. We plant the heirloom varieties Brandywine, Big Rainbow and Yellow Pear. The seeds are saved from year to year and they have never failed us. They are all indeterminate.
This year we will continue to plant Kandy Korn a yellow hybrid corn ( one of the few hybrids we use) that we plant every year. It has been a reliable performer year after year. We will also this year for the first time plant an heirloom field corn called Reid's Yellow Dent to help feed the livestock. We are going to interplant with an heirloom pumpkin/squash called Long Island Cheese. The pumpkin to run beneath the corn and a vine bean to run on the stalks. Thinking of maybe a Christmas Lima shell bean. Also as a livestock feed we are planting the Giant Russian Sunflower for the first time. This as feed for the birds in the winter and the chickens.
That's only if this guy cooperates!
Also a reliable favorite is the hybrid Jade Green bean. Again planted every year it seems to perform particularly well in this area. And a newcomer last year that performed well was the heirloom bean Ireland Creek Annie from seeds saved last year. As well as the Camelia Red Bean. A childhood favorite of mine from Louisiana. You will find these beans served all over the French Quarter in New Orleans every Monday for lunch. They are a staple in Louisiana. We grew our own for the first time last year and they were wonderful.
Also different this year we will have strawberries. I had them for many years but pulled them up last year and will replant new plants this year in a new location. Hopefully this will confuse the birds and they won't find them so easily. Also we will be trying the new fruits the Nanking Bush Cherry. After many failures with traditional Cherry trees we are going to try the bush version and see if they will not survive better. We are adding a new berry called the Sunberry supposedly superior to the blueberry. We shall see. Also new this year will be sweet potatoes ( my daddy's favorite). And the old variety of okra called Cowhorn. This is an heirloom I remember from my youth that my parents planted in our gardens back home. Had a hard time locating it but have finally acquired some. We shall see how this southern variety likes Missouri. Okra is used alot in our house. The kids and grandkids all like pickled okra. Then there's fried okra, stewed tomatoes and okra and okra for gumbo. So we go through alot of okra.
Lots more planned but we guess you'll have to come back and visit from time to time to see all the suprises.