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Here's a short summary of my breeding projects for this year.July 6th
Turnips: Purple top, white globe. I have grown 4 generations of plants in my garden. (2 seed crops) I produced one pint of seed this summer, and grew a glorious crop of turnips as a fall crop. They are currently about 5" in diameter; still sweet and tender.
Acorn squash: Planted a 60 foot row of seeds from Homegrown goodness and the Long Island Seed project and other places. Harvested 6 fruits.
Argyrosperma squash: No fruits produced.
Lagenaria drum gourd: No fruits produced. Vine length reached about a foot.
Birdhouse/Bottle lagenaria gourd: Some plants produced semi-mature fruits.
Crookneck, Zucchini: Wish me luck. My first year growing my own seed in semi-isolation. We'll see next year how much cross pollination happened.
Pepo Gourds: Grew a great crop with lots of diversity.
Okra: One plant out of ~150 seeds grew to about 18" tall and produced a few fruits that might contain viable seeds.
Sweet Peppers: I'm very content with my current landrace. The large bells don't ripen in my short growing season, so this year I added some baby peppers (jalepeno shaped) that ripen to red and orange. I also grow some yellow banana/bell types for color during the early season. I have eliminated all of the giant bells from the gene pool. They are just too prone to rotting.
Tomatoes: Trialed about a hundred varieties this summer. Most of them did much worse than my previous landrace. Discovered the earliest tomato ever. Two tomatoes from the Homegrown goodness landraces made it into my early season slicing tomato landrace. Those same two also made it into the main season landrace. One cherry tomato from the Johno landrace made it into the early cherry tomato landrace. The rest were too long season. The sewer tomatoes were a disaster: tough, and bad tasting. YUCK!
Snap Beans: Did fine. I didn't pick any for eating, saved them all for seed. Gotta taste every plant next season. I let at least one leathery bean get through this year.
Cantaloupes: Very pleased. Harvested around 14 bushels!!! I can finally grow cantaloupe. I had to develop my own variety, but whatever.
Watermelon: 5 fruits harvested out of ~600 seeds planted. Looking good.
True Potato Seeds: All seedlings died this spring. Intending to junk 95% of the program and start over using only male-fertile clones and seeds.
Shelling peas: Grew fine. Identified a few plants that were about 10 days earlier than the rest. Sorted them out into a new landrace.
Red pea: pollinated a yellow snow pea with a purple snap pea. It's still a bit immature. Covered with a bucket to protect from cold.
Purple pea: grew out a generation of kapuler's purple snap pea and selected for purple pods.
Green snap peas: Guess I aught to go harvest seeds. Separate them from the snow peas.
Lettuce: Did fine, except that I should have marked the plants before they matured. I lost track of which plant had which characteristics that I want.
Carrots: My second generation grew great for me. Too bad that most of them are contaminated with cytoplasmic male sterility. I'll fix that in the next growing season.
Onions: Maybe next year I'll get it right... I can grow seed just fine, don't know how to use it right.
Moschata: Grew great. I planted many different isolated patches. I need to dig out my records to see which is which. Got a few that look like hybrids between dickinson pumpkins and long-necked squash. Excited about the possibility of transferring the deep orange color of the dickinson into a butternut.
Radishes: Grew a lot of nice seed, but didn't get the fall crop planted in time to see how it's going to turn out.
Spinach: Planting many varieties side by side made it trivial to select for those that do well in my garden.
Parsnips:Kral russian, turnip shaped. Didn't germinate very well, or grow very vigorously, but produced easy to dig roots. Planted a seed crop for next year.
Wheat: Separated into two landraces: Tall and short. Perhaps that translates to wheat and rye. Looking forward to having some down time this winter to look at them more closely.
Cucumbers: Not yet harvested. Ending up with mostly Marketmore types.
Beets: Transplanting roots in a week or two to start a landrace.
Garlic landrace: Went into last fall with about 20 varieties. Most of the hard-necked varieties got eliminated during the growing season. Added about another 20 varieties this fall.
Elephant Garlic: Produced less food than what was planted. Dropped from consideration.
Sweet corn: Segregated [Indian corn X se+] crosses. Selected Astronomy Domine for better adaptability to my farm. First Harvest of Paradise sweet corn, an open pollinated homozygous sugary enhanced sweet corn.
Small early Maxima: Produced lots of 8 oz fruits. Wishing they were closer to a pound or two. Not very prolific. F1 grown out of a cross with buttercup. Hoping that a larger fruited (but still early) version will emerge in the F2.
Banana squash: Selected some nice fruits for next year's crop.
Eggplant: saved seeds from the best growing plant. (Small light purple fruits)
Jalapeno: I forgot to mark a plant and a helper picked all the fruits.
Lemon Cucumber: Found a variety that survived powdery mildew.... (Don't know if we had an attack this summer, but it survived anyway.)
Sunroots: Grew a crop from seed. The seed heads are fertile.
Huauzontle: cut it off before it produced seeds. I really didn't want it hybridizing with one of my most prolific weeds.
Broccoli: Abandoning my efforts. Going to start over with non-hybrid seed.
Chives: What's to select? They grow fine, and produce seeds fine. There are differences in individuals, but I haven't been doing any selection other than must survive the winter, and must produce seed.
Day Neutral Strawberries: Planted about 6 varieties. Haven't done any selection yet. Intending to start a new row this fall.
Popcorn: My best crop ever. Really happy with how it has turned out.
Garlic Chives: Doing fine.
Carrots grown from my landrace seed, Walla Walla onions, beets grown from my daddy's seed (he produced Swiss chard seed the same year, so about 3% of the plants are hybrids), Garlic which has been in the family for years (nobody has a name for it or even knows who originally planted it), radishes, broccoli from the nursery, Swiss chard from my seed, Simpson's black seeded lettuce from seed that volunteers in my daddy's garden every year (it's slowest to turn bitter of anything we have grown), cilantro (flowering already), (yellow or purple) green onions, snow/snap peas, and my turnips (not a landrace, just plain old purple top white globe which has been adapted to my garden).June 29th
Walla walla slicing onions, cilantro, spinach, 3 flavors of green onions, chives, turnips, radishes, 3 kinds of lettuce, garlic. A few baskets also got swiss chard and bok choi. (Last harvest of Bok Choi for the season.June 22nd
Bok Choi, spinach, radishes, lettuce, turnips, baby garlic, and 5 flavors of green onions.May 26th 2011
Planted 4095 row feet in the south field. Sweet corn, cantaloupe, green beans, kidney beans, peas, summer squash, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, guords, sorghum, and etc...May 2nd-4th
The Paradise Farmer's Market has been scheduled for June 1st to September 28th from 6:00 PM to dark. Planted sunroots, radish, onion seeds, Aztec spinach, and potatoes in Paradise. Planted peanuts, peas, radish, and an experimental early crop of muskmelons in Mendon. Painted mountain corn in Mendon has roots and shoots about 1/4" long.April 29th
Since it was snowing today, and too wet to work I created a facebook fan page.April 28th
Planted carrots, beets, parsnips, kohlrabi, and shelling peas in Paradise. Used wheel-hoe to kill weed seedlings before planting since it is still to wet to till in that field. Used my new stick seeder for planting.April 27th
Planted 700 row feet of beets (local seed raised by my father), 400 row feet of sweet corn, 150 Walla Walla onions, 110 big daddy onions, and 60 day-neutral strawberry plants.April 26th
"Scattered showers" missed the Mendon field two days in a row. I was able to till today, and to plant 640 row feet of russet potatoes, 540 row feet of Painted Mountain flour corn, 880 row feet of Joseph's popcorn, 70 row feet of Big Daddy, Walla Walla, and yellow onions, and some broccoli transplants. It's about 10 days earlier than typical for planting corn. Trying to develop more cold hardiness in my varieties. Cumulative GDD:10C = 25.April 23rd
Planted Franciscan popping sorghum. Planted Simpson's black seeded and iceburg lettuce. Planted mammoth red rock cabbage. Gave rototiller a tune-up yesterday. It's working great. Fields still too wet to till. Daffodils blooming. A fellow in Pennsylvania is growing out a crop of Spero's Red se+ for me this summer.April 16th
Planted about 100 varieties of tomatoes in the greenhouse including 7 land-races. Looking for earlier tomatoes that do better in my garden with it's unique climate.April 15th
Planted 600 yellow onion sets. Planted 120 potato tubers for breeding project.April 11th
Harvested sunroots, Egyptian onions, and chives.April 6th
Crocus and violets blooming. Planted ~600 true potato seeds indoors. The earliest and most vigorous 150 will be planted out.March 31st
Planted out bok choy, early cabbage, and broccoli. (96 plants) Planted another 150 Walla-Walla onions, and more yellow Spanish onions.March 30, 2011
Dug sunflower roots. A fellow near Saint George is double cropping some corn for me as part of my sweet corn breeding project. It's been snowing for a few days.March 23 & 24, 2011
Planted about 150 leeks, about 150 big daddy onions, about 200 Walla-Walla onions, and about 250 green onions. Way muddy still. Made arrangements today for a plot in Hyrum in which to work on my Painted Valley Sweet Corn breeding project.March 21st, 2011
Planted several thousand corn seeds (7-10 weeks earlier than normal) as part of a breeding project. Looking for cold soil emergence and/or frost tolerance.March 19th
Planted extra early tomatoes. Expecting them to fill 4 inch pots by the time they can be planted out.March 17th, 2011
Transplanted day-neutral strawberries from Mendon field to Paradise field. Moved strawberries in Mendon out from under the trees. Lots of rain yesterday. Planted more elephant garlic in Paradise.March 15th, 2011
Planted white, yellow, and red onion sets. Planted chive sets. Repaired fence. Posted new sign.
The snowcover melted over the weekend. Planted radish, peas, carrot, turnip, lettuce, wheat, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, elephant garlic. Started an open pollinated spinach landrace using: Razzle Dazzle, Correnta, Teton, Giant 157 Hybrid, Space Hybrid, Satin, and Baby's Leaf Hybrid. Planted my shelling pea landrace that will be saved for seed. In the next row over included landrace pea seed from the Long Island Seed Project, and a few named varieties. They will be incorporated into my landrace if they grow well in my garden. The Austrian winter peas that were planted in November have sprouted. Egyptian onions have sprouted. Expecting to start harvesting onions about April 1st.
Sweet peppers have germinated. I'll be planting one more tray like this.
Planted open-pollinated locally-adapted landrace sweet peppers in greenhouse.February 17th, 2011
Planted a couple hundred more garlic.February 15th, 2011
Planted turnip roots for a seed crop. Some overwintered indoors. Some overwintered on top of the ground.January 31st, 2011
Planted parsley in Paradise. I've acquired seeds from about 20 varieties of tomatoes that are supposed to be extra early. Hoping to find a couple varieties that will produce lots of early tomatoes. Trialling about 100 varieties and 7 landraces.
Paradise South field is snow-free, indicating that it is warmer than my other fields. I am excited about that. Tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe may do better there.January 18, 2011
Snowcover melted enough to plant elephant garlic and round Russian parsnips (Kral) in Paradise.January 5, 2011
Rented another field: 2 acres on the south side of paradise. Total area in cultivation is now 4 acres.January 2nd, 2011
Started true potato seeds inside. Hoping to get small tubers for planting before spring.December 15th, 2010
Snow cover melted enough to see that the winter peas have germinated. Planted parsnips and sugar beets for seed. Planted several thousand corn seeds of many different varieties of sweet, flour, and flint corns. Looking for genetics that will aide in cold soil germination: (Seed that doesn't rot in the ground.)November 19, 2010
Tilled Mendon field. A deep freeze is expected in a few days. Most of the seed for the 2011 growing season has been acquired. Just about all of it will be open pollinated landraces.November 17, 2010
Planted spinach and lettuce in Paradise. Planted a cover crop of winter peas.November 12, 2010
Planted garlic and Egyptian onions in Paradise. Planted spinach in Mendon.November 6, 2010
Finished tilling Paradise field.November 1, 2010
Planted Egyptian onions and landrace garlic in Mendon.
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