November 29, 2012 · Posted in Garden 

The garden experiments have been quite interesting this fall.  I found some open pollinated heirloom sweet corn seeds at Ace Hardware a few months ago. The corn grew quickly and quite large, about 7+ feet high.

I only planted a small patch with a very high density.  The chicken manure has been quite a blessing I believe as the corn took off.  As the corn is open pollinated I am saving the first few ears that grew for seed.  The first eating ears were picked yesterday.  The corn has excellent fill, and the one ear that was picked at the right time was quite sweet.  I am quite pleased with this corn, and perhaps with some experience picking the corn at the proper time we will get some excellent eating corn.

Also, the beds I planted for intensive gardening are doing quite well. Spinach, Swiss Chard, different Lettuce types, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, and Broccoli are all doing quite well.  My one problem crop is Cabbage. I can’t seem to get it to come up.

On Monday I was able to get the seeds started indoors under lights for my spring garden.  All open pollinated varieties so far.  I have been quite interested in native, heirloom and open pollinated seeds, that way I only have to buy the seed once and it will provide in perpetuity.  Including some Celery seeds I collected from the Celery that “accidentally” grew in the mulch bin and was transplanted to the garden.  Who knew celery will grow from the cut off bottom?  I found it out the hard way.  I am not a big fan of celery anywhere except in stew, however I do enjoy the seeds and dried leaves as flavoring agents.  I am hoping that the seeds will start and I may get some more leaves and seeds.

Perhaps the best reason to use open-pollinated seed is that even if the seeds are not organic, I can grow the plants organically and then the seed I harvest is organic seed and I can grow it as such in the future.  My seed source of choice lately has been, a seed bank type organization that seeks to protect the native seeds used by the Native Americans in the southwest.  All of their seed is open pollinated, and all of the varieties are cataloged as to where they grow best.  The varieties that grow well in the low desert have been very productive. I got over 2 lbs from the black-eyed peas I grew over the summer, on 3 plants.  I was also able to harvest quite a bit off the panic grass (a type of millet), and amaranth.  Perhaps next year I will venture into the world of true grains, but this year I am quite happy just growing my own fruit/vegetables and saving the seeds.  I will start planting my saved seeds with the summer planting season once it gets hot again.  May that day not come for a long time!


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