Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Order to Seed...

Or was that a seed to order?
The seed orders are being placed today!  Always a major accomplishment.

This season, there are over 300 seeds on the seed list.  Happily not all of them are in our order since we do have carryover from the prior year.  We thought people might like to see what new varieties we are going to try this year.

Green Beans: Black Valentine, Painted Pony - both of these are dual purpose as they can be used as dry beans as well.  So, if we can't keep up with picking the green beans, we let them dry and...there you go.

Dry Beans: Kenearly Yellow Eye.  This one says it shells easy.  We can hope.  The problem is - we like Arikara Yellow and Ireland Creek Annie - but we can get seed for either this year.

Pole Bean: Fortex and Gold of Bacau.  We've stayed away from pole beans because of the fencing issues.  However, we're thinking that the increased production and ease of picking might be enough reason to overcome the trellising problems.  Here's hoping the winds don't make a mockery of this trial.

Beet: Golden Detriot.  We tried Burpee's Golden and had issues with germination.  Touchstone Gold was consistent - Touchstone has connections int he seed industry we don't like.  so, we'll do a side by side with Golden Detroit.

Broccoli - Limba - any time the description highlights taste, we are interested.

Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield - We had luck in the fall with Copenhagen Market.  Wondering if we just need a different variety for the spring?

Eggplant - Galine.  The industry has taken Dusky out of production.  Dusky was our standard purple hybrid.  So, an opportunity to move away from a hybrid.  Galine comes with taste highlighted as well.  The other eggplant we grow are well known to us, so we can afford to take the risk.

Kohlrabi - Early White Vienna.  Last year we tried Eder for the extra early white kohlrabi.  They didn't go any faster than the purple Kolibri, didn't hold as well and didn't compare for taste.  That, and the seed was extremely expensive.  So, let's try an open pollinated early.

Onion - Redwing and Whitewing.  Always trying to find the onions that like us best on our farm.  We can't get seed for Sierra Blanco (white onion) but will get plants.  If Whitewing does well enough, we'll move to it - much less expensive for the farm to grow.  Redwing will compare with Ruby Ring.

Bunching Onions - Yellow Borretana and Guardsman - let's try them and see what they do for us.  The key on our farm might be in shorter season onions to provide us flexibility if weather is difficult on one end or the other.

Peas - Blizzard, Golden Sweet, Alderman -  Blizzard is supposed to be easier to pick than Oregon Sugar Pod II -but it had better taste good.  so, we'll run a trial against OSPII.  Alderman is a shell pea that gets very tall and is highly productive.  See our arguments about pole beans.  If we conquer the trellising, we may appreciate the relative ease of picking.  Golden Sweet?  We just liked how it sounded.

Potato - Purple Majesty, Rio Grande - The first replaces All Blue.  All Blue was nice and reliable.  But, a horrible pain to dig - and didn't always give us very big potatoes.  Purple Majesty is a shorter season and bulks up faster.  Rio Grande is a russet and replaces Kennebec.  We have always grown Kennebec but our supplier does not carry it.  If we'd had a decent year we would have kept our own seed.  But, when a crop fails, it fails.

Radish - Misato Rose, Hailstone - Misato Rose may also be known as Red Meat - a fall radish that will be as big as a turnip.  Our friends at Scattergood sold us on trying it.  Hailstone will attempt to replace Philadelphia White Box (unavailable seed two years running).

Winter Squash - Uncle David's Dakota Dessert - fabulous name - almost enough to entice a trial.  But, the fact that it is a buttercup style squash *and* it has other grower testimonials was enough to earn it a try on the farm.  It runs in tandem with Burgess Buttercup this season.

Tomato - Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry, Topaz, Violet Jasper - we continue to look for the yellow heirloom cherry tomato that doesn't readily split and is easy to pick *and* that meets our taste requirements.  Several meet the latter condition including Lemon Drop.  Topaz and Violet Jasper are akin to Red Zebra and Green Zebra.  These were popular with our CSA last season, so we are adding more colors of the rainbow to these salad sized tomatoes.  No, we will not drop the Zebra's - we like them.

Summer Squash - Superpik - our prior straightneck yellow was Multipik -which is no longer available.  This is reported to be its replacement.

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