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What are you growing--2014

What are you growing--2014
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  • Post #91 - August 15th, 2014, 11:23 pm
    Post #91 - August 15th, 2014, 11:23 pm Post #91 - August 15th, 2014, 11:23 pm
    First and only so far...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #92 - August 16th, 2014, 12:01 am
    Post #92 - August 16th, 2014, 12:01 am Post #92 - August 16th, 2014, 12:01 am
    Slightly (OK, way) off track story, but it has to do with farming, so I'm going to share.....

    I don't know what it was about answering you this afternoon, but something triggered a memory. I flashed back to when I was about 4 years old. I remember being in the field with my dad, digging up seeds to make sure they were sprouting and doing ok.

    I guess I should say, about 3-5 days after planting corn and/or beans, farmers start scratching around, seeing if the seeds are sprouted. This goes on until the first shoots are out of the ground.

    Anyhow......

    I remember dad gave me my own screwdriver to dig with (a big step towards manhood in my eyes), and showed me how to find the planter mark, that showed where to dig. He showed me how to gently uncover the seed so you didn't break the sprout and kill it. When we were done, we gently covered the seed back up, so it would survive and reach maturity. I'd watched him do this a lot, but this was my first time.

    It was probably only a few days later that I was a few rows away from him, doing it on my own, and telling him what I found. I'm sure he was reaching his own conclusions about the crop conditions, without a 4 year olds input, but he made me feel like I was helping.

    Over the course of my life, he taught me what to look for with conditions that were too wet or too dry, sometimes it was diseases and pest infestations. As I got older, sometimes I was the one that would find the first signs that things that were pressuring the crop.

    Sometime in my late 30's, we switched rolls. I was driving to the fields with dad beside me. I noticed I had to show him what planter mark to dig in, to find the seed. He'd get frustrated when he couldn't find it, and I was back beside him, helping him dig, instead of 3 or 4 rows away.

    I recognized, at the time, that we had switched places, but I never remembered (or recognized) that I was being taught and tutored the whole time.

    Until today.......

    I spent the entire afternoon, remembering things that dad taught me, that just always felt like I always knew. How to milk a cow, how to recognize a sick animal before it got too far along. Yellow crops and dark crops, the list is endless.

    I always knew that dad taught me that stuff, I just didn't remember specifics, today it all flooded back.

    Now I wonder if dad had the same feeling, when he was teaching me (and my brothers), all this stuff.

    Thanks for pulling the trigger, that made me remember all of this, while I spent the afternoon doing other things......
  • Post #93 - August 16th, 2014, 12:19 am
    Post #93 - August 16th, 2014, 12:19 am Post #93 - August 16th, 2014, 12:19 am
    Avid learner here--I was VERY impatiently awaiting your check in to tell me my stalks are doing what they're supposed to be doing :) Glad my deck corn could provide a mutually beneficial experience!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #94 - August 16th, 2014, 12:38 am
    Post #94 - August 16th, 2014, 12:38 am Post #94 - August 16th, 2014, 12:38 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:............to tell me my stalks are doing what they're supposed to be doing......


    If I have learned nothing else, from Dad, Ohio State, my elders, or on my own........ nature always does what it's supposed to be doing. The older I get, the more I realize this.

    I predict you are going to be surprised at what you end up with.

    Don't touch the silk!! :o

    Tim
  • Post #95 - August 25th, 2014, 9:28 am
    Post #95 - August 25th, 2014, 9:28 am Post #95 - August 25th, 2014, 9:28 am
    Well..... it's been over a week. How about an ear update.

    Road farming is when you go out and drive around, checking out everybody's crops. I guess this would be web farming.... but I can't just drive by and look.

    Tim
  • Post #96 - August 25th, 2014, 2:39 pm
    Post #96 - August 25th, 2014, 2:39 pm Post #96 - August 25th, 2014, 2:39 pm
    Funny you should ask! Just took these this morning. A few hard rains and some nice warm days have shot up a few more ears--one stalk actually has two which I was surprised to see!
    New Tassels.JPG
    New ears.JPG
    more ears.JPG
    Big Ear.JPG
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #97 - August 25th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    Post #97 - August 25th, 2014, 2:45 pm Post #97 - August 25th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    A few more fun pics...(non-corn related):

    Brandywine.JPG Brandywine

    As you can see, my tomato plants are pretty ugly--all this rain and cool weather, followed by tons of heat and humidity has just been really hard on container tomatoes. Still, there's been enough fruit to keep me from buying any.

    Indigo Blueberry.JPG Indigo Blueberry

    Now made famous by Monica Eng and Louisa Chu on WBEZ' Chewing the Fat--my tomatoes made it to public radio---proud mama!!

    Indigo Rose.JPG Indigo Rose


    Sungold.JPG Sungold


    Lemon Drop.JPG Lemon Drop chili
    Giant Poblano.JPG Giant Poblano
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #98 - August 25th, 2014, 10:33 pm
    Post #98 - August 25th, 2014, 10:33 pm Post #98 - August 25th, 2014, 10:33 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:......one stalk actually has two which I was surprised to see!.....


    Popcorn usually has 2 or 3 ears, that stuff is looking/acting more and more like it all the time.

    Did you see pollen on the silk?? It looks like it dried fast, that brown silk usually doesn't get that dark for a couple weeks after it's new. Maybe it's the camera playing tricks on me.

    Anyhow, nice looking stuff. They were talking about how many people grow vegetables in containers, on decks, on WGN Radio the other day when I was in the truck. I wondered if you were going to be the topic of conversation.

    It was a stinkin' imposter..... :(

    Tim
  • Post #99 - August 25th, 2014, 10:52 pm
    Post #99 - August 25th, 2014, 10:52 pm Post #99 - August 25th, 2014, 10:52 pm
    Everything was pretty wet so that may have made it look a bit darker but it is definitely moving towards brown. Do I want to know what that means? If it's bad, I don't think I want to know :)

    As for radio, my corn has yet to be discovered but my tomatoes, ugly as they are, are getting kinda famous! Apologies cuz I have no idea exactly how far into the show (Louisa Chu and Monica Eng's "Chewing The Fat" on WBEZ) the mention is but it's a good piece so worth listening to in any case.
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on August 25th, 2014, 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #100 - August 25th, 2014, 11:01 pm
    Post #100 - August 25th, 2014, 11:01 pm Post #100 - August 25th, 2014, 11:01 pm
    It's not bad news, probably just a thing with that variety of corn. All silk eventually darkens as the ear matures, it'll get almost black at harvest time. It just usually stays yellow a little longer than that.

    As long as pollen hit the silk when it was blonde colored and sticky, the job is done.
  • Post #101 - August 27th, 2014, 9:45 am
    Post #101 - August 27th, 2014, 9:45 am Post #101 - August 27th, 2014, 9:45 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:........it's a good piece so worth listening to in any case......


    I finally got around to listening to this last night. It was great, thanks for posting the link. I loved the part where the hoop guy was running down heritage tomato's, right after the heritage people were telling how great they were. I think it kind of drove home the point he was trying to make about people just using buzzwords, not knowing what they mean.

    I think it was the last guy they talked to, that explained how tomato's are different from farm to farm and year to year, made the best point, just buy what tastes good and eat them.
  • Post #102 - August 27th, 2014, 11:45 am
    Post #102 - August 27th, 2014, 11:45 am Post #102 - August 27th, 2014, 11:45 am
    I think heirlooms only make sense for home gardens--they're clearly not sturdy or productive enough for any real commercial purpose and that's ok. I don't need a bushel of tomatoes (unless I want to can and them I'm buying hybrids anyway!!) if I get 3-4 pretty tomatoes off a plant, that's about what I can use before they spoil. They're pretty, they have interesting (though definitely NOT always great) flavor. All good. But the idea that heirlooms should be grown in place of hybrids is silly to me.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #103 - August 29th, 2014, 2:49 pm
    Post #103 - August 29th, 2014, 2:49 pm Post #103 - August 29th, 2014, 2:49 pm
    Good potato haul this year--this is not including the 2 meals' worth I've already used. Dug up the rest of them this morning the one at 2:00 is definitely the largest I've grown. No purples this year--I only planted a couple that were left from last year and they didn't produce. Next time...

    For now, I think these should last us for a few months!!
    image.jpg Potato harvest 2014
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #104 - August 29th, 2014, 4:43 pm
    Post #104 - August 29th, 2014, 4:43 pm Post #104 - August 29th, 2014, 4:43 pm
    Hi- Heirlooms are way more practical at the farmer's markets than they are at the grocery stores. Because of all the rain we have been having this summer though, the heirlooms I have bought at the farmer's markets and eaten out of my garden have not tasted as good as they usually do. Tomatoes in general have not been as productive as they usually are because of the cold summer we have been having. The only tomatoes that have been producing okay in my garden this summer have been the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, which I love anyway. Even at the Evanston farmer's market the heirlooms did not become available until 2-3 weeks ago.

    I see heirlooms being sold at Whole Foods this time of year, but I wonder why. The last time I was in Whole Foods they had California heirlooms on sale there for $4 a pound. I can't see heirlooms surviving the trip from California to here. Heirlooms are definitely a niche market, since a lot of families cannot afford them, and there are not enough to go around anyway.
  • Post #105 - August 30th, 2014, 5:23 pm
    Post #105 - August 30th, 2014, 5:23 pm Post #105 - August 30th, 2014, 5:23 pm
    I think it kind of drove home the point he was trying to make about people just using buzzwords, not knowing what they mean.


    Yup. People refer to the Green Zebra as an heirloom all the time, and it's certainly marketed as such. It was hybridized and bred by Tom Wagner, a tomato and potato breeder from Everett, Washington - in 1983. In other words, it's one of the newer species ot tomato, and certainly not an "heirloom."
  • Post #106 - August 30th, 2014, 5:31 pm
    Post #106 - August 30th, 2014, 5:31 pm Post #106 - August 30th, 2014, 5:31 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    I think it kind of drove home the point he was trying to make about people just using buzzwords, not knowing what they mean.


    Yup. People refer to the Green Zebra as an heirloom all the time, and it's certainly marketed as such. It was hybridized and bred by Tom Wagner, a tomato and potato breeder from Everett, Washington - in 1983. In other words, it's one of the newer species ot tomato, and certainly not an "heirloom."


    Ha! Never knew that though I should've been able to figure it out since they are always more productive and less susceptible to all the various ailments that tend to affect a lot of my other tomato plants. Any good sources for listings of other interesting hybrids, particularly those bred for our temperamental climate? I'm pretty sure that I'm going to focus on those next year.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #107 - August 31st, 2014, 12:22 pm
    Post #107 - August 31st, 2014, 12:22 pm Post #107 - August 31st, 2014, 12:22 pm
    Heirloom.. there's no set definition for time. (Tom Wagner is really involved with maintaining & creating potato cultivars, btw. Very interesting guy. It was released then- in the early 80's as an open pollinated plant. That's 7 generations stabilized to be considered OP- not including the previous years crossing and selecting to develop it. ) It's not regulated. Used to be something that pointed more towards an old open pollinated strain with a little info on it's origins- and usually 50+ years. (They're not new species- just a new cultivar.)

    Heirloom became easier for people to figure out than open pollinated- then just slapped around as a catch word for sales. Flip side of the same coin are those that think "hybrid" automatically means yields & resistance. It means unstable strain- next generation probably will not be true to type.

    It's a seed saving geek thing, I guess.
  • Post #108 - August 31st, 2014, 6:38 pm
    Post #108 - August 31st, 2014, 6:38 pm Post #108 - August 31st, 2014, 6:38 pm
    Johnny's Seeds is a good source for seeds that do well in northern climates. They are based in Maine and sell to lot of market gardeners in New England and the Midwest.
    http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

    Totally Tomatoes carries a wide range of tomatoes. Ownership has bounced around over the years with at least one of the former owners ending up bankrupt after having all sorts of service and quality problems. Several labels from that owner appear to be owned by Jung Seeds in Randolph, WI.

    http://www.jungseed.com/
    http://www.totallytomato.com/
  • Post #109 - August 31st, 2014, 7:36 pm
    Post #109 - August 31st, 2014, 7:36 pm Post #109 - August 31st, 2014, 7:36 pm
    I love Johnny's. I get most of my seeds from them, and they have wonderful customer service. One of the hybrid tomato varieties that they sell that usually does really good in this climate is Juliet, which I believe they bred. For some reason this summer it has not done as well, but nothing has except my Sun gold tomatoes. Anton's in Evanston always sells transplants of Juliet and Sun Gold.
  • Post #110 - September 16th, 2014, 9:49 am
    Post #110 - September 16th, 2014, 9:49 am Post #110 - September 16th, 2014, 9:49 am
    Hey Jen, How about a picture of your ears.

    Well...... your corn ears, I assume your ears are just like everybody elses. :P

    Anyhow, they should be looking like they are filling/filled by now.

    Tim
  • Post #111 - October 4th, 2014, 7:58 am
    Post #111 - October 4th, 2014, 7:58 am Post #111 - October 4th, 2014, 7:58 am
    Success!
    image.jpg Gem corn from Mamagotcha's holiday party kernels!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #112 - October 4th, 2014, 8:02 am
    Post #112 - October 4th, 2014, 8:02 am Post #112 - October 4th, 2014, 8:02 am
    VERY NICE!! Well done!! You're a farmer!!

    Feels good doesn't it??

    Put it in the crib, you're done for the winter.

    Tim
  • Post #113 - October 4th, 2014, 8:29 am
    Post #113 - October 4th, 2014, 8:29 am Post #113 - October 4th, 2014, 8:29 am
    Sad tho that I still have so much going on in the garden--hoping today's weather (it's COLD out there!) is just a blip but doesn't look good...
    image.jpg Harvest--10-4-14
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #114 - October 4th, 2014, 9:51 am
    Post #114 - October 4th, 2014, 9:51 am Post #114 - October 4th, 2014, 9:51 am
    I love your ears, boudreaulicious! Congrats.

    I've got one blue berries tomato plant still holding fruit. I'm hoping the cold will pass and they will turn the sunny red we all know and love. If not, they'll be fine as is, I'll just have to figure out how to use them. I'm also holding out hope for more purple tomatillos. The peas we planted in the tomato pots are coming along well. The second generation of peas in the hanging planter on the porch is producing enough for the occasional stir fry. Newly planted swiss chard is doing well in three planters. I'm hoping we don't get an early freeze.
  • Post #115 - October 4th, 2014, 11:45 am
    Post #115 - October 4th, 2014, 11:45 am Post #115 - October 4th, 2014, 11:45 am
    My blueberry tomatoes never turned red per se--just a nice rosy blush on the bottom (that sounds kinda risqué but I'm sure you know what I mean :) )
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #116 - October 4th, 2014, 12:58 pm
    Post #116 - October 4th, 2014, 12:58 pm Post #116 - October 4th, 2014, 12:58 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:My blueberry tomatoes never turned red per se--just a nice rosy blush on the bottom (that sounds kinda risqué but I'm sure you know what I mean :) )


    Ay, yep, I'm certainly familiar with the rosy blushed bottom. I guess we were lucky to get ours to turn red. Some even made the transformation back to purple. Unfortunately, when I checked them today, most had split. I'll still figure out a way to use them.
  • Post #117 - October 6th, 2014, 1:09 pm
    Post #117 - October 6th, 2014, 1:09 pm Post #117 - October 6th, 2014, 1:09 pm
    Our tomatoes are still happening-and we harvested the last cucumber this weekend. Peppers are still growing and the cauliflower is tall but no signs of a head yet. Herbs are hanging in there but my basil is not so good. The lemon grass is really big but I really do not know what to do with it. I have only cooked with lemon grass from the store. Any suggestions as to what to do with this-when and how to harvest?
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #118 - October 6th, 2014, 1:58 pm
    Post #118 - October 6th, 2014, 1:58 pm Post #118 - October 6th, 2014, 1:58 pm
    Elfin:

    I've grown lemon grass only a couple of times, mostly as a decorative alternative to spikes. I certainly liked having it available to harvest and use fresh in Thai dishes. I think I probably froze some, but can't remember how I processed it or how happy I was with the results. This may help:

    Lemon Grass
  • Post #119 - October 6th, 2014, 2:02 pm
    Post #119 - October 6th, 2014, 2:02 pm Post #119 - October 6th, 2014, 2:02 pm
    I typically freeze lemon grass, since I seldom need the whole bunch they sell it in.
    Cut off the root end, and remove the dry outer layers until you get to the (slightly) softer, purplish central sections. Cut some into thin slices for soup, freeze in water in ice cube trays. Cut others into 4-6" stalks for dropping into stews/curries. I've found it keeps pretty well.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #120 - October 7th, 2014, 4:32 pm
    Post #120 - October 7th, 2014, 4:32 pm Post #120 - October 7th, 2014, 4:32 pm
    Congratulations, boudreaulicious! I feel like a very proud grandmother! :D

    Freezer Pig, I gave the seed to boudreaulicious from my first crop (that inspired the article here on LTH), and I have some left from that first round (I didn't have a garden that could support corn this year). If you'd like me to send you a handful, I'd be very happy to do so... just shoot me a PM with the address you'd like me to mail them to!

    boudreaulicious, I'm sorry I wasn't on here to celebrate with you right when you posted, but you did a great job and I'm so glad to have been a part of your wonderful gardening year!
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken

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