welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Friday, August 22, 2008

the garden

While the peppers and tomatoes are still going strong, the rest of the garden is winding down. I just picked the last of the beets for the year. Not enough to can, but enough to pickle and use for red beet eggs. Or, pink beet eggs. These are chioggia beets, a very pretty mix of pink, peach, and white. Perhaps they aren't as productive as some of the more popular varieties, but they sure are pretty on the plate!

Soon all that will be left is the field corn. Yes, field corn. Why plant field corn, you ask? Well why not? I have animals, they like corn, and I have the space. Actually the inspiration was from a couple of books I read by Gene Logsdon, whose work I highly recommend. I started wondering why pay good money for corn when it could be grown on my own land quite easily. And so I planted "Reid's Yellow Dent". It is an heirloom corn, open pollinated (which means I can save seed for next year), and not genetically modified by some scientists who think that just because you can do something, you should (but don't get me started!). I'll be saving some ears from the strongest stalks that produced two large ears each. This will be my seed for next year. By saving the strongest and most productive, I hope to maintain, if not improve my crop.

My plan is to steal a few ears for myself and try my hand at making cornmeal. (Think fresh cornbread with a bowl of chili on a cold winter's evening.) I only planted a small patch this year. Next year I'll plant more. Maybe I'll even plant some kidney beans for that chili.

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