Looming zombie apocalyspe notwithstanding, the humans of Seven Trees are eternal apocaloptimists. Plan for the worst, hope for the best – is one of our mottos.
Going on the assumption that the world isn’t going to end on December 21st (as some folks interpret the Mayan calendar), we’ve ordered seeds and seed potatoes for the next growing season. We’re also getting better at seed saving and storage, so much of our food and fodder crops will come from homegrown seed.
New for 2013:
- Floriani Red Flint Corn – this red-kerneled corn is reputed to have 20% protein and make wonderful meal for tamales and tortillas. It has a longer growing season than our current fave, Painted Mountain, but we’ll give it a try.
- Rossa di Milano Onion – a red storage onion. It just looks nice and will be a good complement to our usual Copra.
- Donkey Spinach – a new (hybrid) variety that is supposed to be even better than our current favorite, Tyee. We’ll see for ourselves…
- Winter Wonderland Lettuce – this romaine variety is touted as being especially cold-hardy, and after growing Olga for years, we’re ready for something new.
- Beedys Camden Kale – dark, green, and overwinters in zone 5. We quit growing kale for a while because it drew cabbage worms to our broccoli, but we want to grow good winter greens for our flock, so we’re giving this a try.
- Odessa Market Sweet Pepper – thanks to our mini-hoophouses, pepper grow like crazy at Seven Trees. This variety sounds like a tasty one for fresh eating.
- Jaluv An Attitude Hot Pepper – developed by an amateur breeder, this pepper is supposed to have thicker skin, a hot & fruity flavor, and produce & dry well in northern climes. We shall see.
- Beaver Dam Hot Pepper – Fedco says “Early for its size and a heavy producer in normal years, sets several pendulous shiny horn-shaped 6″ red-orange fruits per plant, 3″ wide at the shoulders, tapering to a blunt point. Both sweet and with heat. Most of its mild spice is in its seeds and ribs so you can excise those if you wish. Or leave them in to enjoy its nice peppery flavor. Heirloom brought to Beaver Dam, WI, in 1912 by the Joe Hussli family.”
- Burbank Hulless Barley – we’ve been growing winter wheat for the hens (and us) and are looking to expand our grain selection. Hulless and 14% protein make this heirloom barley too tempting to pass up.
Some new spud choices:
- Sieglende – “A waxy type potato from Austria and Germany, great for making potato salads with rich, buttery flavor. Very easy to grow and is an abundant producer.”
- Rose Finn Apple Fingerling – taking a break from our usual Ozette fingerling, Rose Finn is reputed to be easy to grow and a good keeper, with rosy pink skin and buttery yellow flesh.
- Marris Piper – a high-yielding, general-purpose heirloom potato from the British Isles. No clue as to storage quality or disease resistance, but what the heck.
Some tried & true repeat performers for 2013:
- Copra onion
- Czech Black hot pepper
- Nantes Fancy carrot
- Black zucchini
- Sugar Pie pumpkin
- Sweet Meat squash
- Red Sails lettuce
- Ruby Perfection cabbage
- Bright Lights chard
- Littleleaf cucumber
- Hidatsa Shield Figure dry bean
- Blue Lake Pole green bean
- Danish Ballhead cabbage
Our first batch of homegrown chicklets is doing fine. Looks like 8 pullets and 7 cockerels, if we’re correct with our evaluation of comb, feathering and body shape. We’ll keep back one baby roo so we can work on 2 bloodlines for our Olive-egger project, crossing him with our Welsumer and Cuckoo Marans hens. The pullets should start to lay in late March, hopefully olive and khaki green eggs.