Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Working Away!

Been planting the fall garden the past few days.

-Yellow Cabbage Collards
-Late Flat Dutch, Winter Drumhead Savoy, Discovery Cabbage
-A mass cross of slicing cucumbers
-Roma II beans
-A mass cross/mix of kale
-Purple Top Globe Turnips
-A new bed of alpine strawberries from my selections
-Daikon raddishes, cherry belle, and a mix I've made
-Sugar Snap and Snow Peas
-Hip-Gnosis Lettuce Mix

Also been busy saving seed from everything under the sun.

This year we grew out a selection I made two years ago from Astronomy Domine, grew it last year and though it was a straight ahead F1 hybrid, this year it is remarkably stable and much like last year. Very pretty 8 row bantam type, about 65 days to fresh eating, starts out bi-color and large kernel and proceedes blue and then starts to dry down to red and black. Definitely and normal sugary type (SU), would probably have relatively high protein. Pretty happy with it for the moment and sticking with it for a few years along with Rainbow Inca.

We have had an incredibly we season here. Apparently Indiana has moved to the Pacific Northwest. Rain like no one has seen in Indiana for at least a hundred years, temperatures that fair the same as well, the coolest year I ever remember.

We have learned a lot of hard lessons this year. We did a number of Open Pollinated sweet corn growouts which I plan on writing a report on later, most of them were so poorly maintained over the years by the likes of seed banks that they were far to inbred to actually be of any merit. The wet weather also brought out the raccons, possums, squirrels, rabbits, deer and other pests like never before, we lost a lot of corn and subsequently a lot of money. Weeds have been another issue all together and we have moved forward with plans for next season to use black plastic mulch in the vegetable gardens, going far more bio-intensive than we ever had this year worked out well, better than I would have thought, I just have to get the weed issues under control.

We have also been working on our "orchard" when the time allows. We have taken on some of the ideas that Thomas Jefferson was espousing at Monticello in regards to "berry blocks", applying this even to strips of orchard trees on the periphery of our fields.

We have filled 95% of the gaps in our seed "library" in the past five years with our newly bred varieties. We now believe we truly have our "repitor" down to a system, we will publish our master seed list later this year for those in this area interested in what we are growing along with why.

We have made the decision recently to invest the next several years into researching field corn varieties. Partly because of our new association with the Becks Mill project and volunteering on the site to help with the agricultural history of the site and partly because someone desperately needs to be working with the time tested open pollinated types.

Next year we will be growing five acres of dent corn for use as on farm chicken feed, grains for sale for farm animals, and also for those who want to feed the squirrels or birds on their property. Hip-Gnosis seed development and Bishop's Homegrown will also be donating this seed to the gift shop at Becks Mill in order to place varieties once grown by the locals and ground at the mill back into the hands of the community which we love.

I just finished uploading about 500 pics from the farm and from mine and Kim's summer journeys onto the computer, I'll upload them to the net along with my more frequent posts over the next few weeks, we have had a blast going on our every other Sunday adventures this summer. Becks Mill, Spring Mill, Marengo Cave, Onedia Kentucky and Daniel Boone National Forestry, and the little Swiss Amish community right down the road in Salem Indiana.

I expect to start updating this blog with small updates on a much more regular basis now, at least once every couple days. Could be a new research article, could be a blurb, could be a simple as a picture, the truth is though that if I hope to help anyone with this blog or to get their attention and interest in agriculture I'm going to have to spend a bit more time here in the future.

I hope everyone is doing well and having a terrific summer!


1 comment:

Glenn said...

You are a rock star, Bro! Keep up the great work. Looking forward to reading more frequent posts from Bishop's Homegrown & can't wait to see the Hip-Gnosis fall seed list!