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, September 1, 2010

Amanda Palmer corn updates.

Finally finished cleaning corn seed for the year. The shear amount of Amanda Palmer ears we chose to clean for seed by hand shelling was daunting in and of itself, particulary when pilled onto the daily list of chores to do on the farm on top of preparing for fall and winter, planting and harvesting other seeds, researching new varieties and histories all while trying to find time to build a new shed for farm equipement and cut fire wood.

All in all we produced well over 100 lbs of seed for this season. We have also been hand grinding grits and meal from this corn as well as shelling it as the primary food stuff for our turkey genepool, rabbits, and goats. I can't even begin to explain the amount of respect I have for the Native Americans and later settlers who ground their own corn. Even with the convinience of a modern hand cranked sheller, grinding corn by hand is no easy prospect; four times through the mill for grits, five times for meal, and it's still a bit "gritty". But the taste is fantastic, rich, nutty, real corn flavor, the addition of Tuxpeno germplasm adds something that I just can't quite pinpoint at the momnent in terms of taste. Right now the freezer is stacked with over 50 lbs of meal and grits and we had a wonderful serving of Amanda Palmer grits with fried rabbit last night, some of the best grits I've ever had, certainly better than anything you'll ever find at the store.

I'm also exceptionally pleased with the agronomic performance of this new synthetic population, lots of strong, stiff stalks, many prolific (2 ears or more stalks), large ears, good cool and wet soil germination, and excellent drought tolerance. Granted this is the first year for the inter maraige of these varieties, but the potential for some truly amazing future varieties is here. This is the field corn sister of my Astronomy Domine sweet corn. I've noticed a definite preference by the turkeys for red kernels and tuxpeno influenced kernels, more to come on that soon.

Above you can also a pic from last week of the corn crib, it's a bit more full than that now, the storage room for the corn/feed alone makes all the trouble of taking it down and putting it back up well worth while, later this fall we will be buying about 20-40 bushels of OP corn from a friend. Next season we hopefully will not have to buy any supplimentary feed.

Our goal is to allow the Amanda Palmer genepool and the Kiva turkey genepool to co-evolve with one another. Feeding the turkeys and ourselves the corn, recycling the cobs into turkey bedding, composting the bedding and manure, using the compost for AP fertilizer, and saving the seeds from AP for replanting, eating the turkeys; this is true self sufficient farming.

In the top picture you can see an outstanding Edamame Soybean selection which showed outstanding production qualities, we have been saving seed from our huge Edamame grex over the past few days as well, selecting the most productive and disease tolerant plants we find, we have been in drought for the last month and a half so drought tolerance and stress is already there and these were planted on completely unamended red clay, so low soil fertility is also automatically selected for. I also snaped a quick picture of one of the Rio Grande wild turkeys checking things out while I pick the edamame pods.

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