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, January 19, 2011

A Few Good Plants: A damn good seed source!

Recently Stuart stopped by Homegrown Goodness to update us on his awesome little seed company. We grew a bit of seed in 2010 to share with our good frined this year and are extremely proud to see some of our varieties offered through his amazing little seed company! We hope to continue the tradition next year and in time we have spoken of trying to create a web of bio-regional seed companies that link together and share breeding projects, the west coast is obviously already well supplied, I know of a few on the east coast and a couple in the south, we are hoping that Face Of The Earth and A Few Good Plants can fill in the mid-west gap!

Anyhow, here is Stuart's update in case you missed it:

Greetings to all on the forum.

This year's website and photo essay are finally on-line at .

First, thanks to all of the seed trialers here, and for your progress reports.

Thanks to close-by neighbors and farmer/seedsavers:

Jim and Robbins Hail of Bear Creek Farms for growing out Bear Creek, Yoder's German Yellow, Rose Quartz X Black Cherry and Virginia Sweet tomatoes, as well as the Mexican June corn.

M Simrell for growing out our Dugat's Yellow Cornmeal corn.

Not as close, but still much appreciated, growers Alan Bishop, Dr. Alan Kapuler, Wildgarden Seeds, and Horizen Herbs.

Thanks to Laura Phillips for photos of my garden.

For individual variety photos, a thank you to:

Alan Bishop

Susan Anderson, South East Texas Tomato Festival (SETTFest) .

Tatiana Kouchnareva

And a heads up to all about the importance of Farm (or garden) grown and saved seeds. Please read: Acres USA Seeds of Sustainability: Preserving The Past One Plant At A Time,

Now, a progress report from SW Missouri.

We grew two dent corns that did quite well, Dugat's Yellow cornmeal corn, and Mexican June. We also have seeds for Alan's Astronomy Domine Sweet Corn.

Our best tomato producer, again this year, was Old Brooks. For a container tomato, the variety Mini Rose did very well, and has a great flavor. Our neighbor's Bear Creek and Yoder's German Yellow tomatoes are great slicers, and very good producers, as well, at least in our region.

We grew the pea variety, Amplissimo Viktoria Ukrainskaya, this year to see how a soup pea variety would grow here, and it produced very well. Some of the plants did have some powdery mildew, but that didn't seem to hurt production very much. We also grew the Blizzard snow pea, and it did very well for us for the third year in a row, but we did not grow enough to sell any seed. I plan to grow it for seed this spring. (Fedco Seeds still has seed available, as of today, January 11, 2011.)

We grew Burpee's Butterbush winter squash this year, and we were very impressed with its performance. The first squash mature here in 70 or 75 days from transplant, and they kept producing for us until first frost.

We're selling Alan's selection of Long Island Cheese squash, too.

The only green bean we grew this year was the Ga-Ga Hut pinto bean. We've grown this bean for about 10 years now, and it always does well. It's mainly a dry bean, maturing in 70 days, but the young pods are also good as snap beans.

There's another variety that we have great expectations for, Dr. Alan Kapuler's "Three Root Grex Beet". Dr. Kapuler's description: "An interbreeding mix of three distinctive cultivars, Crosby Egyptian Purple Heirloom, Lutz Overwintering Heirloom and Yellow Intermediate Mangel Heirloom." Our seeds this year come from Peace Seeds, but we've grown this variety several times and it does very well in both spring and fall plantings. If our beets overwinter, we hope to have Missouri grown seeds next year.

Best wishes to all of you (and your gardens) in 2011.

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