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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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Some Interesting Observations as of 7/5/07

-OSU purple tomatoes are producing fairly prolifically in some 5 gallon trade nursery pots providing ample opporotunities for crosses between them and the ever popular Sungold F1 tomato.

-Astronomy Domine is about 1 week from being ready for table for the most part. Since there are so many cultivars in the heritage of Astronomy Domine the harvest is in an extended window of nearly three weeks difference. Always interesting. This year nearly 50 new cultivars have been added to the mix. The next several years will see selections of segragates and isolation in order to "perfect" new lines of open pollinated and mostly sugar enhanced sweet corn lines. There is a lot of potential here.

-10,000 B.C. is the name of a new Grex of sweet corns we are working with. The intention being a multi-colored and multi-purpose normal suguary sweet corn variety which can also be used as an animal feed or for other uses. 50 varieties, many which were accessed via seed banks the world over but which were far to degraded in terms of inbreding depression to warrant growout and issolation have now been merged. Tassling and silking at the moment.

-The tomato patch is growing along nicely. Not as many varieties in the past, trying to focus in more on varieties I have developed and creating a market for those varieties locally while also increasing seed to send out all over the world to be selected for localities outside of the Ohio Valley. Apparently Jack White and Absinthe both have quite the fanfare in France and elsewhere. Very happy about that.

-Working deeply with soil fertility theories. Found a couple good sources of bat guano that was sustainably and responsibly harvested. Working with both Guano and Worm castings in fertilizing fruit trees and alpine strawberries and both will play a large part this fall in the greenhouse in which we will use rotten sawdust and good quality manure and topsoil to make the floor of the greenhouse into a raised bed. More to come then.

-Growing out and selecting from a massive number of Alpine Strawberry cultivars to find the very best of them and select for a larger size. Also obtained some seed of several F. Chilonese varieties which have germinated well and will be potted up this week. Must still track down the ever elusive Musk Strawberry that I hear so much about! Got any? Want to share? Shoot me an e-mail at

-Our orchard is growing well, the grafted pear trees from this past spring are growing rather quickly, some more or less open pollinated tart cherries started from pits are now nearly eight inches tall in their first season and we had a lot of luck with germinating some local persimmon population seeds!

-The poultry is coming along nicely. We just used a couple bantams to hatch out a fairly large nest of guinea keets which we are selling to some good friends of ours. The turkeys are still young but some of the Toms are growing very quickly and learning to strut already. Our goal is to keep larger type heritage turkeys that are good for meat but to breed in some new color combinations. At the moment we have Black Spanish, Bourbon Red, Blue Slate, Naraganset, and Standard Bronze. A lot of fun to watch and beautiful to boot.

Updates and the such.

Making an effort to find the time to update the blog and Homegrown Goodness with the minimum of information during the busy growing season. I was digging around looking for information on Thomas Jefferson's growouts at Monticello and came across his "garden journal" which to say the least is very intriguing to read. Basic information, not a whole lot of description or detail, but very interesting.

Anyhow, that gave me some inspiration to start updating this thing over the growing season even though with limited time it will prove quite a bit difficult. You can check out the garden journal here.

So much is going on in regard to plant breeding and development here on the farm, lots and lots of exciting experiments and growouts! It's such a beautiful experience to explore the farm and the diversity planted here. The poulty breeding is going great as well with the new turkeys coming along nicely.

Kim and I have been taking many pictures of projects and making notes regarding our growouts like crazy, all will find their way online in the near future, sometimes there just isn't enough time in a day for all we would like to do or say, but soon enough my friends......

Anyhow, expect short updates and descriptive posts soon. Sorry for the absence but you must make hay while the sun in shining!