A Seed Saver's Garden

heirloomgal

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The last few tomatoes that need fermenting. I’m quite pleased that Gruschevij turned out so well, I had only one seed left that sprouted. That one was a rescue mission since no one offers it here anymore.
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Pulsegleaner

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Yesterday, I THOGHT I was going to report the first harvest of mature lablab beans from my plants, since one pod had turned brown and produced three seeds. But overnight, those seeds shrunk down and flattened A LOT, so that pod is presumably one that aborted early. There's probably a good forty more on the plant and plenty of warm weather left, so I'm not worried, but I suppose it's a bit premature to make any conclusions about the seeds, like final color (the three I got were light brown, but that could just as easily be the color they discolored to as their real one.)

As more annoying news, I had to take apart yet ANOTHER of my reference ears (the ears of corn I keep in one piece to use to compare to later ones.) As far as I can tell, after sitting in my desk drawer for so long, some carpet beetles got in there and started chowing down. Though carpet beetle larva do seem to eat corn in an odd way (they SOMETIMES get down and eat the germ, like most bugs would, but mostly seem to simply strip off the pericarp and aleurone from the top of the kernels on the ear and move on, so it looks like someone scratched the surface off the ear with a rasp.) At this point, the only ears that are still in one piece are the three Glass Gem colored rice type ones, and I'm inclined to stick those in a Ziploc and put them somewhere else while they still are. I managed to rescue the undamaged kernels from all of the others, so I haven't actually LOST anything, but I'll miss having a complete ear of Andean corn I could compare things to (and, unlike the others that were in the drawer, I know my odds of being able to plant the remaining kernels and generate a new replacement ear are remote, given how hard it is to grow Andean corn outside of the Andes).
 

heirloomgal

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Yesterday, I THOGHT I was going to report the first harvest of mature lablab beans from my plants, since one pod had turned brown and produced three seeds. But overnight, those seeds shrunk down and flattened A LOT, so that pod is presumably one that aborted early. There's probably a good forty more on the plant and plenty of warm weather left, so I'm not worried, but I suppose it's a bit premature to make any conclusions about the seeds, like final color (the three I got were light brown, but that could just as easily be the color they discolored to as their real one.)

As more annoying news, I had to take apart yet ANOTHER of my reference ears (the ears of corn I keep in one piece to use to compare to later ones.) As far as I can tell, after sitting in my desk drawer for so long, some carpet beetles got in there and started chowing down. Though carpet beetle larva do seem to eat corn in an odd way (they SOMETIMES get down and eat the germ, like most bugs would, but mostly seem to simply strip off the pericarp and aleurone from the top of the kernels on the ear and move on, so it looks like someone scratched the surface off the ear with a rasp.) At this point, the only ears that are still in one piece are the three Glass Gem colored rice type ones, and I'm inclined to stick those in a Ziploc and put them somewhere else while they still are. I managed to rescue the undamaged kernels from all of the others, so I haven't actually LOST anything, but I'll miss having a complete ear of Andean corn I could compare things to (and, unlike the others that were in the drawer, I know my odds of being able to plant the remaining kernels and generate a new replacement ear are remote, given how hard it is to grow Andean corn outside of the Andes).
I imagine that growing Andean corn outside of the Andes is not an easy feat for sure. Probably needs a very long season?

As to your munched corn, maybe glass jars for the remaining precious cobs?
 

Pulsegleaner

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I imagine that growing Andean corn outside of the Andes is not an easy feat for sure. Probably needs a very long season?
270 days and, to make it worse, that has to be 270 days of EARLY SPRING weather, like what you'd get in mid April to early May. The heat of summer stunts and kills it just the same as the cold of winter. As far as I know there are VERY few other spots where you can pull that off (the area around Fort Portal in Uganda where Joe got all those beans may be one, since it is also more or less on the equator but really high up, but I don't know of many more.

Actually growing the vast majority of Andean crops is hard outside the Andes, since they're ALL used to that. It's one big reason why my attempt to grow ahipa (the Andean relative of jicama) never got anywhere; the plants sprouted and flowered all right, but, with no insects that wanted to pollinate them, I got no seeds back, and with no extra long season, it never had time to start work on any tubers (though, so far, this beats the Bambarra Groundnuts, which I can't seem to get to even germinate.)



As to your munched corn, maybe glass jars for the remaining precious cobs?
I DO use glass for the loose kernels, small jars or what are called "tissue vials" (the little screw top glass vials they use for samples in medical labs. The Container Store used to sell them [They seem to have stopped, but I have bought so many over the years that, if I am willing to take the time to paw through the giant bin in my room, I can pretty much always find a matching top and bottom],) depending on how much. But a jar big enough to hold three ears of corn, (even three mini ones) with their husks still on the ends would be a pretty big jar, very easy to knock over and break if I'm careless.

I'd also have to first confirm the ears are still truly pest free. Back when I first got most of the odd mini corn I'm growing now, the ears I bought were falling apart and INFESTED with both grain weevils and granary/pantry moths (which probably indicates it was super old when I got it, as granary moths infest stored grains, not ones in the field, and take a while to get established. I did remove the damaged kernels and put the rest away in a jar, but I ended up having to open that jar and go back through it more or less every day for a MONTH because it did not occur to me that some of the grains had moth eggs INSIDE them that would hatch, let the larva feed pupate, eat it's way out, and promptly infect the OTHER kernels in the jar. The same jar that was meant to keep the bugs out ended up keeping the bugs IN! Lost a really interesting full sized kernel I was planning to plant that way (only time I ever saw a truly grey colored corn kernel). And similar incidents have happened from time to time since; the weevils in the Bambarra groundnuts I got from Kenya (I knew they were insect damaged when I got them, but didn't know there were still insects ALIVE in there (as well as, I think, insects eating the insects, as some sort of small fly kept sometimes showing up and since I know of no fly that eats grains, I have to assume it was a parasite of the weevil larvae.) and then proceeded to hide out in corners of my room and chew holes in any groudnuts I dropped and forgot to pick up for a while).
 

heirloomgal

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270 days and, to make it worse, that has to be 270 days of EARLY SPRING weather, like what you'd get in mid April to early May. The heat of summer stunts and kills it just the same as the cold of winter. As far as I know there are VERY few other spots where you can pull that off (the area around Fort Portal in Uganda where Joe got all those beans may be one, since it is also more or less on the equator but really high up, but I don't know of many more.

Actually growing the vast majority of Andean crops is hard outside the Andes, since they're ALL used to that. It's one big reason why my attempt to grow ahipa (the Andean relative of jicama) never got anywhere; the plants sprouted and flowered all right, but, with no insects that wanted to pollinate them, I got no seeds back, and with no extra long season, it never had time to start work on any tubers (though, so far, this beats the Bambarra Groundnuts, which I can't seem to get to even germinate.)




I DO use glass for the loose kernels, small jars or what are called "tissue vials" (the little screw top glass vials they use for samples in medical labs. The Container Store used to sell them [They seem to have stopped, but I have bought so many over the years that, if I am willing to take the time to paw through the giant bin in my room, I can pretty much always find a matching top and bottom],) depending on how much. But a jar big enough to hold three ears of corn, (even three mini ones) with their husks still on the ends would be a pretty big jar, very easy to knock over and break if I'm careless.

I'd also have to first confirm the ears are still truly pest free. Back when I first got most of the odd mini corn I'm growing now, the ears I bought were falling apart and INFESTED with both grain weevils and granary/pantry moths (which probably indicates it was super old when I got it, as granary moths infest stored grains, not ones in the field, and take a while to get established. I did remove the damaged kernels and put the rest away in a jar, but I ended up having to open that jar and go back through it more or less every day for a MONTH because it did not occur to me that some of the grains had moth eggs INSIDE them that would hatch, let the larva feed pupate, eat it's way out, and promptly infect the OTHER kernels in the jar. The same jar that was meant to keep the bugs out ended up keeping the bugs IN! Lost a really interesting full sized kernel I was planning to plant that way (only time I ever saw a truly grey colored corn kernel). And similar incidents have happened from time to time since; the weevils in the Bambarra groundnuts I got from Kenya (I knew they were insect damaged when I got them, but didn't know there were still insects ALIVE in there (as well as, I think, insects eating the insects, as some sort of small fly kept sometimes showing up and since I know of no fly that eats grains, I have to assume it was a parasite of the weevil larvae.) and then proceeded to hide out in corners of my room and chew holes in any groudnuts I dropped and forgot to pick up for a while).
There is one sort of gray corn I know of, called Winnebago. I bought a pack earlier this year.

Heritage Harvest Seed also has a corn with some grey in it, though it isn't completely grey-ish.
 
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heirloomgal

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To pick or not to pick. That is the question.
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Musan soybean looking near ready.
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They alway show up about now.
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Well, the Green Pepper basil did nada this season.😒
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The late planted Bolita beans. Probably not going to make it at this point.
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Frauenbohne. 🥰
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Pulsegleaner

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There is one sort of gray corn I know of, called Winnebago. I bought a pack earlier this year.

Heritage Harvest Seed also has a corn with some grey in it, though it isn't completely grey-ish.
I would not consider EITHER of those grey; they're white/cream with blue speckles/markings (the Winnebago looks a bit like Navajo Robin's Egg*) I meant ACTUALLY grey, as in midway between black and white (I'd say it was the color commonly called "dove grey".)
 

flowerbug

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Moot point, I checked, and they got to those three ears as well (it's harder to tell with popcorn, since hard starch is translucent and so doesn't show the bright white edges soft starch would. I'll break, sort and jar them later today.

perhaps put some samples of each into separate jars just in case they get bugs or you might break them?
 

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