17 July 2007

Next Summer's Crops

So here's what I'm planning for the Summer.  As usual I don't have enough bed-space for them all, so I'd best get digging!  I'm also getting the rotovator fixed so that I can clear some "field" space for the more broadscale stuff.  My focus is threefold:
  • First, and most important, is our food supply -- the self-sufficiency thing.  Dried beans, sunflower-seed, grains, winter squashes for storage.
  • Second, I am strongly leaning towards selling some produce, hence an eye towards visually appealing varieties, unusual and unique stuff, and things that will appeal to gourmet chefs.  My thinking is to sell and exclusive range to just a few upmarket restaurants.
  • Third, seed-saving; keeping all the varieties going, plus enough to sell seed.
Tough challenge, and, in honesty, I doubt that I'll achieve it all.  Still, if you don't aim high... New varieties that we've never tried before are marked with a *; all seed is from our own stocks, except those marked with a § (and, of course, the * varieties, too).
The List
Salad mix -- more-or-less a year-round thing; the only time it slows down is in Dec/Jan, when high temperatures inhibit germination of the Lettuces.  Easily solved with a bit of shadecloth, or by putting the seed-trays in a cool, damp place.
  • lettuce (about 12-14 varieties)
  • pak choy
  • tat soi
  • red mustard
  • rocket
  • chicory
  • radicchio - Red of Veronna
  • curly endive
  • radish
  • spring onions
  • chives, garlic chives
  • brandywine
  • a mysterious "sweet pink" variety that was mixed in with another packet of seed
  • cherokee purple
  • black krim
  • gold nugget
  • ida gold
  • lime green
  • tigerella
  • roman candle*
  • purple russian*
  • black cherry*
(Thanks to Patrick for suggesting the last two -- I'm looking forward to them very much!) Cucumbers:
  • lemon cuke -- quite insect resistant; very important here
  • chinese golden
  • telegraph improved (maybe!)
  • hopi black (field scale)
  • dragon's lingerie (field scale)
  • rattlesnake
  • chickpeas§
  • yellow wax
  • Japanese White
  • Black Beauty
  • Japanese Purple (if I can get hold of some)
  • crimson globe (the old standby)
  • golden (hopefully -- I had very poor germination, and this is a last-ditch attempt with the remaining seed from last year)
  • chioggia*
Squashes & Pumpkin:
  • black futsu (yum!)
  • butternut (very common commercially, and cheap, so I may drop them)
  • yellow straightneck§
  • caserta (as baby marrow)
  • mystery round squash
  • golden hubbard (may also get dropped, depending on space)
  • table queen
  • "gnome" (mottled orange/yellow winter sq., about 1/2kg, very tasty)
  • some sort of Pumpkin for seeds*
You can probably tell that I do quite a bit of my "seed shopping" in the produce stores and supermarket. ;-)
  • jalapeño
  • cherry
  • habanero
  • serrano
  • "anaheim" (misnamed, methinks)
  • ancho
  • tabasco
  • red hat
  • pasilla*
  • new mex big jim* (had them in the past and then managed to lose the variety!)
Snap Peas - Golden Sweet, Sugar Snap
Sweet Potato
Sorghum* (for chook feed)
Wheat* (maybe, depending on space, energy)
Artichokes -- Purple of Romagna
Cabbage (a bit neglected in Summer, but coleslaw is always nice on hot evenings) Kohlrabi - Early Purple Vienna (or maybe not)
Watermelon - Moon & Stars*
Leeks (just a few)
Sweet Pepper - Cosmic Purple*, California Wonder* (maybe)
Swiss Chard - Luculus
Parsley (plain, flat-leaf kind -- much more flavoursome!)
Coriander/dhanya (we eat a lot of curries and Indian dishes)
Throw in an assortment of herbs, and that's about it!

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