Gardeners Network Reports
Its the end of the first year for the Native
Seed SEARCH - Gardeners Network program
and my data and reports are in. Earlier in the year I wrote
about the varieties that I had chosen to grow for the
program and have posted those results plus two additional
( All of the reports are in .pdf format and require Acrobat
Reader to view.)
“Pinole Maiz” (pdf) – One
of the four most ancient corns, it is small kernelled with
slender ears, and the only brown corn. Makes a sweet meal
excellent for pinole. Originally collected in Sinaloa Mexico.
Truly an experiment in adding diversity to my garden, table
and personal seed bank. Maiz is particularly challenging to
grow and maintain in small kitchen gardens.
Apache Hubbard Squash (pdf) – A blue
ribbon winner at the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair. Fruits
are variable in sizes and shapes, light to dark orange skin
with white or tan seeds. Bright orange flesh is non-stringy
and sweet. Last offered in the 1991 catalog! A very vigorous
grower, but not very productive or flavorful. I'll need another
growing season to decide if this squash is an annual event
in my garden.
Pumpkin (pdf) - Fruits can be round or elongated,
striped or solid green turning yellow as they mature. Originally
collected from Hotevilla, Arizona. This year the Hopi
Pumpkin was more productive than last year. It is our favorite
summer squash and now that I have learned how to prepare the
winter storage fruit - they are going fast.
Felipe Pueblo White Tepary Bean (pdf)
– Produces large white seeds mixed with
enormous (for a tepary) light tan, flattened seeds. White
and lilac flowers with large leaves. It is a recent grow-out
of a 1990 collection from 5200ft in New Mexico. They
were very easy to grow and productive even when dry gardened.
I did not water this monsoon season planting of Tepary Beans.
A truly delightful climbing bean.
Black Pinto Bean (pdf) – a striking
black and white/beige pinto, dry farmed in Hopi fields in
northeastern Arizona. It is an early maturing bushy-pole bean
with colorful mottled pods. High yielding. This is a
very drought tolerant, but not shade tolerant bean. I planted
it with Amaranth that shaded the beans - great crop of Amaranth,
but not of beans. Next year I'll use a different planting
Purple Beans (pdf) - High-yielding bean with
gorgeous, large, shiny, deep-purple seeds. Sweet taste, smooth
texture. Pole bean producing both white and lilac flowers.
A collection from the high arid Mesa de Agostadero, Chihuahua.
This one appears to be a nearly perfect bean for the kitchen
garden. Grows and climbs eagerly, tolerates the cooler end
of season nights (but not frost hardy) and produces great
green and dried beans. What more could one want from a bean?
These additions will increase my small collection
of regional heritage varieties to an even ten; some growing
easily alongside newer cultivars and some replacing them with
superior tastes. All in all it has been a great growing season
for the native southwest varieties.
I encourage you to explore our regional diversity
of foods and will be delighted to discuss the program with
If you would like to participate in the Gardeners
Network contact Suzanne Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 520.881.4804.