Gardeners Network Reports for 2005

 

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 varieties.
( All of the reports are in .pdf format and require Acrobat Reader to view.)

 

Chapalote “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.

 

Minnie's 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.

 

Hopi 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.

 

San 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.

 

Hopi 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 configuration.

 

Tarahumara 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 you.

If you would like to participate in the Gardeners Network contact Suzanne Nelson at snelson@nativeseeds.org or call 520.881.4804.

 

Darrol Shillingburg
darrols@comcast.net
December 2005

click on the images
for my Gardener's Reports


Chapolte "Pinole Maiz"


Minnie's Apache Hubbard Squash


Hopi Pumpkin


San Felipe Pueblo White Tepary Bean


Hopi Black Pinto Beans


Tarahumara Purple Beans

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