Wild Men on the North Fork

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Peppers - Squash | Tomato - Watermelon
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Wyogrow...where the tough get growing, by Fred Jacquot
I have been an active gardener in the Casper area now for over 30 years. Back when I first started no one could tell a beginner what kind of carrots or tomatoes grew best here. Because I have been taking notes all these years, you can find out what plants do best in Wyoming on the 'vegetable varieties' pages, whose links are above.
Along with my partners Mark McAtee and Paul Combe I have done a lot of experimenting and research. You can find the results of this activity on these many pages. Please click on the links and start viewing our work. I think you will find that there is a huge amount of information available here for you. Enjoy!

Below are a few links to some nice garden sites.

Raspberry De Light Farms
Texas A&M Vegetables
Here is a link to Garden Guides!
Rocky Mountain Garden Forum
Garden Humor
About Composting

Main Season Notes 2013

March 20, 2013

The Three Most Important Factors in Gardening Success

I. Climate Modification

Birds do it, bees do it. Farmers do it on a big scale.


WINDBREAKS

CONTOUR PLOWING

IRRIGATION

Farmers all over the world modify the climate in which they grow crops. Among the methods they use are windbreaks, countour plowing and irrigation. They know, as we should know, that climate modification is necessary.

The Wind Kills

We once had an 80 mph wind gust the day after we set out our tomatoes. That stripped all the leaves off of the plants. That inspired us to begin using tubes to keep the wind off. All but one of the plants put on new leaves and survived. We found that there are multiple advantages to using thick-walled plastic tubing. It keeps the wind off the tender young plant that is going through root shock. If pushed down into the ground, it prevents cut worms from attacking.
Tubes provide thermal mass, and radiate heat back to the plant during the evening. They allow just enough wind to strike the plant to allow it to wiggle. This makes the stem stronger. When the plant does grow up out of the tube it is ready to handle the wind.
We use tubes for Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber, and Bean. The tender sprouts of the last two attract a lot of attention from the beetles. Tubes provide a barrier to the bugs. In the case of Cucumber, we tie a netting over the tube. When the plant grows large enough to touch the netting, it is also strong enough to withstand beetle attack, and we remove the netting.

Fences and wind barriers of all kinds are used in Wyoming gardens, and you should seriously consider using some in your garden.

Watering

We have found that tubes also help the watering process. When it is super hot outside, we like to water every other day. But tomatoes love water (they also love good drainage...go figure). When I water the Tomatoes and Peppers I simply fill the tubes full of water. The water seeps slowly into the soil for a deep watering, which is what I want. But beware. Do not do this early in the season. I killed some tomato plants one season by watering deeply this way too early. I would not water this way unless the plant is at least twice as high as when I set it out, and the temperatures are very warm.

The time to plan how you are going to water your garden is before you plant. Where exactly will the hose end up when you drag it through your beds? Will you need to drive stakes for hose control?

Please click on the links below to take you to other climate-related pages.

Climate/Conditions

Raised Beds

II. Soils

Clay soils, in particular, will compact through the process of watering. So even if you never trod on tilled soil you can be compacting it every time you water. Always take the opportunity to mix some humus in as you till, and to mix it into the soil surrounding trees and bushes. Humus is available in the forms of peat moss, manure, and compost. Peat can be purchased by the bag, or by the bale. It comes to us mostly from Canada It is dug there from old lake beds, and contains the plant remains of hundreds, even thousands of years of lake-plant growth. Peat moss provides great humus that is slightly acidic. That acidity will neutralize some of the alkali in our soils.

Manures have different degrees of 'hotness', or concentrations of nitrogen. Sheep manure is the hottest available to Casper residents. To obtain some you may have to drive out into the countryside to ranches that feed herds of sheep over the winter. Never use fresh sheep manure. Use only aged sheep manure, and use it sparingly. Even aged sheep manure can burn plants if it is too concentrated.

Horse manure is 'hotter' than cow manure, and has fewer active seeds. Use manure that has aged in a pile for a least a year, as that composting tends to kill a lot of seeds in the manure.

Tiny grains of clay in freshly tilled soil are widely separated. During compaction there is less and less space between them. Because they are very thin they orient horizontally during compaction, forming a barrier that is virtually impossible for roots to penetrate.

Sandy soil also presents problems. Think humus and manure...or organics. Sandy soil is severly lacking in organics. Till some in every year until you get a more acceptable soil mix.

Please click on this link to go to the Soils page.

III. Selection

I have developed my one third rule for gardening in Wyoming. Basically, you will get 1/3 less from a garden in Wyoming than you will get from one in Iowa, perhaps even less. The fruit that you get will be 1/3 smaller, or the volume of production will be 1/3 less.

When I apply the 1/3 rule to climate I get results that are sobering. I calculate that here in Casper our growing season is 114 days. But those 114 days are not comperable to the same number of growing days in Iowa. Many of our nights dip well below 50 degrees farenheit. To get an equivalent I multiply 114 by 2 and get 228. Then I divide by three and I get 76. Thus, in Casper we have a growing season of 76 Iowa-days. That has serious implications when you are selecting varieties to plant in you garden. You will want to plant very short-season varieties.

Below are links to my vegetable variety pages. There are many tables. In the first column of these tables are four-letter links followed by numbers. The four letters are shorthand links to the sites of seed suppliers and the numbers are the days-to-maturity that each seed provider estimates for that variety. Thus, 'Burp65' is a link to the Burpee seed site and 65 would be the days-to-maturity that Burpee estimates for the particular variety in question. Use these links. I have done a lot of leg work for you.

Beans - Carrot

Cauliflower - Corn

Cucumber - Peas

Peppers - Squash

Tomato - Watermelon

April 19, 2013

My wife refers to the local deer in our neighborhood as the 'gang of nine'. They have already been through the area at night casing out the tulips. They know where the tulips are, and are just waiting for the blossoms to show to begin grazing on them. Some folks plant daffodils around the tulips to deter the deer. Others pour on solutions containing hot pepper. My own experience is that the daffodils do not work. The pepper may work. My wife is trying it this Spring. I will report back on this effort.

This is not good daffodil country. My cross-the-street neighbor has a lot of them and they come up and bloom as much as four weeks before mine do. Right now both his and mine are burried in snow. I always say that it is not Spring until the daffodils have been snowed upon at least 4 times. It must be Spring now, because we have had four snow storms in April alone that dumped snow on the daffodils: 8th-9th, 12th, 14th, 16th-17th. I really need to get more boxes (raised beds) built for the coming season. But the snow makes that impossible. More later.

June 18, 2013

Yesterday I went through the beds with my camera and took lots of photos. Before I show them to you, let me explain what is new with us this year. First, we lost gardening partner Linda, who moved to South Dakota. We also lost her plot. That cut the partnership down to a total of 4 plots. Then, I finally relented and gave one plot to my wife Judy to use for a special project, about which I will report about at a later time. So, the challenge this season has been how to grow the maximum amount of food while going from 5 plots to 3. I think we will be just fine, thanks to some careful planning.

Fred's Plot 2013


The carrots did not all germinate. I have replanted.

The cucumbers germinated very well. You can see them snuggled down in their short tubes. No replanting has been necessary.

The Determinate tomatoes are liking their new home. I have planted them so that the Applause tomatoes are apart from each other. Applause is a great performer, but not very disease resistant.

The peas went in a little late, but are coming along nicely. Dill is a weed in the plots and we are allowing some of it to grow in the peas.

Small tomatoes are in this bed. They are doing well.

Small tomatoes are in this bed. They are doing well.
Mark's Plot 2013


These are Contender beans. Germination was average. I will do a small amount of replanting.

These are Roc D'Or and Roma beans. I will have to do a lot of replanting.

I got 100 percent germination on these Cream Of The Crop squash (New This Year).

Germination on these Heart Of Gold squash was very good.

Here is one of the hot pepper beds and a bed with Spaghetti squash in it (which I have replanted).

Germination on these Lakota squash was very good.

This is the big 'problem' area of the garden this season. These onions are under attack from a little grub/larva/worm. I have partially replanted with onion sets. I am not completely done.

Germination on these Red October squash was reasonably good (New This Year).

Germination on these Table Ace Acorn squash was reasonably good.

Germination on these Table Ace Acorn squash was reasonably good.
Paul's Plot 2013


I have planted radish around the broccoli. They both seem to love the rich soil.

I have nestled beets in with the cabbage.

In the foreground is chard. The farground is a bed of lettuce.

On the right are hot peppers. On the left are Solstice melons (New This Year). I have done some replanting of these melons.

Here are the Black Krim tomatoes in their tubes.

Radish and Lettuce make good and colorful companions in this 2 foot bed.

These are Lily melon. The germination was 100 percent (New This Year).

These are the pumpkins. In the foreground are Fall Splendor, and in the farground are Rouge Vif D'Entempes (Cinderella) (Both New This Year).

In the foreground are Tomade tomatoes, and in the farground are Super Sauce (New This Year).

In the foreground are Tomade tomatoes, and in the farground are Super Sauce (New This Year).

July 2, 2013

The garden goes well this season. I have discovered that I made the soil too rich in one bed. It seems that radish and broccoli will bolt when placed in too rich soil. I have put onion sets into the bed where my disaster with onion plants occurred. I also put onion sets around my peppers and some in with the tomatoes, like normal. We will have to wait and see if the little maggots attack the onion sets with the same vigor as they have the onion plants. I will definitely move my onion beds to a new location next season.

July 17, 2013

We have had some setbacks this season. But, taken altogether, this may be the best gardening season I have ever had. Things are shaping up nicely. We are picking lettuce, radish, chard, and peas. We have had a few tomatoes off of a big Goliath tomato plant I bought from Butch. This saturday is the first Farmers Market of the season. I will look forward to seeing Bill Simpson there. Bill reports that he is growing both here and at his new place in Nebraska.

July 20, 2013

As regular readers know, my wife Judy took over one of the plots this year. She is growing a dyers garden, harvesting the plants/flowers, and dying wool from Mountain Meadow Wool in Buffalo, Wyoming. Here are some photos.


This is a bed of Cosmos.

These are a special Marigold that will give an orange/red color.

These Sunflowers will give a green dye.

This is Wode. It is a Brassica, and gives the traditional blue dye of Northern Europe.

This flower will give a yellow dye.

This flower will give a yellow dye.
We picked our first beans today. They were, of course, Contender Beans. The Broccoli is coming out of its bolting stage and is starting to produce some good side shoots. We put in a fence today for the Solstice Melons to grow on, and the fence will serve to ward off the Pumpkins. Below are photos from the plots that compare the beds from June 17 to July 17.


Carrots on June 17.

Carrots on July 17, after a thinning.

Beans on June 17.

Beans on July 17.

Cabbage on June 17.

Cabbage on July 17.

Cucumber on June 17.

Cucumber on July 17.

Determinate Tomatoes on June 17.

Determinate Tomatoes on July 17.

Lettuce and Radish on June 17.

Lettuce and Radish on July 17.

Pumpkins on June 17.

The Pumpkin wilderness on July 17.

Peas on June 17.

Peas and the rest of the Fred Plot on July 17.

Tomande Tomatoes on June 17.

Tomande Tomatoes on July 17.

August 19, 2013

Here are some recent photos of the plots.


Cucumber in its natural habitat.

Applause Tomatoes.

Cabbage before harvest.

Tiburon Ancho/Poblano Peppers.

Cinderella Pumpkin in the Zuchinni patch.

Spaghetti Squash.

Heart Of Gold Squash, one of the most productive.

Fred before the towering Sunflowers.

Sunflower before havesting for Dye.

A pot of Sunflower before simmering on the stove.

Flowers drying on the patio.

Flowers drying on the patio.

September 3, 2013


Pumpkin and Squash taken recently from our garden plots.
Good Dirt

2013 is the best year of gardening I have experienced, or at least can remember. Oh sure, there were setbacks. There always are. But all in all, it has been great. We have many gallon bags of tomatoes in the freezer, with more coming on each day. The squash and pumpkin performed wonderfully well. The heat came on in a timely fashion and continues to this writing.

But the biggest difference may be attributed to what I did in my partner Paul's plot. I put into the new beds there, and into other beds as well, pure four-year-old cow manure. Into that the Indeterminate Tomatoes went, as well as Pumpkin, Summer Squash, Peppers, Onions, and Melons. Even the lettuce loved the rich 'soil'. The only thing that did not like it were the Radish and the Broccoli. Eventually the Broccoli quit trying to bolt and started to give good side shoot production.

Bad Dirt

A fellow gardener got a lot of dirt from a contractor who sells a lot of dirt to folks in Casper. This was an unfortunate. His Tomatoes, Cabbage, and Pumpkins were impacted. They were stunted. Weeds did not even grow well in that stuff. So beware. There are some bad dirts out there, that you do not want in your garden.

ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE GARDEN:

Some wonderful surprises are highlighted in blue.

TOMATOES - INDETERMINATE

TOMATOES - DETERMINATE

WINTER SQUASH

SUMMER SQUASH

PUMPKIN

CABBAGE

PEAS

CUCUMBER

BUSH BEANS

SWEET PEPPERS

HOT PEPPERS

MELON

BROCCOLI

CARROT

CHARD

LETTUCE

ONION

BEETS

BEETS

September 7, 2013

Here is Rhonda Crow's Review of Her Garden. She gardens North and East of Casper.

September 14, 2013

My Gardening Partner, Mark McAtee sent me this Garden Review.

September 20, 2013

My wife and I just spent a week vacationing around Belle Fourche, South Dakota. While in Belle Fourche we dropped in to Homestead Nursery. There we met Richard Wells, the owner. We got the grand tour. I was impressed by how much more will grow there. Many more kinds of fruit prosper there. That elevation is at least 2,000 feet lower and the air is much more moist. Richard Wells maintains that Belle Fourche is still in Zone 4, but it must be a 4++. One thing he has been experimenting with is ground cherries, which have the same look and habit as Tomatillas. They are delicious. His melons were just coming ripe, and looked to be about the same growing stage as my own back in Casper. The startling thing we learned was that he did not plant one bed until July 4, and the other until July 14!. I planted ours on June 1.

So, how hot has it been?

Regular readers know that I keep a degree-day chart each year. I have chosen the base temperature of 50 degrees (F.) because I don't think plants do much growing below that temperature.

Degree days are the cumulative average temperatures above the set base (50 in this case). I always begin counting degree days on May 25, Casper's last average day of frost. If on May 25 the average temperature was 62 degrees, that would be 12 degrees above 50 and the cumulative total would be 12. If on May 26 the average temperature was 64 degrees, that is 14 degrees above 50 . I add that 14 to the 12 I already have, and the degree days for May 26 would be 26. Adding the degrees above the base together is what makes degree-days cumulative.

Here is the 2013 degree-day chart.

MAY 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 JUNE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
HIGH 66 67 78 74 82 78 76 73 60 63 59 68 84 76 62 72 80 84 76
LOW 41 35 44 45 40 44 44 37 43 46 41 44 35 44 32 35 34 44 50
AVER. 2013 53.5 51 61 59.5 61 61 60 55 51.5 54.5 50 56 59.5 60 47 53.5 57 64 63
DD (50) 3.5 4.5 15.5 25 36 47 57 62 63.5 68 68 74 83.5 93.5 90.5 94 101 115 128
JUNE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
HIGH 91 91 91 86 91 81 80 87 84 86 93 83 85 76 84 91 86
LOW 42 59 49 42 47 46 37 43 52 44 47 50 53 48 42 45 55
AVER. 2013 66.5 75 70 64 69 63.5 58.5 65 68 65 70 66.5 69 62 63 68 71
DD (50) 144.5 169.5 189.5 203.5 222.5 236 244.5 259.5 277.5 292.5 312.5 329 348 360 373 391 412
JUNE 26 27 28 29 30 JULY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
HIGH 94 96 94 92 86 89 89 93 91 89 90 90 87 91 94 98
LOW 50 51 52 53 57 52 50 49 57 55 57 58 55 52 54 54
AVER. 2013 72 73.5 73 72.5 71.5 70.5 69.5 71 74 72 73.5 74 71 71.5 74 76
DD (50) 434 457.5 480.5 503 524.5 545 564.5 585.5 609.5 631.5 655 679 700 721.5 745.5 771.5
JULY 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
HIGH 87 89 85 90 91 91 96 99 99 98 95 94 93 84 88 97
LOW 61 58 60 54 67 57 51 64 63 62 57 61 65 56 52 54
AVER. 2013 74 73.5 72.5 72 79 74 73.5 81.5 81 80 76 77.5 79 70 70 75.5
DD (50) 795.5 819 841.5 863.5 892.5 916.5 940 971.5 1002.5 1032.5 1058.5 1086 1115 1135 1155 1180.5
JULY 28 29 30 31 AUG 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HIGH 95 86 93 95 96 94 79 83 97 91 93 96 92 95
LOW 57 61 56 62 61 57 52 43 45 56 57 50 51 61
AVER. 2013 76 73.5 74.5 78.5 78.5 75.5 65.5 63 71 73.5 75 73 71.5 77.5
DD (50) 1206.5 1230 1254.5 1283 1311.5 1337 1352.5 1375.5 1396.5 1420 1445 1468 1489.5 1517
AUGUST 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
HIGH 85 86 89 92 71 93 97 94 96 92 86 89 90 88
LOW 51 46 52 56 52 47 52 54 54 58 60 55 63 60
AVER. 2012 68 66 70.5 74 61.5 70 74.5 74 75 75 73 72 76.5 74
DD (50) 1535 1551 1571.5 1595.5 1607 1627 1651.5 1675.5 1700.5 1725.5 1748.5 1770.5 1797 1821
AUGUST 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 SEP

1

2 3 4 5 6
HIGH 84 88 89 93 92 94 86 89 91 91 95 94 92
LOW 57 63 61 61 56 56 55 48 52 59 56 57 65
AVER. 2013 70.5 75.5 75 77 74 75 70.5 68.5 71.5 75 75.5 75.5 78.5
DD (50) 1841.5 1867 1892 1919 1943 1968 1988.5 2007 2028.5 2053.5 2079 2104.5 2133
SEPTEMBER 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
HIGH 91 89 76 70 65 66 67 77 66 80 84 80 66
LOW 56 56 54 53 51 52 53 48 51 43 56 39 33
AVER. 2013 73.5 72.5 65 61.5 58 59 60 62.5 58.5 61.5 70 59.5 49.5
DD (50) 2156.5 2179 2194 2215.5 2223.5 2232.5 2242.5 2255 2263.5 2275 2295 2304.5 2304

- - This year's Degree Days compared to past years - -

Degree Days Through June 30
Through July 15
Through July 31
Through August 15
Through August 31
Through Sept. 19
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Running
Total
This
Period
Season
Total
2013
524.5
524.5
339
863.5
317
1180.5
426.5
1607
381.5
1988.5
315.5
2304
2012
558
558
362
920
416
1336
314.5
1650.5
317
1967.5
243
2210.5
2011
322.5
322.5
325.5
648
385.5
1033.5
305
1338.5
367
1705.5
195
1900.5
2010
364
364
228
592
264
856
394.5
1250.5
322
1572.5
175
1747.5
2009
327
327
258.5
585.5
256
841.5
267
1108.5
216
1324.5
254.5
1579
2008
292.5
292.5
281
573.5
387
960.5
289
1249.5
282.5
1532
96
1628
2007
431.5
431.5
348.5
780
400.5
1180.5
344.5
1525
278.5
1803.5
277.5
2081
2006
567.5
567.5
332.5
900
426.5
1326.5
308.5
1635
294.5
1929.5
131.5
2061
2005
333.5
333.5
297
630.5
360
990.5
256.5
1247
240
1487
242.5
1729.5
2004
314
314
270
584
269
853
275.5
1128.5
197.5
1326
246
1572
2003
401.5
401.5
307.5
709
399
1108
388
1496
317.5
1813.5
146.5
1960
2002
528
528
360
888
364
1252
278
1530
262
1792
248
2040

Between Season Notes 2013-2014

October 6, 2013

Casper just went through a two day storm which was devastating to a lot of trees. I lost one of my cherry trees and may lose the other. At 4 a.m. I was out cutting the cherry tree off of my power line. The trees still have not dropped leaves and the snow clung to the leaves. We are still not out of the woods. We could still get another limb-breaker later in the month. Here are some photos.


Downed branches in the neighborhood.

More downed branches in the neighborhood.

I built a shock around the lamp post from sunflower stocks.

Unharvested tomatoes on the patio.

October 12, 2013

During the off season I pour back through my catalogs and to find better offerings. The chart that follows is a survey of musk melons. I take the size in pounds (bigger the better), and the days-to-maturity given for each variety. I then subtract 4 percent for each day that a variety is over the ideal of 68 days. So then, with a fruit that is 5 lbs. and 70 days, I multiply the 5 by .92 to get a 'score' of 4.6. Please note that some seed catalogs are notorious for giving too low ratings on their days-to-maturity to really match up well with our climate. So I take the 'scores' with a big grain of salt. Also note that we trialed 'Solstice' this season. We got good production. The fruit was small (1 to 2.5 lbs.) but great tasting. Also listed is one of Bill Simpson's favorites: Burpee Sweet N Early. I have seen this grown by Bill and his melons were bigger than mine and with excellent flavor.
Musk Melons
SEED
PROVIDER
VARIETY DAYS WEIGHT
AVERAGE
IN POUNDS
SCORE
Gurney Giant 80 18 9.36
Stokes Avatar 73 8.0 6.40
Baker Creek Prescott
Fond Blanc
70 6.5 5.98
Burpee Ananas 71 6.31 5.55
Jung Solstice 76 7.5 5.10
Jung Goddess 68 5 5.00
Burpee Olympic 75 6.5 4.68
Stokes Primo 79 8.25 4.62
Pine Tree Passport 70 5.0 4.60
Stokes Goddess 70 5.0 4.60
Stokes Rock Star 74 6.0 4.56
Stokes Halona 68 4.5 4.5
Park Whopper 77 7.0 4.48
Jung Athena 75 6.0 4.32
Burpee Sweet 'N
Early
75 6.0 4.32
Johnny's Lilly 78 7.0 4.20
Jung Roadside 80 8.0 4.16
Baker Creek Burrell's
Jumbo
80 8.0 4.16
Gurney Athena 75 5.50 3.96
Johnny's Earlichamp 75 5.50 3.96
Farmers Athena 75 5.50 3.96
Johnny's Earlichamp 75 5.0 3.60
Johnny's Halona 73 4.50 3.60
Pine Halona 74 4.50 3.422
Stokes Dutchess 75 4.5 3.24
Park Dove 70 3.50 3.22
Burpee Honey
Bun
73 4.0 3.20
Johnny's Athena 79 5.50 3.08
Johnny's Sweet
Granite
70 3.25 2.99
Pine Tree Hale's
Best
75 4.0 2.88
Burpee Charentais 75 2.50 2.30
Johnny's Honey
Orange
74 3.0 2.28
Jung Super
Star
86 8.0 2.24
Johnny's Sarah's
Choice
76 3.25 2.21
Park French
Orange
75 3.0 2.16
Farmers Minnesota
Midget
60 2.0 2.0
Burpee Bella Tuscan 80 4.0 1.98
Burpee Burpee
Hybrid
82 4.5 1.98
Burpee Super
Star
86 7.0 1.96
Stokes Sugar
Cube
69 2.0 1.96
Jung Maverick 83 4.75 1.90
Stokes Sugar
Cube
69 2.0 1.96
Burpee Minnesota
Midget
70 2.0 1.84

November 25, 2013
These comments also appeared on March 16, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

What follows is a presentation I did for Master Gardeners in Casper on March 2, 2013

Thanksgiving, a blessing from the New World to the Old

When we sit down to the traditional Thanksgiving meal, most of us do not realize that its main components are all foods that the New World gave to the Old World. The Thanksgiving meal is truely a New World meal. Let us look at those foods, and others, to appreciate that blessing.

Turkey is the centerpiece of the traditional Thankgiving dinner. Turkeys originated in the forests of North America, and all domesticated turkeys were derived from them. There is one other species of Turkey and it is a native of Yucatan.

Potatoes are mandatory for Thanksgiving, usually mashed and served with gravy. The Potato comes from an area of Southern Peru, Northern Chile, and Northwest Bolivia. It was first domesticated between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Sweet Potato is not very closely related to potato. It is more closely related to the Morning Glory. It has been domesticated for 5,000 years. It was found all over the Pacific by early European explorers. There is even some genetic evidence (particularly on Pitcairn Island) that peoples from Peru intermixed with the Polynesians and also gave them the Sweet Potato.

Beans are an essential for the Thanksgiving meal. The Old World did have some beans which include Fava, Soy, Lentil, Azuki, and Mung. But the edible podded green bean in that Thanksgiving casarole comes from the New World, as do the Yellow Wax Bean, Navy, Great Northern, Pinto, Kidney, Marrow, and Yellow-Eyed. When Columbus landed in the Bahamas he found fields of beans growing there.

Squash/Pumpkin is also a traditional dish for the Thanksgiving meal. It most often is served up as desert in the form of a 'pumpkin' pie (a quick look at the can reveals that pumpkin filling may be some other kind of squash). As a group Squash/Pumpkin are sometimes called Marrows. The genus is Curcurbita (denoting a close relationship to Cucumber, Melons, and Gourds)....and the species are Maxima, Moschata, Mixta, and Pepo.

Corn (Sweet Corn or Maize) is usually served at the Thanksgiving meal. The word Corn means common grain. In North America that would be Maize or Zea Mays. In other parts of the world Corn will refer to wheat or other grains. Columbus definitely encountered Corn growing in the Carribean. Gavin Menzies, in his book '1421-The Year China Discovered The World', speculated that the Chinese spread Corn around the Pacific and Asia before Europeans encountered it. It may have been in India in the 1100s. But no PreColumbian Corn has been discovered in Asia yet. Magellan's ships did replenish their food stuffs with Maize in 1521 in the Phillipeans. Corn is the most important crop the U.S. grows. It was domesticated 7,500 to 10,000 years ago in Mexico. We eat only 25 percent of what we grow. We export a lot of it and use it for Fuel, Corn Oil, and Sweeteners.

Other important foods from the New World

Tomato originated in Peru where there are still some six wild species growing. But it was not domesticated there. It was domesticated in Mexico and Central America. We still don't know a date for that domestication, but it was being grown by the Mayans by 500 B.C. When the Europeans first got it they thought of it as an ornamental. It was the Italians who first grew it for food. It is obvious that many different types of Tomato came from the New World to the Old World. The oldest reference we have to a particular variety comes from 1600 in England, and the variety is most definitely the Yellow Pear, a still-popular variety today.

The tomato is the queen of home gardens, far and away the most popular vegetable grown. While there are some 6,000 varieties available, one variety accounts for 25 percent of all greenhouse sales in the United States: Early Girl, which was created by Burpee. If you encounter a variety with the word 'German' in its name, it was developed by the Pennsylvania Dutch, and often by the Amish. If you encounter a variety with the word 'Black' in its name, it was developed by the Russians. These tomatoes ususally have very dark skins, particularly dark shoulders.

Cacao/Cocoa/Chocolate originated in Nicaragua. Cortez encountered it in Mexico in 1521. We think it first arrived in Spain in 1528. But the earliest written reference we have to it is 1606. Europeans added milk and sugar to Cocoa. The 'late' in the word Chocolate is a reference to milk. Chocolate became wildly popular in Europe and this spurred the demand for sugar. This demand had a huge impact on New World history when Europeans transported slaves from Africa to the New World to grow sugar on plantations. Slaves were also used on plantations to grow Tobacco and Cotton.

Chocolate and Coffee were drunk in shops were English and Dutch merchants gathered. It was in these shops that the idea of spreading risk was born. That was the origin of both Insurance and Corporations.

Tobacco originated in North America. It was introduced to Spain first. The first reference to it in France is 1560.

Cotton originated in South America. As a fiber used in clothing it dominates all other fibers world wide.

Pepper, at least many varieties, originated in Central and South America. While some hot peppers originated in Southeast Asia, and Black Peppercorn originated in Western India, all Sweet Peppers originated in Mexico, and all Chile peppers origiated in Bolivia.

Peanuts originated in the Amazon Basin where there are still some 80 wild species. We use them for food, oil and animal feed. Peanuts, along with Corn and Casava are three critically important crops for Africa.

Casava/Manioc originated in S. America. It is a root crop, rich in carbohydrates, a starchy wedge-shaped root. Casava, along with Corn and Peanuts are three critically important crops for Africa.

Pineapple originated in Southern Brazil and Paraguay. We do not know when it was domesticated.

Sunflower originated in North America.

Vanilla originated in Mexico.

Quinine, a treatment for Malaria, comes from the Cinchoa tree, of South America.

Quinoa originated in the Andes Mountains. It is a high alititude 'grain'. It belongs to the Amaranth family and looks much like that domesticated flower in our gardens. It will be growing in importance to us as a food source because it is glutten-free. It is also very high in amino acids, and is a more balanced food than wheat, corn, or rice. It tolerates high altitudes, cold, and wind.

Other important contributions by the New World:

Papaya, Guava, Cashew, Rubber Trees, Wild Black Cherry, Concord Grape

2013 Moon Phases

April 10
April 18
April 25
May 2
May 9
May 17
May 24
May 31
June 8
June 16
June 23
June 29
July 8
July 15
July 22
July 29
August 6
August 14
August 20
August 28
September 5
September 12
September 20
September 26

2013 Planting Guide

Click Here For 2009 Tomato Taste Test

= Rated for Taste
= Rated for Production

Type

2009/2010

Variety ...those in yellow are varieties we are trialing Seed Vigor Area
2011
Area
2012
Weeks to Set Out Start Dates Set Out/Sow
Tomatoes:
Indeterminates
Black Krim
Heirloom***

Indeterminate
High 8 plants 8 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Tomande
Heirloom***

Indeterminate
High 8 plants 8 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Goliath

Indeterminate
High 0 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Super Sauce
Heirloom***
Indeterminate
High 0 plants 4 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Tomatoes:
Determinates
Applause
Hybrid


Determinate
High 15 plants ? plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Bush Champion II
Determinate
High 5 plants 5 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Valley Girl
Determinate
High 4 plants 4 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Bella Rosa
Determinate
High 0 plants 5 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
*NEW
Debut
Determinate
High 0 plants 4 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Small Tomatoes:
Indeterminate
Black Plum
Heirloom***


Indeterminate
High 2 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Sun Sugar (Orange)

Indeterminate
High 2 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Sugar Lump (Red)
Heirloom***

Indeterminate
High 2 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Yellow Pear
Heirloom***

Indeterminate
High 2 plants 2 plants 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total counts for Tomatoes: 68 plants 58 plants
Garden Huckleberry Chichiquelite

Heirloom***

High 0 sq ft 0 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Peppers Carmen
Sweet Horn
3,060 points

High 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 9 Mar 23 May 25
Early Thickset
Standard Bell
5,120 points
High 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Big Bertha Hybrid
Long Bell
1,420 points
High 18 sq ft 9 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Cheyenne
Hot Cayenne
864 points
High ? sq ft 6 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Cherry Bomb
Hot Cherry
864 points
High 0 sq ft 6 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Jalapeno
Hot
864 points
High 6 sq ft 12 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Total Areas for Peppers: 81 57
Cauliflower Fremont
High 27 sq ft 0 sq ft 7 Apr 6 May 25
Cabbage Alcosa
minature cabbage
High 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Caraflex
minature cabbage
High 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 10 Mar 16 May 25
Pea Super Sugar Snap
Medium 48 sq ft 33 sq ft direct sow May 11 May 11
Cucumber Cool Breeze
Heirloom***
Medium 36 sq ft 36 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Cucumbers: 54 36
Pumpkin*NEW Rouge Vif D'Entampes High 0 sq ft 24 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
*NEW Fall Splendor High 0 sq ft 20 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Pumpkins: 56 sq ft 44 sq ft
Summer Squash Green Zucchini
Medium 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Goldrush Zucchini
Medium 9 sq ft 9 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Summer Squash: 24 sq ft 24 sq ft
Winter Squash Heart of Gold
Medium 18 sq ft 16 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Canesi - Butternut
Medium 9 sq ft 0 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Table Ace Acorn
Medium 12 sq ft 16 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Lakota
Heirloom***
Medium 10 sq ft 16 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Spaghetti
Heirloom***
Medium 16 sq ft 12 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
*NEW Cream of the Crop High 0 sq ft 16 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
*NEW Autumn Crown High 0 sq ft 13 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
*NEW Red October High 0 sq ft 13 sq ft 3 May 11 May 25
Total Areas for Winter Squash: 112 sq ft 102 sq ft
Muskmelon *NEW Solstice High 0 sq ft 9 sq ft 9 Mar 23 May 25
Muskmelon *NEW Lilly High 0 sq ft 12 sq ft 9 Mar 23 May 25
Bush Bean Roma II
- 18/18
Medium 21 sq ft 9 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 18
Rocdor Yellow
Medium 21 sq ft 9 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 18
Contender
Medium 45 sq ft 36 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 18
Total Areas for Beans: 96 sq ft 54 sq ft
Broccoli Packman - buy plants locally
Medium 12 plants 12 plants NA NA May 1 - 18
Carrot Danvers
Heirloom***
High 9 sq ft 9 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Sweetness II
High 9 square feet 9 square feet direct sow NA May 1
Total Areas for Carrots: 27 sq ft 18 sq ft
Celery Buy Plants Locally - 4/4 NA 4 plants ? NA Mar 16 June 2
Chard - 6/6 My Own Mix
Yellow, Red, Orange, Magenta

Medium 9 sq ft 9 sq ft direct sow NA May 25
Leaf Lettuce Simpson Elite
Medium 3 sq ft 0 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
Green Ice
Medium 3 sq ft 0 sq ft1 direct sow NA May 1
Red Sails
Medium 3 sq ft 3 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
Head Lettuce Summertime
Medium 3 sq ft 3 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
Nevada (Batavian)
Medium 3 sq ft 3 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
Buttercrunch
Medium 3 sq ft 0 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
Onion SuperStar Plants
Dixon Dale Farms
Medium 22 sq ft direct sow NA May 1
*NEW Candy

High 0 sq ft 22 sq ft Direct Sow NA May 1 - 19
Beet Detroit
Heirloom***

*GROWN IN PAST YEARS
NA 12 sq ft 12 sq ft direct sow NA May 1 - 18
Radish White Icicle - ? NA ? Area 2011 May 1 - 18
Salad Rose - ? NA ? Area 2011 May 1 - 18
Long Red - ? NA ? Area 2011 May 1 - 18
German Giant - ? NA ? Area 2011 May 1 - 18
Herb Basil - Summerlong - ? NA ?
Basil - Greek - ? NA ?
Basil - Spicy Saber - ? NA ?
Chives - Common - ? NA ?
Cilantro - ? NA ?
Fennel - ? NA ?
Marjaram, Sweet - ? NA ?
Oregano, Greek - ? NA ?
Parseley - Extra Curled Dwarf - ? NA ?
Rosemary - ? NA ?
Sage, Common - ? NA ?
Thyme, Common - ? NA ?
Tarragon if possible - ? NA ?
Lavender if possible - ? NA ?
Gourd Big Birdhouse - ? NA ?
Little Birdhouse - ? NA ?
Easter Eggs - ? NA ?
Flowers ? NA 2 tires

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