Sunday, January 24, 2016

Saving seed from Blue Hubbard squash

There are five families of cucurbits , The 5 families do not cross pollinate, but members within the sub family will. So it is necessary to recognize what family the squash belongs to and then only plant one of members. Separate different squash varieties in the same species by at least 1/2 mile to ensure purity. (Some crossing between C. mixta and C. moschata has been reported recently. If you plan to save the seed, pick one flower on the plant and hand pollinate. Make sure you cover it till it starts to develop fruit. Then mark it so you know this is the one to save for seed. The cucurbits are a family of vining plants that includes cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, luffa, melons.and gourds All edible plants from this family are actually fruits, deriving from the ovary of a pollinated flower, even though we might call them a ‘vegetable.’Many of the plants contain separate male and female flow Cucurbita (Latin for gourd)] is a genus of herbaceous vine in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, also known as cucurbits, There are five domesticated species are Cucurbita argyrosperma, C. ficifolia, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo. All of these can be treated as winter squash because the full-grown fruits can be stored for months; however, C. pepo includes some cultivars that are better used only as summer squash. The hobard falls in the Cucurbit maxima family whish includes Buttercup Banana Golden Delicious Atlantic Giant Hubbard Turban marrows Cucurbita maxima varieties with large, hairy leaves, long vines and soft, hairy stems Cucurbita mixta varieties with large, hairy leaves, long vines and hard, hairy stems and include the cushaws Cucurbita moschata varieties similar to C. mixta with flaring stems at the fruit and large, green sepals surrounding the flowers and include: butternuts Cucurbita pepo varieties with prickly stems and leaves with a hard, five-angled stem and include: acorn squashes, cocozelles, pumpkins, crooknecks, scallops, spaghetti squashes and zucchini.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The things a house Rooster has to put up with

This is an attempt to put humor into my video. I need to learn to change my voice and put words into the video. I used captions in this one. Kinda like a silent movie with words. But it is fun to pretend the rooster rules the house and becomes the one to take over the house cleaning and taking care of the kids. Don't forget. He has to boss the human man around too. LOL

Thanks for watching my video.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I Ordered purple Sweet potato slipps today

I have already ordered and received all my seed and Potatoes for spring of 2016,
I am still waiting on some potatoes to arrive in spring. I thought I had all I needed. Then I learned more about the purple sweet potato. So I started looking.  I was really hoping to find purple sweet potato tubers. but had to settle for slips from Bakers Creek. . They say April 1 or so for shipping. So I am recording my order here. I do this for my records. And you may learn from my notes. I also want some other things from cultivariable.

Asian Winged Bean
Asian Winged Bean
Item No: AB112
 (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) This is one of the most unique beans; it produces delicious pods with four winged edges, the leaves are cooked like spinach and the roots have a delicious, nutty flavor. This high-protein bean is an excellent crop and is so useful in the kitchen. The plants are tropical and do best in warm areas. They will not produce well when the days are long, so it may not yield until fall. Soak seeds 24 hours before planting.
Notes:  Little hard to germinate so best started indoors. Of all the reviews North Carolina, Was the only state that reported harvest. Some could not get seed to grow. Some got vine no bean. So It may be heat and day length sensitive.
1 $3.00
Longevity Spinach (PRE-ORDER)
Longevity Spinach (PRE-ORDER)
Item No: PL103
 (Gynura procumbens) Related to Okinawan Spinach, but lower-growing and more spreading. Reputed to have anti-viral and anti-cancer properties, and to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes and numerous other conditions. Cultivated throughout southern and eastern Asia. Can be used raw, juiced or cooked. Also frequently made into a tea. Grows in frost-free, warm conditions. Easy to propagate from cuttings. 2 plants
Notes:  attracts aphids, Survives drought. Survives poor drainage. I read that it does taste better if watered and in part-shade, just like other spinach. You can hack it down to the nub and it will come back. Very easy to root from cuttings
1 $10.00
Molokai Purple Sweet Potato (PRE-ORDER)
Molokai Purple Sweet Potato (PRE-ORDER)
Item No: PL115
 Purple-fleshed type that is a locally-developed, signature type on the islands, but seldom offered elsewhere. Much higher in antioxidants than orange-fleshed types. Very sweet-fleshed and creamy, with overtones of chestnut in the flavor. Perfect as-is when baked or roasted, needing no further adornment. Deep purple flesh and skins. 3 plants.
Notes.  Not a long keeper, harvested in early November they were sprouting by New Year's day
Taste ( sweet and with very "nutty" overtones. Not your typical sweet potato flavor )Flesh is drier/denser and takes longer to cook
1 $9.00
Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato (PRE-ORDER)
Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato (PRE-ORDER)
Item No: PL117
 (Ipomoea batatas) Descended from the first sweet potatoes to reach Japan, prior to 1500. The purple coloration is connected with the high anthocyanin content. This one is documented to contain more of the potent anti-oxidant than even blueberries! Ivory-colored skin, brilliant purple flesh. 3 plants.
Notes. dry flesh, high antioxidant levels.
1 $9.00
$31.00 Shipping $3.50 Tax $0.80 Total $35.30

 Notes: Leaves are also edible as with other variety sweet potatoes
 Sweet potatoes of all varieties are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. They are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color.5 Blueberries are well known for their high antioxidant levels, however, the Okinawan sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries.6 Antioxidants help to guard against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Growing sweet potatoes

This is my first time ordering slips.
But, I have a jar with water. 1 potato cut in half. I will pull slips off when 7-10 inches tall.If they have some roots. I will place them in some compost.

I have another sweet potato laying on top of good compost. Then covered with peat moss. Removing slips when ready to plant or at 7-10inches tall.

Sweet potatoes mature in 90 to 170 days and are extremely frost sensitive. Plant in full sun 3 to 4 weeks after the last frost when the soil has warmed.
*GROUND TEMPERATURES NEED TO BE AT LEAST 65 DEGREES- HOWEVER A HIGHER TEMPERATURE IS BETTER AND WILL MAKE FOR A MORE BOUNTIFUL CROP. AT NIGHT THE TEMPERATURE SHOULD BE ABOVE 50 DEGREES. I have also read, planted late in the heat of July may produce better results than planting in May if temperatures are not hot enough.

Make holes 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Bury slips up to the top leaves, press the soil down gently but firmly, and water well.
Do not use nitrogen-rich fertilizers they will produce lush vines and stunted tubers. So just a good aged compost will work fine.

"Northern States must use black plastic, cover bedded rows 2-3 weeks before plants arrive." So I am going to try this. With our weather last summer we were in the 70's till August. So this would have delayed tubers.

They also need lots of water. Which will not be an issue in Missouri, if we have another summer of rain. 

Storing sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be used soon after harvesting, but they will store well for several months if the skins are cured properly. Lay them out in the sun for a few hours immediately after harvesting and then move them to a warm, humid place for 10 days - a greenhouse is ideal. Once the skins have cured they can be stored in cooler conditions provided that they are kept dry. unlike normal potatoes. They do not keep well in cool dark places. They prefer temps of 65f 18c.