Wednesday, March 26, 2008
For the last few years I have been growing hot peppers to get some of my tax dollars back from the Mexican immigrants who use the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. This year I decided to grow a few tomatillos for the same purpose. It is a new crop for me. They got off to a spindly start in my solar greenhouse compared to their close relatives tomatoes and peppers. Eventually, I placed them toward the center of the greenhouse where they would be warmer and then found some foil to reflect more light on them. Now I have some fairly good looking transplants. Next year I think I will give them some supplemental light. They seem to be closer to tomatoes than to peppers in growth habits so far. My next concern is figuring out when to pick them. The references say to wait until the inside fills or splits the husk. Only time will tell if that works. When I ordered the seed, there was a Hispanic in our church and I was hoping to get some picking advice from her as they got closer to ripening. She recently dropped out so I will have to find somebody else who knows how they are suppose to look. The other thing that will be interesting is eating them. I intend to try some of them in the fried green tomato recipe we have been using for years. (I have a coworker who expressed horror about that recipe but I have recently had my cholesterol checked and it didn’t even pick up any LDL. The HDL was 16. They say the optimum HDL is 60 but since HDL’s function is to return LDL to the liver and there was not any LDL available for it to return, that shouldn’t be a problem.) Anyway, the next time somebody tells you that Mexican immigrants are necessary to do farm work that American’s won’t do, tell them you know a farmer who is doing work that the Mexican’s aren’t doing.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I started a number of projects this winter. One of the most interesting is a blueberry plot. I planted 8 different types of Rabbiteye blueberries. I started with Columbus, then Ira, Montgomery, Onslow, Powderblue, Premier, Tifblue and Yakin. When planting, I typically go in alphabetical order with the first one closest to the house. That helps sometimes when the labels are lost. I planted at least 5 of each type. Once they get some size on them, I will be able to compare and figure out which is best. My suspicion is that the Powder Blue will extend the season, while Columbus will taste the best. Premier is suppose to be a large one which may help during picking. It will be educational to have them all in one place and see what happens.