Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heirloom Vegetable Harvest Part #1

Above is a picture of some of our heirloom vegetables that we've harvested this year. This particular picture shows a type of Dry Bean called "Cherokee Trail of Tears" beans. These beans were carried with the Cherokee Tribes when they were relocated on a march that left some 4000 deaths from Kentucky to Oklahoma. Thus the name "Trail of Tears". An interesting story and a great vegetable. The beans, when left to fully dry on the vine, are shiny and black.

We had a very wet year this year thus some of our crops, particularly our tomatoes, did not do well. Some of the beans have a brown tint and that is due to our local wildlife. Funny Story.....sort of. You see, the raccoons (probably) decided that they needed the Oxacan Green Dent Corn (another heirloom vegetable that has been planted in Mexico for centuries) that was growing and was being used as a support pole for the Beans more than we did. The raccoons (probably) knocked the corn down and ate the kernels right off the cob. Never bothered the beans, but the corn crop was destroyed and the beans laid in the drenched garden for weeks on end. We picked some early and dried them inside for fear of them rotting (thus some are more brown than black). Of 75 corn stalks we "harvested" 1 cob. And yes, we have our entire garden fenced in to a height of 4'. Keeps the deer out (we think) but not the other critters. Oh well, it's a funny story (at least that is what we keep telling ourselves).

As I've said before, we do not use pesticides and we only plant heirloom seeds that we recycle year after year. An initial purchase provides fresh vegetables that have an interesting history for years to come. For more information on other heirloom vegetables that we've planted / harvested this year, stay tuned. Up next, Hinkelhatz Peppers a Pennsylvania Dutch Heirloom Pepper.

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