Friday, February 28, 2014

Fantastic corn and Peruvian Traveler tomato

I have been a bit slack today, I only dug a couple of beds and gathered some veg to sell at Merino tomorrow morning. Everything it starting to show autumn growth now so I expect my seeds in the new beds to be germinating any day now. I already have heaps and heaps of coloured silverbeet seedlings popping up from the beds where I let them go to seed. This is handy as I can check on the colours and health of the seedlings before I sell the seeds, and I will be able to sell small handfuls of seedlings at the markets. Every bit helps.

I picked my first Reisetomate tomato today (to make it easier I will refer to one of its other names 'Peruvian Traveler' from now on as that is so much easier to spell and pronounce, lol.)

I know, it is a bit puny but there are bigger ones on the plants. After reading the poor review in Amy Goldmans tomato book I was pleasantly surprised to actually like it. It is a bit sour and strongly flavoured as suggested but not unpleasantly so. Just goes to show that everybodys tastes differ.

These unusual tomatoes grow in seperate sections and the theory goes that they are great when travelling as you can just pull off a section at a time and it won't drip juice everywhere. It works and is fun to eat.

 I have been pleasantly surprised by my black waxy (glutinous) corn that I have been experimenting with for a few years.
Corn generally suffers from inbreeding depression so you have to save seeds from a couple of hundred plants to get enough genetic diversity to stop them from getting stunted and lowering production.
I have been inbreeding this corn for a number of years now and it has never shown any sign of inbreeding depression. I started off with 5 seeds/plants about 5 years ago and every year I save one cob off one plant and plant about 20 seeds from it.

This year it is doing just as good as it was 5 years ago, even better for some reason. As you can see from these couple of pictures each plant is producing 4-5 cobs plus the cobs on the many tillers - maybe I will end up with up to 10 cobs per plant.

Of course these are pictures of plants grown on their own so you would expect more cobs but the ones I planted in a block are doing almost as well. It is just easier to photograph single ones away from the rest and I happened to plant a few away from the main block.

I am going to keep on going with this experiment to see how far I can push it, until I get real signs of depression.

I swing between liking and not having a taste for glutinous corn. It is great for BBQing and grilling but a bit chewy for fresh eating though I like the taste, not as sweet as 'usual' sweetcorn but better flavoured.

Apparently the flour made from it is fabulous for thickening soups and stews.
I had a terrible season for corn and the only two varieties that have done any good have been the black waxy and the Peruvian giant white.

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