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  • Writer's pictureCrazy Jar Lady

Seed Haul - Succotash!

We are located in a big agriculture area. That means GMO crops and lots of chemicals sprayed around us (onto us) every year and several times a year. Before GMO Corn and Soybeans existed, it was common to see volunteer corn in a soybean field and when it showed up really badly, Dad would yell, SUCCOTASH! as we drove by. You don't see it very often anymore unless some sprayer has messed up what chemical was supposed to be sprayed where. If I do see it, I still do it; just for Dad.

Last fall, when "they" were predicting a seed shortage for this spring; I put in a basics order to several of the seed companies that I've also purchased from so far this year. I made sure to stock up on some sweet corn and bean seed to have on hand in the freezer. This year, I came across one variety that's new to me; it's a stabilized (meaning will come back true if seed is saved) super sweet corn variety called Damaun from Territorial Seed Co. Hopefully I can plant it at the right time to avoid cross pollination with the corn fields around the house. I don't have a large enough space for popcorn or flint corn yet, but I can't wait to try to grow some one day.

As for beans, I already have quite a bit of green bean seed on hand to plant for canning. Christmas Lima Pole Beans make legendary ham and beans and I was able to find those at the local seed shop to plant for Dad. I don't remember who talked about how gorgeous their runner beans were last year in the garden but I found the Black Night variety from Baker Creek and can't wait to see how showy and tasty they are. They also had the iconic 1500 Year Old Cave Beans that I have to try this year. From what I've read, beans don't cross pollinate readily so the trellises I already have up can be used for each of these pole varieties. I also found some Cranberry Beans at the local Mennonite store and purchased 3 pounds of those to eat and to plant.

One thing I learned from Dad years ago is to ALWAYS inoculate peas and beans before planting. You just dampen the seeds (we use full sugar soda so it's sticky) and sprinkle the inoculant into them and mixed with our hands. Then plant as usual. They are easy to find and order from the various seed companies. Inoculants are safe for us to touch. They are little tiny bacteria that attack nasties in the soil and allow the beans/peas (legumes) to fix nitrogen into their roots. Then that nitrogen is ready for whatever you plant in that spot the following year. I'm going to highly encourage it for your garden as well.

What kinds of corn and beans are you planting this year?

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