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Amparo Bertram

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07:37 am: In with the new
I only had a one-day weekend this week, so I didn't have time to get as much accomplished as I would have liked, but I was happy with what I managed.

Last weekend I planted my summer beans. As with everything else this year, I planted small amounts of many different varieties to see which grow and produce best here. I'm trying two varieties of pole beans, four kinds of soybeans for edamame, and three kinds of bush beans.

Several of the summer crops I planted earlier, such as the buckwheat and the tomatoes, are beginning to flower. My runner beans resprouting from last year are also flowering.

Yesterday morning I built a trellis in one of my raised beds and planted out a few squash plants. Squash is risky in this area because it doesn't really get as hot as they prefer, so large fruit such as melons and jack o'lantern pumpkins are probably not worth trying. The varieties I planted are smaller cucumbers and winter squash like Japanese kabocha. I planted a few root vegetables under the trellis where they can grow in the shade.

In the afternoon, I weeded the front yard (which desperately needed it) and removed all the spent spring annuals. It's looking a little more bare now, but the summer flowers are producing buds and should be in full bloom before too long.

I ordered several more varieties of seeds to try, and they just arrived yesterday. Most of them are for cool-season crops that I will plant after my summer vegetables are done. However, I did order two types of cane sorghum that I thought would make for an interesting experiment. Having grown up in corn country, I've never actually grown sorghum before. Reportedly it grows just like corn, except that it's drought-tolerant and--since the harvest is in the stalk--pollination isn't a concern the way it is with corn. The stalks are pressed for their juice, which is boiled until it thickens into a sweet syrup, rather like maple syrup. (The seeds are edible as a grain, too, though sorghum raised for grain is usually grown longer to let the seeds mature before harvesting.) It's probably a little late to be planting it, but I figure that since it stays relatively warm here well into October, the season is long enough for me to see whether it does okay here or not.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:June 4th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
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four kinds of soybeans for edamame

yum!

Cucumber is a squash? But...cucumber is cool and delicious.

I read the wikipedia article on sorghum (bicolor) and still do not understand what part of the plant is harvested for food. When you harvest (and cook?), you must take photos to explain it to me. Are you going for the syrup or the seed? (The article made me too guilty to make fun of sorghum, since the implication is it's a subsistence crop in harsh regions. Go, brave farmers!)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 4th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
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Cucumber is a squash?

Well, by "squash" I mean cucurbit. I just figured most people might not know what that was.

Are you going for the syrup or the seed?

I'm mostly trying for the syrup. That is, I bought two varieties that are specifically grown for syrup, rather than for seed yield. In order to get the maximum sweetness from the cane juice, you're supposed to cut the seeds off early. However, I might let one or two plants grow to maturity to try out the flavor as a grain, if the season lasts long enough.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 4th, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
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Wait, buckwheat? Are you going to start milling your own flour now, too?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 4th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
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Are you going to start milling your own flour now, too?

Supposedly all you have to do is whirl it in the blender, so it shouldn't be too hard.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 4th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Are you going to try to make your own soba noodles (I've always wanted to try that!), or do you have other plans?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 4th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Are you going to try to make your own soba noodles (I've always wanted to try that!), or do you have other plans?

It depends on how much I get. I wanted to try pancakes first, but if I have some left over, soba is my second experiment.
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