Thursday, June 20, 2013

Update on our Three Sisters Gardens

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This year was our first attempt at companion gardening with corn, beans and pumpkins . . .

Will's corn produced good sweet corn, but the ears were pint-sized. His rattlesnake beans had nothing to grow up and it doesn't look like we will be eating any beans this season.

His Sugar Pie Pumpkins? That's a totally different story! The vines are flourishing and are loaded with pumpkins! Looks like we'll have a bumper crop!

Will's Three Sister Garden ~ it seems like everyday the vines grow another 2 feet!

Sugar Pie Pumpkin . . . Almost ready for harvest!

The possibility of more pumpkins!

Being a Midwestern country girl, my family always grew sweet, and creamy Buttercup Squash, and I grew up loving it! Here in Arizona, good winter squash (Kobacha and Turban squash) are available at a pricey $1.29 a pound, and they're not even organic!

Our organic, Sugar Pie Pumpkins will be baked. Some will be eaten, like winter squash, with good old butter, and salt and pepper. I'll also be baking up a batch, to purée, drain off the pumpkin juice, and put in the freezer for pumpkin ice cream, muffins, scones, waffles, soups, maybe ravioli, some pumpkin butter, and last but not least . . . pies!

I'm hoping we can use part of Will's crop, in place of the sweet potatoes we normally feed our parrots every evening. I'm estimating we have a good 100 pounds of pumpkin out there, and that's a conservative guesstimate!

Cochiti Popcorn.

My experimental 2 Sister garden ~ Cochiti Popcorn and Yellow Filet Beans, took off well, and then all my bean plants died! I think they got too much shade from the corn, and maybe I planted them a bit too late. When you plant white bean seeds, the ground must be warmer (70F.) than the temp required for germinating black bean seeds. We are going to have to figure this bean problem out, Will and I love fresh green and yellow beans!

Popcorn is ready to pick when the ear bows down, away from the corn stalk.

The Cochiti popcorn I purchased from Seed Savers, did extremely well! I have harvested about two thirds of our popcorn already, and I'm waiting for the rest to dry out before I pick it. Once picked, I leave it sitting on the counter finish drying. I've read, it's ready when you rub two cobs together and half of the seeds fall out.

Letting our Cochiti dry out . . .

I removed the popcorn seeds off from 2 of our ears to try popping for this posting. It still had too much water content, and didn't pop well. I guess we'll be waiting . . .

P.S. ~ Of course, we will be saving our best pumpkin and popcorn seeds for next year's planting . . . Over at Julie's!!!


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