While the freeze back in late April that wiped out our tree fruit felt like a huge punch to the abdominal region and set us back emotionally, we got back on our feet and decided to plant more vegetables than ever before. In addition to planting all our cultivatable land, we rented three additional acres from a neighbor. While there is much more to plant, we have made good planting progress. Right now we are starting to harvest our radishes. Our super sweet hybrid turnips should be ready in a few days. Our kohlrabi is doing fantastic and should be ready before Memorial Day. Kohlrabi is usually eaten raw either sliced thin and served with a dip or shredded and used in coleslaw. Our big crop, early in the season, are snow and sugar snap peas. We planted over an acre of peas and it not only is exceptionally early this year it looks fantastic. I’m not sure when we will start picking them this year but I’m pretty sure we will have our first peas ready sometime between Memorial Day and June 7th. We also have again planted lettuce and it is also doing nicely. Right now it looks like we might have some lettuce ready before Memorial Day. (BTW our winter lettuce was a huge success and I plan on writing an article about it when I get a roundtoit. Anybody knows where I can get my hands on a roundtoit, please let me know ASAP.)
What We Now Have Available
We now have available first of the season radishes, unusual annual flower plants in pots, several types of potted herb plants, giant pumpkin seeds, giant, super-tall corn seeds (this corn is not a type of sweet corn), a variety of vegetable seeds including Bon Appetit (bi-color) and Rembrandt (white) sweet corn, our famous variety of green beans, heirloom tomatoes and dill, hardy pecan seeds, Shellbark hickory seeds, Hulless Robust Yellow popping corn and dried gourds.
About Our Pecan Seeds
These pecan seed nuts were grown right on Magicland Farms. The pecan trees that produced them were grown from pecans that originally came from wild pecan trees discovered growing on the banks and islands of the Mississippi in southwestern Wisconsin, as far north as Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It was in the fall of 1978 that six adventurous men, all of whom belonged to the NNGA (Northern Nut Growers Association) traveled, often by canoe, to the northern part of the Mississippi River in search of the most northern, hardiest and earliest ripening pecans in existence. Happily, the group found quite a few pecan trees, although many were on islands and hard to get to and thus the need for the canoes. While some of the pecans were relatively easy to harvest, the modern day explorers climbed many trees to get to the pecans since it was a bit early for the pecans to be ripe enough to fall naturally. During the winter of 1979 the NNGA made available, at a nominal fee, pecan seed nuts from the successful expedition in search of native Wisconsin pecans. Since I was then a member of the NNGA I was notified of the availability of the Wisconsin seed pecans and I purchased around 25 nuts, nearly all of which germinated and grew quite vigorously. It turned out that this expedition was a real godsend to humanity since just 15 years later it is thought that most, if not all the native pecan trees in Wisconsin were killed by that disastrous 1993 record flood.
These seeds have been kept at 38F ever since harvest in the fall of 2011 and they can be planted right now. We also have available instructions on how to grow pecans, hickories and pawpaw trees from seed. You can also visit our website Magicland Farms for more information.
About Our Handpicked Hulless Robust Yellow Popping Corn
Our 2011 crop of popcorn was our best yet–top quality and good yield. It was so good we designed and constructed a corn bin so we could store it in the field. We screened it so no animals, even the tiny ones, could get to it even if they tried. It also allowed for good air circulation so it would keep well. Besides this, we kept it within bounds of our electric fence which made it harder for anything to get even near it. We handpicked this popcorn and discarded any ear that didn’t look perfect. This, by the way, is one of the secrets of the quality of our popcorn. Remember, all the popcorn–even the high-priced gourmet corn–is picked by machine which means it picks anything!!! Early this spring we tested it with our digital moisture tester and found it had a moisture of around 13.6%, which is perfect for top quality popcorn. We also kitchen tested it and nearly all kernel popped. In fact, with all the tests we made only a single unpopped kernel comes to mind! We use a handcrank sheller to shell the popcorn and then package the kernels in brand new pint canning jars.