I spent all day yesterday lining up the seed purchases for 2008. I am waaaay late getting this done. I spoke with the seed companies that I deal with at the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo in December but I didn’t get around to ordering until now. Luckily they were not out of anything I wanted.
Sweet corn is the big seed expense. We plant between 10 and 15 acres and we plant the latest and greatest seed that is several times more expensive than the old favorites. The Marai varieties have been hot the last 2-3 years. These are called augmented supersweets. They are very sweet but some flavor and tenderness has been bred back into them.
Pumpkins are our next big seed expense. We will plant at least one third of the acreage to giant pumpkins. There are several newer giants that grow to 50lbs and still look like conventional pumpkins. We also try for varieties with heavy stems. Pumpkins ground should be planted to alternative crops for 2 out of 3 years so figuring out crop rotation takes some effort too.
It is fun to order zuccini, summer squash, butternut, butter cup, acorn, carnival, delicata, sugar dumpling, sunflowers, pickles and cucumbers, but I never know how much is enough. We will have to wait and see how much vegetable ground is used up with new orchard plantings.
We are ordering raspberries to plant at the US 31 Market too. We will plant 3 or 4 varieties to try to have some bearing most of the summer and fall. It takes 2 years to get going and 3 years to really crop them but they work well for u-pick, especially when the sweet cherries are not in season.
Last I am really hoping that the sweets on the Cresswell Rd farm bear this year. This will be the 5th season for them and if they have a crop we will have high quality u-pick at the US31 market. We have Cavalier, Ulster, and Hudson, for the black sweets and Emperor Francis for the lights there.