Fish Farley

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since Jun 06, 2019
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Recent posts by Fish Farley

I grow corn descended from Hopi. Without irrigation. I can plant them at least 8" deep and get good germination. The Hopi corn has a special hypocotyl that stretches more than other types of corn.

There are several good films on youtube about growing growing Hopi corn. "Michael Kotutwa Johnson" is a good place to look.
1 year ago
I had heard that watermelon varieties don't cross easily, but in my garden that is not the case. I mixed the fabled Bradford watermelon with Ali Baba and got hybrids on the first try. Alibaba have light rinds and dark seeds. Bradford have dark rinds and white seeds. I grew seeds taken from the ali baba and grew them out. Some of the offspring had dark rinds and dark seeds. Some came out with white seeds. It was an obvious hybrid of the 2 varieties. They tasted fantastic.
If you haven't tried baker creeks Kaho orange mini melons... you are missing out.
1 year ago
Here's a hot one fresh from the garden. It has all kinds of great colors in there. And a group shot showing the variety of color.

2 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:The overall red coloration is due to pericarp color, which is the outermost layer, and is maternal only. It affects every kernel equally.  

Underneath the red, may be blue/white aleurone and/or white/yellow endosperm which changes the overall hue of individual kernels.

Thank You for posting in this thread Joseph. Your articles about landrace breeding was one of the main inspirations of this project. And also Michael Kotuwa Johnson videos about growing Hopi corn. I didn't know you could grow corn without watering. Thanks! I still don't have a good understanding about the inheritance of color in corn, so I am going forward with intuition.
2 years ago
Notes from the corn patch:
Corn Harvest 2022 is drawing to an end already. 4th year on this project without introducing any new genetics. After deliberating I decided to go with my option number 2 listed in the above post....

"2nd option would be to increase diversity even more by reintroducing the original seed lines and include each successive generation of seeds that I’ve saved for the last couple years. That would really mix things up. It would be 3- f1,f2,f3 hybrid generations mixed back together with the parent lines."

So. I went back through the harvested seed of 2019, 2020, 2021 and reselected choice ears and kernels. Mainly flour kernels that are blue, purple, red. Really any dark pigmented colors and nice fat round flour kernels. I also went back to the original seed stock of Hopi Pink from Baker Creek and Hopi Blue from native seed search. I then mixed all the kernels together and planted them into 60 holes. I planted maybe 5-7 kernels in each hole at a depth of ~6". I then thinned them to the healthiest 3 shoots and let them grow. I made a few small cultivation improvements that made a big difference in plant and corn quality. Thinning to 3 was good, because I didn't really thin them at all last year. Secondly I used an eye hoe for weeding during the first 2 weeks. There was hardly any grasses or weed problems and thirdly, this made a big difference... I mounded soil up around the plants when they were about 3 weeks old and I didn't have any issues at all with plants falling over. They were all very upright and grew just how I wanted.

I had 2 new pests this year. Squirrels were corn enemy #1. I lost maybe a dozen or more good big ears to the fuzzy little fuggers. I did get some relief with the live traps. I lost count but I trapped and removed around 13 or so squirrels and relocated them to the local park.
2nd pest was leaf footed stink bugs. They been massing around the ears and I manually squish as many as possible. I'm not seeing any damage from them. they might be getting moisture from the husks. I don't like them either way.

It's been a very hot and dry summer and spring. I don't think I watered these plants once. I'm glad I'm growing these plants descended from the Hopi People. they handle the heat like a champ without flinching. Its 104º today. I can't walk barefoot on the garden soil without burning my feet. It's that hot. I might mulch in some straw next season.

2 years ago
Some more…
I also had a wide variation in plant sizes. The ones similar to the oaxacan green were the tallest and most robust. They also made the heaviest feeling ears.
I’d like to grow the next crop in a larger open field setting with better sun and spacing between plants. I planted up to ten seeds in most of the holes.
I also did a test this time and these seeds amazingly germinated at a depth of 8”. I’m going to plant up to 10-12” next time and see if that helps with better rooting and plant stability. I had a lot fall over from the heavy rains and winds.
3 years ago
The red ears were all very small this time. The glass flour kernels with mixed colors are my favorite.
3 years ago
This season is all wrapped up. I over planted and we had a very wet season. I don’t think the ears reached their full potential, but there was still a large number of ears harvested and the diversity in colors is still astonishing.
There are several ears that have the glass gem quality in flour kernels and I think that’s been an exciting trait coming out of the mixed genetics.
I mainly selected away from dent kernels and that seemed to be successful.
Steering the colors hasn’t been so easy. I’m still absorbing the information about genetics and applying it to this population. I’d like to mainly get rid of the yellow and white kernels and focus on the black/purple/blue/red/pink spectrum of colors. Any advice?
Originally diversity was the goal of this project and I believe that has been successful.

1 option for the next season will be to select aggressively for the colors I want in the next generation and remove any seeds that will produce white or yellow kernels.
2nd option would be to increase diversity even more by reintroducing the original seed lines and include each successive generation of seeds that I’ve saved for the last couple years. That would really mix things up. It would be 3- f1,f2,f3 hybrid generations mixed back together with the parent lines.

3 years ago
I’m getting a range of nearly all white to nearly all dark purple and all mixtures in between.
3 years ago