Bowl of locally grown food

Crops

Corn

By far one of my favorite crops to grow is corn. The entire process is very satisfying. The seeds germinate soon after planting, cracking the soil as the plants push thier way to the sun. The new plants grow vigorously, the difference is noticeable daily.
After a few weeks the corn begins to tassle, and the awesome corn sex spectacle begins. The tassle on top of the corn plant is the male part , the ear is the female. The silk coming out of the ears acts as a falopian tube, and each strand of silk is connected to an individual kernal, which is an embryo. The tassle drops pollen onto the silk, which fertilises the embryo.
In my corn variety the silk varies greatly in color, length, and quantity. Below are photographs of some of them for comparison.
A couple of weeks after the silk stage is the milk stage, when the corn is sweet and tender, ready for roasting or eating raw. A few more weeks and the corn is ready for harvest, allowing you to finally see the end result. My friends often make a comparison to unwrapping gifts at Christmas. Then the selection process begins, and the chosen ones are planted, starting the process again... The anticipation builds with every crop. The soil at Town Creek Park is ideal for growing corn, with two crops a year possible.
 I have been selecting the ears in the pictures below for a few years now, replanting the ones that appeal to me the most.
Multi-Colored Corn
Corn Wing
Corn Wing
Multi-Colored Corn
Multi-Colored Corn
Glass Gem Corn
Glass Gem Corn
Glass Gem Corn
Orange Corn Silk
Red Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Red Corn Silk
White Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk
Corn, Corn Silk

Queens Ear Corn

Usually the male part of corn is the tassle on top, and the female part is the ear. But sometimes they are combined into one! These are called queens ears, and considered sacred by the ancient Americans. The were commonly hung over the doorways for luck. I have been saving the seeds from these and planting them seperately, to see what happens! So far this experiment has yielded the same ratio of normal ears to queens ears. I am about to plant a crop from these "normal" ears to see what happens...Its a blessing to be easily entertained!
 
Queens Ear Corn
Queens Ear Corn
Queens Ear Corn
Queens Ear Corn
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Greens


Arial of Towncreekpark
Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens
Greens, Mustard Greens
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Asparagus

Asparagus grows well at the Town Creek Park. It is very tough,  a suprising amount lived thru the great drought of 2011 without irrigation! 
Asparagus and Skunk
Asparagus
Asparagus
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Roselle Red (Jamaica)

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus believed to be native to West Africa that grows well here at the park.
The plant is primarily cultivated for the production of bast fibre from the stem. The fibre may be used as a substitute for jute in making burlap. The red calyces of the plant can be used as food colorings. The green leaves can be used like a spicy type of spinach.

Also From this plant, several drinks are made. In the Caribbean sorrel drink is made from the sepals of the reselle. In Mexico, Jamaica is made by boiling dried sepals and calyces of the sorrel/flower of the Roselle Red (Jamaica) plant.
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Peppers

An amazing assortment of peppers have been produced at Town Creek Park .  These were grown by Martin Simonton in 2015, this year he has 40 varieties growing!
Pepers, Chilli Peppers, Bannana Pepers, Jalpeno Peppers
Pepers, Chilli Peppers, Bannana Pepers, Jalpeno Peppers
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Onions

Most of the onions in these pictures are multiplying onions, which are perrenial, and propogated by division. The larger bulb type onions grow well here, too.
 The basket is full of wild, top setting onions. Our woods are full of them in the spring. They are excellent fresh or cooked but by far my favorite way to enjoy them is pickled.
Onions
Onions
Onions
Onions
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Garlic

 I first found this Giant garlic in the early 90's, scattered about at old homesteads. It was a hardneck with flowering tops(scapes). These Scapes can be cooked while young and taste like garlicky Asparagus!

I began collecting them, hoarding them, expanding the quantity. Regular garlic doesnt grow well in the humid South, but this one thrives. They produce tiny hard "nutletts" on the bottom of the bulb, which then grow into single huge cloves. The next year these single cloves grow into a bulb of multiple cloves, resembling common store bought Garlic, but much larger. If not harvested each clove grows into a bulb of multiple cloves, with nutletts on the bottom. Some old homesteads have small beds placed near the house that are dedicated to Garlic patches.  They are super low maintainance and can be left to themselves, only harvested as needed.
The Garlic has now been identified as a Leek, like Elephant Garlic, and we hope to grow them commercially in Town Creek Park to be offered in local restaraunts and markets.
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
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The soil here grows Millet, Wheat, Oats and Rye very well. Imagine the smell and taste of freshly baked bread, made from locally grown grains...cooked in a wood fired oven...sour dough, french, Naan, ahhhh!

Wheat

Wheat
Wheat
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Oats

Oats
Oats
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Cereal Rye

Cereal Rye
Cereal Rye

Millet

Millet