We are growing a number of varieties of maize that we are excited to offer milled for various uses.
One of our favorites is "Nalo Orange" - a variety we developed in Waimanalo, Hawaii - which is a derivative of the Argentinian landrace Cateto, but with improved vigor and pest and disease resistance. This deep orange, high oil, flinty corn is full of flavor and great for polenta, grits, and in cornbread. Its orange pigments give it high levels of carotenoids to help you see clearly in these dark times.
We have loads of blue corn varieties that we are developing which we will offer as blue cornmeal, hominy, and for masa. These varieties are the results of years of breeding tropically derived blue corns in Hawaii. We have crossed many of these blue corns with white southern heirlooms like Hickory King, Cooke's Prolific and others to bridge the best of two worlds. We look forward to sharing these works in progress and getting consumer feedback.
Corn endosperm is a fascinating, delicious, and deep wormhole. In addition to "field corn" types we are growing for milled products (flint endosperm types) and for use as hominy and masa (dent endosperm types), we are growing a number of types of corn for fresh eating. These include sweet corns - but not all sweet corns are created equal. Sweet corn is sweet due to naturally occuring mutations which halt or slow the conversion of sugars into starches in the kernels. Old-time sweet corns have the "sugary"(su) mutation - which results in a moderately sweet corn (which loses its sweetness relatively quickly) and is creamy due to the presence of phytoglycogens. Another gene "sugary enhancer" (se) can complement the su gene which increases sweetness and shelf stability while maintaining the creamy texture. Most modern sweet corns are "super sweet" - more crispy without the creamy phytoglycogens. In these corns the sweetness is due to the "shrunken" gene (sh2) - so named because the seeds of these varieties are very shrunken. Another gene "brittle" (bt1) results in a similar super sweet corn but has only been used in Hawaii by breeder James Brewbaker. We had the fortune to work with Dr, Brewbaker and now have many varieties of supersweet corn with the brittle gene. In all sweet corn cases, we love to experiment with pigments, and so have white, yellow, blue and purple versions.
A less well known endosperm type is "waxy" (wx) - a mutation that results in kernels with high levels of amylopectin (whereas other field corns have amylopectin and amylose). This results in a chewy, mochi like texture when these corns are cooked and eaten immature. This type of corn was discovered by farmers in China who appreciated this texture where other grain crops with related mutations had been identified - mochi rice, mochi millet, etc.
Everyone loves popcorn! We are growing a few varieties of popcorn experimentally and should any turn out to be worth the effort, we'll offer them.
The genus Cucurbita is a heart stealer and belly filler. It includes the well known species Cucurbita pepo (summer squash, zucchini, patty pan, classic pumpkins, acorn squash, delicata), Cucurbita maxima (kabocha, turban, georgia candy roaster), and Cucurbita moschata (butternuts, seminole, tropical pumpkins). During our travels and farming in the tropics (the Caribbean, Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific, and Mesoamerica) we became enchanted by the diversity of Cucurbita moschata which is the species that grows best in the tropics - and it turns out has great squash and insect resistances for growing in the Southeast.
In the summer of 2022 we grew out a large collection of seeds from some of our favorite squashes, plus seed from crosses between some of our favorites, and completely new types coming out of the inter-specific hybrid Tetsukabuto.
We grow a wide variety of vegetables for our family garden and love to plant extra beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, amaranth, raddichio, fresh culinary herbs, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and flowers to share!