Heirloom or hybrid? Purists would have you believe gardening is an all or none proposition. I think you can have both if you choose to. A garden is a personal expression of the person who tends it. I know farmers who plant nothing but hybrids and others who plant only open pollinated crops. Either is beautiful in its own right. Me? I use both – I save seeds that were gifts from people who were dear to me, and I adore my hybrids too. Each serves a purpose and deserves my care-taking.
I contemplated these thoughts while working in the corn patch today…
Hybrid sweet corn – it grows here and ripens, we like to eat it, because we like tender, mildly sweet corn.
Taste and texture are very subjective. I don’t care for starchy corn, so I grow a SE hybrid with lightly sweet, delicate kernels.
For corn meal, I rely on an open pollinated variety that will actually ripen in our cool, northern climate. It is in the process of drying down.
Some ears have dry husks, some don’t. I see the birds are checking the progress too.
Both corn varieties are at home here. The hybrid sweet corn is ready now, and the flint corn will continue to ripen.
The rye and vetch cover crop signals the transition from this years corn patch to next years potato plot.
Heirloom marigolds in the corn are beautiful in their own simplicity.
But I can’t take my eyes off of these late golden hybrid sunflowers.
How does your garden grow? Heirlooms only or do you mix and match?