Yesterday we drove out to Mohr-Fry Ranches in Lodi, CA (they really do have peacocks!) to check in on our Red Flint ‘Floriani’ corn and this year’s crop of heirloom beans. We’ve been getting frequent updates and pictures from both Chip and Jerry but we thought it was time to see it in person. And…well… WOW.
Pretty much everyone has been surprised by the sheer height of this year’s crop and impressed by the number of ears that have already developed… and it’s only early August.
Ian Johnston and his son John were also there. They are growing some of this same corn on their land outside of Woodland, CA, so it was useful for everyone to compare notes. Apparently, corn is notorious for sucking up nitrogen, so both farms have been grappling with that. We were also pleasantly surprised to see Herb Vogt, a researcher with the UC Davis Department of Plant Science and an original member of the first Grain Meeting held at Oliveto Restaurant in 2007 from which the idea for Community Grains grew out of.
The beans are still developing, but definitely starting to take on color and size. We’ll plan to return for some of the multi-stage bean harvest which is tentatively scheduled to begin some time in September.