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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old January 16, 2008   #1
nctomatoman
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Default More from the 1886 D. M. Ferry

Scans will follow, but I am sure that some of you will want to know about varieties of other crops...so here are some tidbits from the 1886 Ferry.

Beans:

Rhode Island Crease Back, Red Speckled Cutshort (Corn Hill), White Crease Back, Kentucky Wonder (bush), Ferry's Golden Wax, German Wax black seed, Ivory Pod Wax, German Wax white seed, Crystal White Wax, Lemon Pod Wax, China Red Eye, Early Yellow Kidney six week, Early Red Valentine, Early Mohawk, Refugee (thousand to one), Royal Dwarf Kidney, Large White Marrow or Mountain, Early Marrow Pea or Dwarf White Navy, Prolific Tree, Dutch Case Knife, London Horticultural, Indian Chief or Tall Black Wax, Kentucy Wonder (pole), Southern Prolific, Giant Wax, Extra Early Lima, Small White Lima or Carolina or Sieva, Dreer's Improved Lima, Large White Lima, White Runner and Scarlet Runner

I won't list all of the Beets (10 types plus Swiss Chard), but there were 12 different Stock Feed/Sugar Beets/Mangel Wurzels!

Brocoli (as they spelled it) - one type - Early Purple Cape.

Cabbage - 27 types

Carrots - 10 typest, including Large White Vosges and Large White Belgium

Cauliflower - 10 types

Celery - 6 types, including Incomparable Dwarf Crimson

Corn - Extra Early Marblehead, Dolly Dutton or Tom Thumb, Extra Early Adams, Early Minnesota, Early Red Narragansett, Crosby's Extra Early, Russell's Early Prolific Sugar, Early Sweet or Sugar, Moore's Early Concord Sweet, Black Mexican, Excelsior, Triumph, Ne Plus Ultra, Egyptian Sweet, Mammoth Sweet, Stowell's Evergreen, Early Adams or Burlington, Early Red Blazed, Early Golden Dent or Pride of the North, and Early Yellow Hathaway Dent. All of the sweet eating corn are white kerneled. (Golden Bantam didn't show up until 1902).

Cucumber - 10 types

Eggplant - 4 types, all dark purple

Lettuce - Early Tennis Ball, Black Seeded Simpson, Simpson's Early Curled, Early Boston Curled, Ferry's Early Prize Head, Hanson, Deacon Hine or Ice, Early Curled Silesia, Frankfort Head, Large Drumhead or Victoria Cabbage, Philadelphia Butter or Early White head, Brown Dutch, Green Fringed and White Paris Cos.

Onion - 13 types

Peas - 26 types

Peppers - Chili, Long Red Cayenne, Large Squash, Large Bell or Bullnose, Sweet Mountain (only 5, 2 of which are hot)

Potatoes - 5 types

Pumpkin - 3 types

Radish - 11 types, including French Breakfast

Spinach - 4 types

Squash - Early Yellow Bush Scallop, Early White Bush Scallop, Summer Crooknecke, Pine Apple (summer types); Boston Marrow, Improved American Turban, Hubbard, Butman, Marblehead, Winter Crookneck (winter types)

Tomato: Early Conqueror, Hundred Day, Canada Victor, Hathaway's Excelsior, Hubbard's Curled Leaf, Improved Large Smooth Red, Acme, Trophy, Favorite, Optimus, Essex Hybrid, Paragon, Perfection, Queen, Golden Queen, Red Pear Shaped

Turnip - 19 types!!!! Rutabaga or Swede - 6 types (Turnips were obviously more popular or important back then!).

Nothing really noteworthy on herbs (only one type of Basil).
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Old January 16, 2008   #2
bcday
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctomatoman View Post
Turnip - 19 types!!!! Rutabaga or Swede - 6 types (Turnips were obviously more popular or important back then!).
Important rather than popular, I think. So many families depended on their summer gardens to get them through the winter, any kind of crop that would store well was likely to be planted. And turnips are a dual-purpose crop, providing both fresh greens and storable roots.
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Old January 20, 2008   #3
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Here in the north, Rutabagas and turnips were a multipurpose, foolproof crop. Turnips were eaten at every stage, starting when they were very small. Rutabaga greens are coarse and unappealing, but the roots are sweeter and keep very well through the winter. They are dependable even in years when cabbage fails.

My great-grandfather and great-grandmother were swedish, and grew lots of Rutabagas as they had been accustomed to eating them back in Sweden. Rutabagas were also used to make a form of sauerkraut by coarsely grating the roots. My family would season the Rutabaga kraut with Coriander.

I'm not personally fond of coriander, but did experiment with Korean Kim Chee using rutabaga to replace part of the cabbage. We cut it in small cubes, and enjoyed the texture.
The flavor is lost under the effect of the hot peppers.
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