Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mirai Corn and Tomato news

A new totally cool find... Mirai corn! OMG good. Let me share some of the good stuff with you and explain..
First... It is NOT a GMO. It is self-pollinating and developed from natural breeding and selection. You can relax. hehee.

"It was bred on the Ahrens family farm in Illinois by J. David Mackenzie, a plantsman from Cornell University. As the economy worsened for family farms in the early 1990s, the Ahrenses hired Mackenzie to research new strains of sweet corn for market use. When he discovered Mirai®, he was really just trying to create a more disease-resistant variety. But one taste changed all that.
At first, the new corn didn't seem marketable. It needs to be hand-picked, which ruled out production by the huge commercial farms in the U.S. So Mackenzie introduced it instead to Japan, where small "boutique" farms are common, and many crops are still picked by hand. Within a few years Mirai® had become the bestselling sweet corn in Japan, capturing an amazing 35% of the market from all other varieties! (That's where it got its name, too. Mirai® (pronounced mee-RYE) also means "taste"!)

Once small American farms and roadside produce operations heard of Mirai's success in Japan (where it made headlines), everyone wanted the seed. But until now, the breeders have wisely released only a small amount of seed, continuing to test and trial it. The results have been spectacular -- and those farmers' markets lucky enough to grow Mirai® have been besieged by long lines all season long! It's not uncommon for folks to drive 100 miles or more to wait in line for Mirai® -- and it is especially popular with older corn-lovers, because it is so gentle on the teeth or dentures. "
(copy and paste from Park Seeds)

I was at the farmer's market today and their was a line 30 people long waiting for this corn. I had never heard of it.. but the guy in line ahead of me was raving about it. I decided to buy a dozen. Glad I did because the farmer was completely sold out in 20 minutes. OMG... it was soooooooooooo good. Then, I did a google search on it and was even more impressed. Should only be boiled for 2 minutes!! AND.... In Japan, they call it a "dessert corn" because they eat if for dessert.
The one I bought is called mini-Mirai, or "baby corn" as the customers in line kept calling it. There is also a full size yellow Mirai and a white Mirai.
If you can find this in your area, well-worth buying. You'll know what all the fuss is about. Going to grow it next season in my garden.. Park Seed and Jung Seed both carry seed for all 3 varieties of Mirai.

So, now that I've shared the good stuff, let me tell you about my new tomato cross! I have a Kumato x Absinthe cross. Calling it "Fairytale" Alan Bishop made a good point about the name... he said it made sense because Absinthe, being one of the parents, is called "the green fairy". So it's child being called Fairytale is perfect! Thanks Alan. I have personal reasons for the name but I liked what Alan said too.
Here's a couple of photos of my baby. Saving the F2 seed for growout next season.

And in other news: I will be doing a full report on the garden as soon as things start really kicking in. Also... will be doing a new blog with my friend Sebastien in France! We thought it would be cool to have a cooking and gardening blog done by two people in two different countries contributing at the same time. Will post the link as soon as we actually have time to work on the blog hehee.

My new website is in progress and should be up in October. Stayed tuned.