Wednesday, December 21, 2011


So today someone decided to review our soap........

Except it wasn't really a review and nor were it truthful, in fact one could argue it was a hit piece. You see, there are these other soap makers in the community, nay, in fact in their own eyes, they are the "SOAP MAKERS". That is to say, they believe that since they make soap, no one else anywhere near their market has the right to make soap, in fact, it might be punishible by death for you or I to even consider making soap if our marketing territory overlaps even the tiniest bit.

Market farmers likely know the type, the insanely jealous folks that will do anything to protect what they rightly believe is theirs even if it means running others into the ground so long as the end goal of being a monopoly is accomplished.

That is the situation that I have recently found myself in here in Washington County, made all the more troublesome by the hard work and time I've put into promoting the new farmers market that I and they are a part of which includes promoting their product even as they continue to deride me and my products, once with the husband even taking to facebook to proclaim that I should throw myself head first into a wood chipper and once refering to my inability to perform a certain task for market due to a family member being critically ill as a "Lame Ass Excuse".

You see though, none of that suprises me, I have somewhat trained myself over the years to expect the worst of people, particularly those who you have tried your hardest to help over the years with gifts of seeds, labor, animals, exct.

What does suprise me though is when those same people want to deride me and my product they choose not to do it themselves, instead relying on a good friend of theirs to do the job for them such is the case with this "review".

I put "reveiw" in quotation marks as I'm not entirely sure you can call something a review if it is prefaced with the words: "NO. Its not about soap and never has been." But then perhaps that's my own critical thinking seeping into this blog post.

I accept full responsibility for this piece of bad publicity though and for good reason. You see the reviewer (who I'm sure will also review the competitors product with glowing admiration within the next 24 hours) was at our most recent winter market this past Saturday (wouldn't you know it, hanging with the competetors and even helping move product) and despite my better judgment (I should have known after the last round of drama ended and after she berated one of my customers and her review on my facebook page which I readily admit to deleting and further banning her. You can talk about me all you want, not my customers!) I sold her a bar of our soap which she procedes to dissect in her review.

Some of her observations I won't argue with such as packaging; yeah it's not for everybody and it's not meant to be, it's meant to be simple. The catchphrase; this was actually something my grandfather used to say, I have nothing to defend myself with here other than go fuck yourself, it's obviously not something you'll ever get and nor do I have time or energy to waste my breath arguing with you about it.

. One thing I agree with; yes, the ingredients label should be on the outside of the soap package, but for lack of time and space the night before market it ended up on the inside label, thanks for the tip though I'll make sure that happens in the future. ;)

Now, onto the things I disagree with or take issue with.

The soap not being cured in the center. Yes, the soap was well cured, over six weeks time. Honey is one of our main ingredients and in cold process soaps it takes some time to evaporate since it is unsaponified, as well the soap sat overnight in my truck where it likely did pick up some moisture (as the soap on the wrapper clearly shows).

The soap containing ingredients not listed on the label. That is a bold faced lie, there was no "corn" in this soap (though there is in Grit Getter), what there is is dried lavendar and honey. Everything that's in the soap is on the label and given how often I clean the equipment the chances of cross contamination are zero.

Regarding skin issues. Every persons skin is different and every person has a different set of aggrevators which may effect their skin in a negative way. IF there was something in the soap that aggrevated your skin you should know before using the soap (since I know you read the ingredients label) if there is anything which may effect you negatively. Since the soap was properly cured and since the lye is not longer caustic after saponification and since I have the math setting in front of me and know as a matter of fact that the soap is 3% superfated (complete with three different folks reviewing the math) I know that it's not due to chemicals. As stated above, I agree with you, the ingredient label should be on the outside of the soap and in the future it very well will be.

The fact that I don't generally accept checks and or credit cards. You can ask any customer of Bishop's Homegrown or Face Of The Earth Seed, we have almost completely relied on the well concealed cash or money order method over the past seven years for any number of our products and short an ocassional slow to ship complaint during busy times we've never had a complaint and nor has anyone ever claimed they never got their product, ask around, do a google search, were not fly by night, we've been around for quite a long time now. We did use Paypal for a short period of time but gave it up after reading a myriad of horror stories about treatment of their customers. When it comes right down to it we rely on our reputation in the community and at large which speaks for itself (at least when someone is not out running it into the ground to help out their friends and gain revenge for me telling you how I felt about the situation.)

About and unbiased review: hint; they never start with the phrase: "NO. Its not about soap and never has been." and nor do they close with a quantifier like: "Due to the nature of the beast I know I will be called out in regards to posting this review and will be called biased, and hateful. It was not my intent. I paid cash to purchase the item in question and did an honest review of the product as a whole. I did not take into account who made it other than in regards to the end paragraph regarding the buyer being protected from bad product or negligent sellers. Simply put buyer beware."

About the smell; the only smell you'll get from our soap is that of the natural products in our soap. As mentioned before we don't use fragrant oils or synthetic oils as our goal is to use what is available on the farm, this does not lend to a strong fragrance which is something that we have chosen to do purposely.. Lard is out main base and depending on the forumla and what the soap is trying to accomplish yes sometimes it doesn't have a huge lather, other forumlas we use do. Different strokes for different folks. Nothing against those who use stronger oils to fragrance their soap but we are catering to a group who aren't after that and who want only a slight smell imparted by ingredients grown on the farm. Theres plenty of room for everybody to make soap regardless of your thoughts. If you had an issue with smelling bad after using the soap you should likely consult a doctor as it's likely clinical in nature and needs attention.

Because if they did it would be plain to see that theres more than a little bit of history between the producer and the consumer.

In closing, yes you did buy the soap, and your intentions are now painfully clear for all the world to see. Yes, you got shitty customer service because we all know your a deceitful little troll with absolutely no respect for others (ask your peers at the other market, I'm sure they would be glad to let you know) and you've caused me just as many problems as your omipotent soap making gutter trash friends (even prior to the review). So, if you think Kim or I are going to kiss your fat fucking ass to make four dollars (and destroy our reputation) dream on.

For those reading this post, I appoligize for my attrocious grammar and spelling but I couldn't set back and allow somone to damage my reputation (even for a new product which is really only a small percentage of what we do) by running myself and my product into the ground while attempting to decieve her readers into believing that it's honestly only about doing a review (convinent too that here she just started doing reviews and the first product she comes to is soap with mine conviniently being first and her friends surely coming soon! It's the details you'll notice!)

For customers interested in our soap, please feel free to call 812-967-2073 or email for those concerned about our reputation a simple google search for bishops homegrown, face of the earth seed or hip-gnosis seed development should provide a list of nearly everything we've done over the years and just how reliable we really are. A look at and a simple inquiry post about us should assuage any further reputation damage.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Face Of The Earth 2012 Seed Bazzar.

Face of the earth seed bazaar public catalog.

About Us: Face Of The Earth Seed is not necessarily a seed company as much as it is a spin off of our plant breeding projects (formerly Hip-Gnosis Seed Development) and private seed trading. We began breeding new varieties seven years ago as an expression of our frustration with commercially adapted varieties and the lack of locally adapted heirlooms here in Southern Indiana and have persued it passionately every since with an equal amount of science, folk whimsey, and spirituality in a quest to help build the foundation of a local food shed. As we continued to explore the unique world of public domain plant breeding we began to see other farmers and gardners turning back the pages of time to reveal a deep and complex history intertwining life, survivability, culture, heritage, tradition and genetics into a melting pot of creativity and necessity. Now, more than ever, people are realizing the importance of crops adapted to the worst possible conditions and are open to the possibilities available to them via the methods of the past.

It is from this tree that the Face Of The Earth seed Bazaar sprang forth first as a clearing house for genetics which we felt may be of interest to others and progressively as a source for locally adapted landrace varieties. Over the ensuing years we hope to continue to develop our breeding projects into more cohesive landrace varieties which maintain diversity while ensuring productivity under the most challenging of conditions in our region with the goal of eventually creating a bio-regional based seed bank geared towards the wider Ohio Valley.

As we continue to further refine our current breeding stock into landrace varieties many of the highly diverse “genepools” and “grexes” will be phased out with the remainder of those seeds offered via this list so that others might make use of them in their unique bio-regions. It is our personal responsibility as a species to foster the evolution and adaptation of our food plants to our environment (not our environment to our food plants!) but to have the oporotunity to evolve alongside them is a gift!

All seed collections represented below are public domain, unpatented, and open source as well as GMO free!

You will notice that most of these collections are not pure varieties, they are various admixtures of new hybrids, segregating original crosses, and new open pollinated accessions, most of which we have breed on our own in recent history, and which with some selection work give rise to new adaptavar landraces and individual folk varieties. We do not recommend these seeds to those who are concerned with high yield or with producing a large market crop; instead we offer these collections as an efficient and affordable source of genetics which would otherwise be cost prohibitive to the average gardener, farmer, or plant breeder to obtain. Unless otherwise noted there are no named varieties within each package with which to affix a label.


Mer De Noms Tomato - One of our very first and most noted breeding projects! 3-5 ounce red, juicy, globes. Highly esteemed by friends, family, and market customers as the perfect snacking or Saladette type tomato. Wonderfully sweet and slightly biting flavor. People have “fought” over these at home and market. Great for greenhouse culture or field culture, producing heavy trusses of reliable fruit. Quite a bit of disease resistance for an OP. Unfazed by late blight in 2009 and 2010. 15 seed.

Absinthe Tomato - Our unique green when ripe tomato is back for a second year. From a stabilized cross of Aunt Ruby’s German Green X Emerald Evergreen. Named after the famous drink favored by artists such as Picasso. Ripens to green with an amber blush. Drought tolerant reliable market or home garden cross. Spicy flavor which is great for BLT’s. 15 seed.

Jack White Tomato - Another of our unique new OP tomatoes. Jack white is a stabilized cross between White Beauty and White Tomesol, gaining the love of white tomato haters everywhere for it’s unique and delicious taste when compared to other white tomatoes. Named after Jack White, lead singer of the White Stripes band. 15 seed.

Phoenix Pink Tomato Landrace - Seeds from our favorite crosses, op’s, and homemade hybrids, saved together as a single variety over the past four years. The Pink Floyd Tomato we released several years ago is here as well. Lot’s of diversity, potato leaf and regular leaf. Tomatoes from 6 ounces up to two lbs or more. Trial this and select what you like, there are no named tomatoes in this mix other than Pink Floyd, these are literally all original unlabeled public domain works. 15 seed.

Prometheus Landrace - Seeds from our favorite crosses, op’s, and homemade hybrids, saved together as a single variety over the past four years. The PAC-Man Tomato we released several years ago is here as well. Lot’s of diversity, potato leaf and regular leaf. Tomatoes from 6 ounces up to two lbs or more. Trial this and select what you like, there are no named tomatoes in this mix other than PAC Man which was still segregating, these are literally all original unlabeled public domain works. 15 seed

Paradigm red tomato Landrace - Seeds from our favorite crosses, op’s, and homemade hybrids, saved together as a single variety over the past four years. Lot’s of diversity, potato leaf and regular leaf. Tomatoes from 6 ounces up to two lbs or more. Trial this and select what you like, there are no named tomatoes in this mix as these are literally all original unlabeled public domain works. The best of last years Olde 101 mix have found their home here. DTM 70-90. 15 seed

Roller coaster Cherry Tomato Landrace - Five years ago we collected an absolute ton of cherry tomato, currant tomato, cheesmani tomato, and Hirustrum tomato seeds of all colors of the rainbow, mixed them together and direct seeded them to a field which tends to stay saturated in wet weather allowing them to interbred and give rise to new strains of “half wild” tomatoes. Fortunately or unfortunately they self seed the same field every year, surprising us with their diverse forms and colors as well as shapes and tastes, these are some of the best selections from those feral tomatoes. 15seed.

Black Dog: A beautiful black bean with a wonderful flavor, bush/runner type, similar flavor to black turtle bean and a favorite here on the farm. Produced a bumper crop in 2012 despite being completely defoliated by Mexican Bean Beetles! Excellent production of both shiny and flat black seeds as well as an occasional purple type, fantastic in soups and stews and in Hispanic dishes. 30 seeds.

Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Bean: From our good friend and logo designer Mary Deem Pfeifer. Originally sourced from SESE. A snap pole bean with unique mushroom type flavor when cooked.

Edamame Landrace: We have been growing this one primarily as a feed additive for the poultry flock but it also makes a fantastic snack for humans! Diverse colored seeds, selected for high yield over a number of years from many cultivars. Very Limited seed. 30 seed each.

Melons: The following two selections are the leftovers from genepool breeding projects of previous years, this will be the last year I will offer seed of these sources.

Between the Sun and Moon Yellow/Orange/Red/White Watermelon Mass Cross - A mass cross of mostly yellow, orange, and white watermelons and an occasional high brix red icebox type. Too many varieties to name were planted in the field (close to 100). We saved seeds from the best in color, taste, and use! Check this out if you love watermelons! Select for those traits which fit your needs. We have consistently grown these in “weed patches” with better than expected results. 15 seeds.

Dionysus Melon Grex - Cantaloupes, Honey Dews, Tam Dews, Orange Fleshed Musk Melons grown in a mass cross situation for a couple of years. We ascribe to the plant orgy method of plant breeding from time to time, particularly in crops which due sub prime in our heavy clay soil anyhow. This is where the search for a truly great Ohio Valley Melon begins. Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and fertility and apparently a muse for non conventional plant breeders. 15 seeds.

Sweet Corn:Astronomy Domine Sweet Corn - A diverse gene pool from Hip-Gnosis Seed Development/Alan Reed Bishop. For those willing to give room and time to experimental plant breeding. Over 170 lines of open pollinated and hybrid (non-gmo) corn cultivars have been genetically folded together and selected in the direction of a mid season multi-color grex with great drought tolerance and a rainbow of color. Recent generations saw the inclusion of high yielding yellow hybrids, select away from yellow to maintain more diverse color in coming years. Lots of diversity and something here for everyone, survival food. 50 Seeds


High Voltage Hot Pepper Landrace - We took our favorite heat stroke inducing peppers and folded them together into this unique grex of varieties. We don’t give much thought to the shape or color of the pepper, but more the taste and culinary uses of such. All of these are great for drying and use in Chilies, good in salsas as well, many are great for frying. 15 seeds

California Wonder Bell: The standard bell pepper.

Blackberry: We had planned on offering diverse blackberry seeds last year and I was unfortunately not comfortable with the viability I was getting from the seed and thus held out on working with them. This year I'm a bit more comfortable with the viability of the seed I produced as they are much more plump and generally healthy looking so we wanted to offer you something special.

White Blackberry Hybrid Seed: Luther Burbank spent decades of his life chasing down the elusive albino blackberry trait at his Sebastapol farm and even longer trying to perfect it. I spent five years trying to find his masterpiece; The Snowbank. Around the time I located it I found the Nettletons Creamy White Blackberry which I presume to actually be the earlier Burbank variety (Iceberg). This year both fruited (a review is available at in a location which made crossing to one another as well as wild and domestic blackberry plants possible. This is the resultant population. Since neither has the the taste or size that would be considered market worthy here is your opportunity to improve upon the work of that giant; Luther Burbank. 30 seeds


GnR (green and red)Gumbo Okra Mix - We have been collecting Okra for a few years now. It’s an obsession trying to find more diversity and better textures in one of our favorite crops. Here we present the 14 best types we have found thus far. Louisiana cowhorn is included. 30 seeds.


Gold Standard Landrace Summer Squash - We do love summer squash, don’t get us wrong, but we also have issues with cucumber beetles and powdery mildew. Several yeas back Kent Ettlinger sent us seed for many diverse types of summer squash and we also purchased seeds for many others. We trialed them, tasted them, made selections and various crosses and started selecting from the mix which originally included zucchini types, crooknecks, scallops, and eight balls we have since pared it down to mostly crosses of zucchini and crooknecks which produce well throughout the season and don’t give us as many pest or disease issues. We have also had some luck in ferreting out a crookneck gene which allows the crookneck to get to a much larger size without developing a leathery skin or large inedible seeds, these we call gold standard, but since many off types still exist including the dominant zucchini we just maintain them as a whole for the time being. 20 seeds. Bulk Too

Acorn Squash landrace – A reliable producer even in the worst years. Quick maturity means it beats the insect and disease pests to production. Abundant yields of multicolored and striped acorn and mini pumpkin type squash in many hues and patterns. Expect off types from time to time and rogue them out.

Cucurbrita Maxima Grex - A gene pool of mass crossed Maxima types, mostly of South American and African origin as well as some from the orient. Wonderfully flavored moist squash types in many shapes and sizes. 15 seeds. (Last year of availability)

Landrace Moschata: Selections from years of mass crossing of many diverse types of C. Moschata. Deep orange, yellow, and nearly red flesh. Necked types of many sizes, Dickinson, field pumpkin, butternuts, cheese types, and many more! A reliable producer even in drought and low fertility. One of my favorite projects.


Money in the bank cucumber landrace - Long slicing cucumbers in shades of green and white. Excellent producers of market quality. Great for fresh eating and canning. Highly diverse with lots of opportunity to make individual selections.. 15 seeds.

Bootleggers Best Seed (farm and feed crop)

El Diablo Tobacco Grex - A controversial plant for sure, tobacco provided us with the economic foundation we built our country upon and also wrecked the health of many great individuals. I obtained my formal agricultural training starting as a young boy working this very soil with my grandfather in his tobacco patch, without this formal introduction to the old ways and agriculture I wouldn‘t be doing what I do now. Tobacco use continues and there are many herbal uses for this sacred plant as well. When and if things ever go bad it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have this on hand for trade and barter. We have included several hundred original crosses here in this mix including burley types, shade leaf, Orinoco, Madole, Perique, Cavendish and others. Some of these genetics came directly from Castro’s Plantation. In the near future we plan on doing a feature regarding growing and curing tobacco at
300 seeds

UK Tuxpeno Corn - Sent to us by our friend Jim Culpepper a couple years ago. Selectively bred by the University of Kentucky from a high yielding, high protein tropical lowland corn. Semi Flint. In trials here on the farm we have found the Turkeys prefer this variety as opposed to nearly all others. Grows close to 15 feet tall, prolific; two to three 6-8 inch ears per stalk, tight husk. Needs a bit of selection to breed out the tendency to produce a smut nose which protrudes occasionally through the end of the husk. Good breeding germ plasm. Seed is a couple years old but has been germ tested at 80% , extra seed is packaged. About 115-120 DTM. 1 ounce.

Amanda Palmer Landrace corn - We folded a ton of old mid southern and corn belt dents as well as UK tuxpeno, a couple flour types, and even some flint into this new landrace genepool over the past two seasons including: Bloody Butcher, Daemon Morgans Kentucky Butcher, Reids Yellow Dent, Lancaster Surecrop, JF3, UK Tuxpeno, Mammoth White, Boone County White, Jellicorse Twin, Hickory King Yellow and Hickory King White, Wash. Co Blue, Oneida, and several of Victor Kucyk's varieties, some introgression of flint genes add a new realm of possibilities to those with shorter and wetter seasons. Even in it's current segregating state we estimated yields near 100 Bu/Acre this season. Seed in a rainbow of colors. Great as an animal feed or human food! DTM 90-120
1/2 pound - 8.00
1 lb – 14.00
heavier bulk is available.

Wax corn grex – Late last season our good friend Castanea passed on to us three types of white seeded waxy corn which we blended together and planted late this season. Yield was low mostly due to a combination of late planting, drought, and low fertility but we were able to harvest enough seed to offer a limited amount to our friends. All three varieties were 90 DTM, one was open pollinated and the other two were F1 giving rise to a presumably fair amount of possible diversity. Seed is extremely limited, first come first served. 30 seed.


Saucerfull of Secrets sunflower mix - A wonderfully diverse mixture of sunflower types, we started with nearly 100 and selected for large and medium sized single heads with of multiple colors as well as multi-branched poly flowering types. In recent years we have selected seeds based not only on looks but on seed production and preference based on the poultry flock when feed as a scratch grain or in admixture with our home grown and ground feeds. Excellent crop for cut flowers, decorative hedges, or a fed grain. 100 seeds
-ounce for $7.00.

Tagettes - One of our favorite flowers. Old fashioned “hedge” type marigolds in all colors shapes and stripes including the elusive white. Many of these from the USDA GRIN collections. Great for companion planting and pest control!

Guarantee: Face Of The Earth Seed Certifies that the seeds we supply are fertile and correctly labeled. We are glad to reimburse anyone dissatisfied to the cost of the seeds and no more, or to re-supply given kinds. We are not responsible for the mis-use of the seeds or the plants that arise from them. Our seeds exceed state and federal germination requirements and in the rare case that germination is lower than expected we package extra seed. We list minimum number of seeds and often we supply extra. All seeds are grown "Eco-Logically" at Bishop's Homegrown here in Pekin Indiana using on farm produced composts and no chemical intervention.

Conditions: By purchasing these seeds you agree to all terms and conditions and unconditionally agree that you understand these seeds are genetically diverse populations which are not catered to high production agriculture under all circumstances and that genetic diversity within each package is to be expected, we are not responsible for you not understanding what is expressly stated and we make no refund or remediation for customers who fail to read and understand these conditions.

All seed packets are 3.00 unless otherwise marked. For orders under $15 send 3.00 shipping and handling. Indiana residents add 7% sales tax per order. Seeds are sent on a first come and first serve basis.

Shipping Times: Since we do not employ seed packers and operate on a shoestring budget out of my own personal expense shipping isn’t quite industrialized but we strive to make sure that orders go out in a timely manner as they are received.

To the greatest extent possible we are trying to escape the interventionism of modern technology and as such we no longer will be offering an online ordering option, instead we accept cash and postal money orders and preferably well concealed cash where possible. Make checks and money orders out to Alan Bishop.

Send a list of your selections along with price of items and sales tax (if applicable)along with payment to:
Alan Bishop
5604 S. State Rd. 60
Pekin IN 47165

Seed may also be obtained here at our farm or farm stand.

Regarding treated seed: There are occasionally a small percentage of treated seeds present in our grexes as we make use of many commercial lines in breeding. We do not approve of this but in order to offer certain genetic traits this is currently the trade off we have to deal with. It shouldn’t have to be said but do not use these seeds for feed, oil, human consumption or any other absolutely idiotic perusal of death that you can dream of. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR STUPIDITY. Any treated seed will be labeled in description and on the package

Contact and ordering information:

Coda: 2011 has been an odd year for us here at Bishop's Homegrown. I suppose a more apropriate term might be “challenging”. Changing weather patterns forced planting later in the year for many crops and we saw the failure of many items in the “trial by fire” fields due to flood, drought, and animal damage. We feel that while economically 2011 may have set us back some (both in terms of seed items and produce) the sacrifice was necessary to truly discover what of our work was actually worth pursuing both for our own sanity and for the future of our local food shed. Despite poor weather, economic challenges, family health issues, financial issues, and political issues I can honestly say hope still persists as does optimism about our breeding work and the 2012 season. Many previously mentioned (via our blog and projects await their chance to populate this seed bazaar next season after seed increase (many several years in the making which provided seed this year but not in abundant enough quantity to offer) in an “eco-logical” production system as opposed to a “trial by fire” selection system which the remaining projects have already survived.

If it weren't for friends and family far and wide we wouldn't/couldn't be doing this. To that end I would love to thank the entirety of my friends at who have contributed ideas, inspiration, and seeds to my many varied projects as well as all the readers and supporters of the blog at and all the many musicians, authors, and artists who inspire me on a daily basis (mostly Rush).