planting times. An early maturing variety can beplanted ﬁrst, at the beginning of the growingseason, and a later maturing variety can beplanted two or three weeks after. If there aretwo different varieties in a ﬁeld, however, somelingering pollen from the tassels of the ﬁrst vari-ety may pollinate neighboring plants of the sec-ond variety. (Most corn pollen falls to the groundwithin 50 feet or so of its source.) For that rea-son, it is best not to plant two types of corn sideby side in long rows. Instead, they might beplanted at opposite ends of the garden or at op-posite ends of long rows. Seed should be gath-ered from stalks farthest from the other variety.In order to stagger planting times successfully,pay careful attention to the maturity dates foreach variety. It
s best to use varieties with verydifferent maturity dates to get the time intervalneeded.
2. Plant only one variety of a particular spe-cies prone to cross pollination.
In the village, people cannot simply plant whatthey like without regard to keeping seed stockpure. Instead the village needs to do someplanning, preferably before buying seed. Giventhat spinach pollen can be carried for a mile, itis best to choose one locally adapted nonhybridvariety of spinach and have everyone in the vil-lage plant that variety. See the Appendix 2 onpage 45 for more information about how to plan.
3. Maintain recommended isolation dis-tances
Gardeners can isolate a single variety of a spe-cies from all others by a recommended dis-tance, the plant
s “isolation distance.” The rec-ommended distance is too far for bees or windto carry pollen from one variety of a particularspecies to another. For plants with large isola-tion distances, this method simply is not practi-cal. Someone across the neighborhood may begrowing another member of the same species,or a wild variety may cross with a domesticatedone, as Queen Anne
s Lace crosses with car-rots.
4. Protect plants from cross pollination bymeans of physical barriers.
(See notes foreach crop for details as to which method maybe required.)
. Spun polyester cloth called Reemayor another lightweight fabric can be used tokeep insects off of ﬂower heads. Fashion a bagto enclose a ﬂower head or tie a section of fab-ric around it. Secure the bottom of the fabricaround the stem with a twist tie or string. To pro-tect the stem from damage and from insectsthat might enter from below, wrap a bit of cottonarospinachund the stem before tying the bagclosed around it.
To cage a planting of a single variety,use wood, wire, plastic pipe or metal to fashiona frame around the entire planting or row. Thencover the frame securely with spun polyestercloth or window screening. Reemay cloth will letin more light than window screening. In somecases, a plants can be wrapped in spun polyes-ter cloth clipped together with clothespins.
Alternate Day Caging.
If you grow two varie-ties that cross easily and require pollination byinsects, then you can use alternate day caging.The principle is simple: build a cage for eachvariety. Remove the cage from one variety oneday and the other variety the next. At all times,one variety is caged but the other is not. Con-tinue alternate day caging until ﬂowering forboth varieties is completely over. You will notget quite as much seed as you would if insectshad access to the plants full time, but your cab-bage will not cross with your kale.Keep in mind isolation distances, in any case. Ifyour neighbors are growing crops that will crosswith yours, alternate day caging is not a solu-tion.
Crops that are pollinated byinsects or the wind can be protected from bothand hand pollinated instead. Methods vary ac-cording to crop, so speciﬁcs are described inthe Crop Charts that begin on page 7.