Tuesday, November 21, 2017

basement 21 november 2017

i have teosinte under grow lights in three different spots in the basement and, so far, it's doing okay...
some is taller than i would like...however it has broad, green leaves like the grass that it is and the plants are standing upright with no hint of laying over...
better still, some are squat plants that bear a better resemblance to their domesticated offspring than the taller plants...working on roots instead of leaves...
as i expected, some are tall, spindly, and in constant need of reassurance that they should be upright...they are not indoor plants really...i would expect failures along the way...
so far i have one robust looking mashua plant down there that came, not from a tuber , but from a cutting...a couple of green leaves to feed some developing roots...to be able to produce seed tubers fro spring in the basement would be very gratifying...we'll see...
finally, what my friend Jean call "the puddle wheat" ( because it germinated in a small puddle of water in the basement ) is just fine..the original leaves have all lain down, however the secondary growth is turning into wheat...another experiment really...it was germinated and growing rots...the only thing to do was plant it and give it the opportunity to grow...another container of "we'll see"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

a little morphology news

twenty kernels of dense yellow #2 and twenty northern tepehuan teosinte seeds...one led to the other.

teosinte lean

temperatures here continue to be more seasonal...
and this northern tepehuan teosinte plant has leand ( actuall more like broke ) over to allow the ears to disperse their seeds as far from the parent plant as possible...
unfortunately for the plant's efforts, most of the ears on this plant contain green seeds that will not germinate under even the best conditions...it simply started its reproductive cycle too late for this climate...
the plant next to it started a couple of weeks earlier and many of its ears have shattered already ( those that i did not harvest for seed anyway ) and the seed is littering the ground...as i have said i will leave it to see if it germinates come spring...volunteer teosinte would be a first...
the zea mays parvaglumis is leaning out as well...relative share similar traits...
while it did have a long enough season for ears top actually emerge from the stems this year, the seeds i found outside and those i brought in were all green...these plants' reproduction will fail in this climate will definitely fail...
a northern tepehuam ear i brought in may yield a couple of viable seeds, however i am thinking the seed harvesting season is about done...now we wait to see if they have any life in them.

Friday, November 17, 2017

seeds and a season indoors

the teosinte in the basement is doing fine...a couple of plants became too"leggy and toppled over and a couple germinated but did not grow...nothing unusual in either...there are still eleven plants under the lights...we will see how it goes...
the wheat is a nice shade of green and growing...i am in untested waters here...i have some idea of what to expect from the teosinte...the wheat will be an eleusinian mystery for me...
the mashua harvest was not the greatest...however it has, hopefully, put me in a position to produce seed tubers for next season...there will be a container crop next spring if this succeeds...
i have been collecting teosinte seed ( more on that in a minute ) as it matures, however numerous ears have already opened and shattered on leaving as scattering of seed on the ground...
i am inclined to leave them to see what transpires...
even ears with green and immature seeds are opening...
i have had a number of seeds drying indoors for a week or so and it was time to sort them, mostly by size and color, into batches of varying perceived viability...actually the viability of all this seed is suspect and only a test germination ( next spring so any that do can be planted outdoors ) will tell...
i separated out the seeds that were still green and those for which the seed case had not completely covered the endosperm ( like ones in the open but unfinished ears in the photos above ) and set them aside...
i sported out a second group of light colored, smaller, but not green seeds into a second group ( you can see some unfinished seed here too ) which may yield some usable seed...
and, finally, a group of two-hundred and eighty larger, darker seeds i perceive as having the best possibility of being viable...we will see in a few months...i will continue to look for mature seed however i am thinking the season for that is done...this has been by far the longest growing season i have had for teosinte since i started with it seven years ago..we will see what it has yielded soon enough.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

a few more ears

temperatures have definitely fallen off here in the past week...
and while many ears are still green others have turned brown ( or tan at least ) and begun to shatter so those i have started to bring in...
even these seeds are not all mature..i am finding that the more mature seeds are at the bottom of the spike, closest to the stem and that they green as the go towards the top...we will see how many of each there are after they dry and i sort them sometime next week.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

nexus

i got out of the back yard and out into the rural suburban nexus by driving down county line road about four miles from my house and out onto 450 N...
some of the fields have been reaped...
some have not ( pleas note the number of ears hanging down on the stalks...some behaviors are genetic )
still others are a work in progress with no definite end date...especially if it rains ( or snows )today and tomorrow...
thanks giving in less than two weeks away now...i'm thinking farmer brown would like to see the last grain truck rolll out of the field before then...we'll see