Sunday, December 17, 2017

mostly mashua

yesterday's teosinte transplants seem to be doing okay in their new homes...a little early fro any definitive answer on that just yet...
and two of them are definitely putting out flowers...
the potatoes i found chitting in the pantry a week ago are greening up and will be leafing soon...i had actually hoped to avoid indoor spuds this winter...working out the need for water in a cool, humid basement is a touchy business...dead plants, mold, rotten tubers...it isn't a cheery pastime usually...i wasn't going to toss them however...so we will move forward...
i found aerial bulbs from egyptian walking onions sprouting in the pantry a week ago as well...they are coming along...a it over an inch tall...
the bogota market mashua that is growing from a cutting is putting out four new leaves...this will be a candidate for a transplant soon...
however the big news ( in my estimation anyway ) from today is that one of the bogota market tubers has sprouted a stem and leaves overnight which doubles my mashua population and makes me a happy gardener...the season is moving along...the solstice is nearly here...soon enough it will be time to move out back and plant spring wheat and look for ramps.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

how many bushels?

i had noticed that the corn field by the supermarket had been harvested last month and events moved me away from it until today...i went out with an eye to trying to determine harvest lost as the combine swept the field...how much actually was left behind...so i used a usda loss calculator i found in an extension website and made an effort at a very informal assessment...the idea is to count the loos kernels in a twenty foot long section of three rows and divide by twenty to arrive at a number of bushels per acre lost...so i stepped off twenty feet ( approximately...i said this was informal ) and began counting...
in those three rows i counted two hundred and five loose kernels which has farmer brown's combine leaving behind three point four bushels an acre...what's the average nation wide...no idea..yet...more research needed...i did run across something of a problem with this...the calculator specifically said "loose kernels"...and there were plenty of those about...however...
a walk down another hundred feet or so of those three rows revealed a multiplicity of kernel...still on cobs...far outnumbering the loose ones i found...i did not have time to count the number of kernels on the cobs and make the necessary calculations...and i did not have time to walk the entire acreage to see if this pattern held true through the entirety or if, perhaps, on choosing a random patch of field is tumbled on one where the combine encountered a mechanical issue that was corrected...don't know...i do know that if it held true for the whole field there was a lot more than a shade under three and a half bushels and acre lost...the deer and birds may be happy of this..the field may be gleaned significantly by spring...even if the grain is pretty much starch and nutritionally void...i will watch as long as this snow drought lasts...and there may be more than normal volunteer corn ( if it isn't sprayed to perdition ) in next year's bean field which will be of interest to watch as well...
finally, just because i found them this way..here are some cobs that have been stripped of the grain...the reddish brown ones are from this season and the other, darker ones from 2015...the last time this was a cornfield...there i something like six pounds of nitrogen per ton of corn cobs out there...it would appear to be a slow, timed release.

what? wait! when did i plant these?

i began planting teosinte seeds i had test germinated forty-nine days ago..back in october...
they are out growing the peat pots they are in...this one has hit fourteen inches at its highest point...
and this one has hit nine inches on its central stalk...
however what startled me was the nine inch height had been reached by...a flower...after only forty-nine days? unexpected at best ( actually this is not bad...jut startling )...so i started to look around...
and i found another...and even more startling, a silk...these are grown from zea mays mexicana seeds i got form the usda and are a different variety than the northern tepehuan ( which is also outgrowing its peat pots ) and may have a somewhat shorter season...it is not a variety i have a great deal of experience with so we will be learning together...
so i prepared two reasonably deep ( eighteen inches or so ) deep containers ( the aqua colored on in the photo has yacon rhizomes ion it ) that will see the plants through the rest of their season...
so i took the peat pots one by one and tore the bottoms out to free the roots ( a poorly focused photo but you can still see the roots protruding...the plants were becoming pot bound )
and planted them four to a container...we have some flowers...ears? seeds? who knows...stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

out and in

there has been a return of seasonably cold temperatures...
but not before temperatures above freezing melted what little insulating snow there was from the winter rye...which does not look especially happy about it...
the new york import wild strawberries ( "tough little plants" ) are hunkering down...
and teosinte ears continue to open and shatter...
the teosinte in the basement is doing fine...and i finally got a focused photo of the support roots on one of them...
the mashua growing from a cutting continues to expand it leaves and exhibit new growth...still no sign of movement from the three tubers i have in peat pots down there...
and last but certainly not least, Jean's puddle wheat and its cohabiting onions are both looking robust...there may be "beer and onions" ( on the ancient egyptian sense ) sooner or later.