clouds have delivered 1.6" of rain in the last 24 hours...i am not displeased...it is a good sign given how dry the winter was...the plants continue to sprout...there are now 32 ramps up in the beds...this is a good thing as well...the intent is to leave them to bunch, separate them, and establish a native population to use in cooking next season..a self-sustaining wild leeks in the yard...that is the goal...today's big news i that the black eagle wheat my friend Jean and i are growing to make bread from true "scratch" has begun to germinate in its assigned bed...hard as it may be to see in the photos there is green there...there is frost forecast for the weekend...wheat is a cool weather crop but there will be frost cloth out there...we are just getting started and need no setbacks...this is a high profile project with long term implications..at least i am hoping it is...last photo is of the twenty teosinte seeds i soaked six day ago...thirteen have germinated...i am simply fine with that...i have gone form being concerned about getting seed to germinate to being concerned about finding enough room...i foresee container grown teosinte...more as things develop...
as far as i am concerned it is anyway...i thought it might be high time to unmulch the garlic and asparagus and i was correct in this...i went out to the garden this morning ( parker! was wanting to help but we had what seemed a terminal schedule conflict...so i went ahead and did it...parker! is an adjunct and as such is subject to the mercenary whims of the administration over her time...i have fewer constraints ) to peel back the fabric and see what was up..what was up was garlic..in three beds actually...one is given over to it entirely ( first three photos )...one is a half bed ( second set of three photos ) and one is a stand i planted and left unmulched ( seventh photo ) mostly because a) i was running out of room, and, b) i did not want to mulch over the green manures/cover crop in the bed...the mulched garlic is a bit sun starved...that will be taken care of now that it's out..you can easily see the difference in chlorophyll content between what was mulched and what was not...they will all be looking robust soon enough...the third bed to unmulch ( last two photos ) was the asparagus bed...and, sure enough, we already have a spear up and running...hoping to see more soon...there will be more activity in the garden now that the beds are open...i will be checking in on it as a matter of routine until next november so there will definitely be more posts...there will certainly be an "official" planting day...and just as surely the decision as to when that might be hasn't been looked into yet..irregardless, the season has started...spring green manures next on my agenda...probably next weekend...more as it comes up.
the two teosinte seedlings i planted three days ago are greening up and they have the telltale purple stems that say
teosinte" ( not that other grasses don't have purple stems...but i will accept it as a teosinte confirmation )...the second photo has some blurry green going on but it does do a fair job of illustrating a root emerging from the top of the seed case and loking for the soil...that will need to be covered...the seeds i soaked three days ago show no movement but, after i had given up on them, the original set has produced a third germination...so perhaps this seed just takes longer than the varieties i had been working with previously...i will leave the first batch be to see what transpires..i may find myself with more seedlings than room.
i am relieved to see more ramps appearing in the beds...i count a dozen so far which eclipses last year's population by adding another third ( nine last year...i am doing math in public and my ratio may be off...there are more...that i know )..i planted more than that last autumn so i am hoping to see an even larger population by this time next month...the object here is to let them grow and bunch this season, separating and replanting them into more beds to establish an even bigger population..with the eventual aim of actually cooking with them...there is purpose to this madness.
of the eleven teosinte seeds i soaked in hydrogen peroxide thirteen days ago, two have germinates...and they are ready to be moved into soil and light ( you can see the root on one had already burrowed into the paper towel...time to move )...two plants is only an 18% germination rate and two plants won't make a season ( for me anyway ) so i put another twenty seeds in to soak and will deliver them to a damp paper towel in the standard practice and we will see if this batch has a better germination rate or if this is as viable as this variety is..it is new to me and so far it is nothing like northern tepehuan teosinte which germinated ma much higher percentage of seeds...hoping for better results...if not there will be more soaks than this one...i want more plants this season.
the bed we chose to plant wheat in looked pretty much like an organic trash heap because that was pretty much what it was...up to and including a couple of pumpkins someone dumped there last autumn...they were in the way and we certainly didn't want any pumpkin vines coming up in the wheat so we dug a hole to bury them deeply enough to prevent any seeds from germinating...the topsoil out there is mostly leaf humus built up by the trees out back over the years...it goes down about a foot before the substrata changes to sand so there is a fair base for the plants...weeding a bed of wheat is just about impossible so we wanted to do a really disruptive dig to turn any seeds out there under and...since jerusalem artichokes have grown in the vicinity, to dig up any tubers we might find...the sixth photo shows we did find some...it also shows it has snowed the entire time we worked on this...it's fine...wheat is a cool weather crop...we found multiple worms in the bed...we are content with that...they can feed on the bacteria breaking down the pumpkins...after the dig we went over the bed with a warren hoe and then added around three hundred pounds of compost...turned that under...hit it with the hoe again and raked it into a semblance of even depth...a shade over an hour's worth of preparation work and we were ready to plant.
we planted black eagle spring wheat today...the pacific blue stem and baart are a bit more cold sensitive so we will start them indoors and put them in as transplants after the danger of frost is over...we laughingly read an article that suggested planting the wheat in row with two inches between the seeds...we id not do this..we used the traditional broadcast method...optimally there should be about thirty-two plants per square foot of space which works out to one thousand twenty-four plants if we were going to be that exact...still we counted out thirty two sees and put them in my hand to get a feel for the amount...then just tossed seeds in the bed...we went back and raked the seed in by hand...and now we wait.
an industrial worker and university student (everyone needs a hobby...my hobbies have evolved and, to keep things straight, i have left my formal student career behind for reasons that are too detailed to delve into here...continuing to be a student of life however and not adverse to learning...stasis is death ) sliding down the back side of middle age...a social loner with collectivist leanings...explain that.