nasturtiums are in the yard because they are peppery little blooms and relatives of the andean tuber mashua which is also out there...it is late october and the nasturtiums are going to seed which is fine with me...i have been combing the ground around the plants in search of "mature" seed and have already mailed some off to a friend...further research has revealed that waiting is not a necessity...like potato fruits, color and growth stage are not an indication of viability...size is more of a factor...i have quite a few seeds of varying sizes still on the vine so to speak and since there is no frost in the immediate forecast i will be letting them go a bit longer...it is good to know they can be harvested at any time though..options are something of a rarity in viability..i will be taking advantage of this one.
it's getting late and there will probably be a frost warning tonight ( although the last one turned out to be a false alarm we are well past our average first frost date )...still the teosinte is standing tall and there are flowers almost everywhere you look...in the canopy and closer to the ground...there are numerous , well defined ears in there too..however the season is turning out to be so much longer than northern tepehuan teosinte that i am becoming skeptical about the possibility of much of anything in the way of seeds forming much less maturing...unfortunate...so close but i don't think the weather will cooperate..unfortunately this is the only teosinte seed i can find commercially availble at the moment...northern tepehuam seems to have fallen out of favor at native seed search...i have some of that variety of seed frozen and may resurrect a bed next year just to get some ears with visible, if not viable ( although i have gotten viable seed here from that variety ) seed...even the smaller, solo plants are sprouting ears..too little too late i fear.
this spud is a clone of a tuber i grew from true seed year before last..i harvested it about a month ago and it seems to be in a hurry to get started again...it is late october and the outdoor season is mostly done so i got some compost, potting mix, and vermiculite and mixed them to a consistency i hope will not compact over the basement winter and planted this tuber in the basement under the lights..the indoor season is officially open...i mixed up a fer more containers while i was at it..i really don't plan on a huge indoor season this year, however, difficult as it ma be to discern this yacon plant is producing rhizomes and they will need a place to be soon enough...
it's past mid-october and the teosinte is standing tall...still towering over me...which is different because by this time of year the northern tepehuan teosinte was trying to lay over and spread its seeds as far from the parent plant as it could..and, if the frost holds off, this variety may yet do that...it's still standing, however there are changes going on...the bottoms of the plants are dying back..with good reason...the energy has shifted from plant growth to reproduction...i count more than a dozen flowers blooming towards the canopy and more distinct ears are forming up there too..the seeds are not pronounced enough to show through the husks yet...they're there though..i can feel them..lows are forecast to be well above frost levels for the next ten days or so we will see how far these ears can get...and look at the support roots!
if anything the plants in the industrial field behind the big box stores has withered a bit more since last weekend...almost all the ears are turned downward and the crop is ready to harvest...except..it is warm here ( actually it has cooled a few degrees since sunrise ) and .7 of an inch of rain ( 17.78mm ) overnight and into this morning has rendered the fields still too wet to harvest...there are beans stuck in the fields as well and more rain forecast...it may be novenber before this comes in...there is still some green in the field but it is mostly thistle and some lambs quarters emboldened by the weather...if this year repeats last they have some time left yet...it is too wet to be concerned about fire...the hydrant at the corner stands by in case...and the field is still for sale...it is zoned commercial and there seem to be few takers...there may be a crop again in 2017...stay tuned.
i dragged the ladder out of the basement again today to have a look towards the top of the teosinte plants...i found seventeen distinctly defined and developing ears on the oldest and tallest stalk whose flower bloomed nine days ago...like its cousin northern tepehuan teosinte, the ears are forming one on top of the other along stems branching off the main stalks and, if there is time ( we survived a "frost warning' whose frost did not materialize two nights ago...forecast lows are well above freezing for the foreseeable future however this variety is taking much longer to develop...no guaranties ) and the seeds develop ( none that i could feel yet ) the ears should erupt from the stems like the northern tepehuan in the bottom photo..it's still a race against the frost...so far we're winning..we will see how far we get.
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.