the last of the black eagle spring wheat was threshed and winnowed today...almost three pounds,,,a shade over five cups of grain...which should translate into about seven and a half cups of flour which, along with the rye i have available for milling, should net two "rustic" loaves of bread...i will be practicing withthe five pounds of wheat i bought before i go on with the "real" "bread from scratch" later this autumn.
it rained somewhere around a tenth of an inch at five this morning and when i finished up at the supermarket and drove across the lot to the bean field there was still some morning mist hanging around..."walking beans" is a midwestern euphemism for hand weeding acres of soybean fields...it seems that with the advent of herbicide resistant "weeds" it is an old idea that is new again...i can testify that no one is "walking" this field...don't get the mistaken impression that there are no beans in this field...there are ( third photo ) however, at times, it is difficult to discern exactly where the rows are...i see beans...i also see barnyard grass, poke weed, japanese bottle grass ( fox tail to the locals )and the non-weed lamb's quarters out there...spraying isn't probably an option ( it is inside city limits ) and "walking beans" sounds like a tedious way to spend an afternoon...or an hour even...so it's not surprising no one is out here...i wouldn't want to be..i got wet enough just walking the rows, much less breaking a sweat...so here's hoping the combine can discern between bean pods and barnyard grass seed and that they don't have to stop every ten minutes to cleat the weeds out during harvest...perhaps they will leave that late enough into autumn that the "weeds" will have died back.
critters have been at the maize...squirrels would seem to be the culprits given the toppled stalks and the damage close to the ground...saving it is impossible...and this is what i had expected when i planted it...the remaining ears will be gone soon enough...lost to squirrels or raccoons with insects cleaning up...there will be decorative stalks for the deck though...from halloween to thanksgiving...the teosinte ( zea mays parvaglumis ) on the other hand has grown to about ten feet at its tallest with multiple tillers on multiple plants making for more of a thicket than a row...still wondering what this will produce...next month perhaps signs will begin to show.
something has been at the bear paw maize...not unexpectedly...the plant in the first photo lost two ears and the one in the third photo had the ear in the fourth on it yesterday..so i brought a few in and , as i expected, the smaller ones were just cobs, the largest one was infested with ants...and even the intact one was immature...not immature enough for squirrels or raccoons seemingly...in other and less disappointing news, the grapes are coming along well and the teoisnte is looking very robust...threw something old in there for scale in the last photo...still waiting for it to flower...still waiting for ears...you hear the yelp if i find any.
another inch or so of rain since yesterday ( this morning actually )...even the deniers are starting to notice that something is odd about this...but they need "more science" seemingly...i am convinced...so are many others...unfortunately those who stand to lose the most by recognizing it are in control...time to work to make them irrelevant...the cucumber wall is saying autumn is coming and saying it loudly...the sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are protesting the over abundance of precipitation by turning yellow...they are not ready fro fall quite yet...the baart wheat is coming along well...and while we are on the subject of wheat...my cham 2 wheat ( a semi-dwarf syrian variety of bread wheat ) and my emmer wheat seeds came today...i also have hard red winter wheat seed and, by coincidence, the cham 2 and emmer are also fall planters...so i will be having three varieties of winter wheat over the course of the next ten months or so...the bottom photo is of all three varieties of seed...the left is the hard red winter wheat...the center is cham 2..on the right is the emmer which has arrived in its husks ( which is how it is planted, unlike the other two varieties...i threshed a few just to provide an idea of the size differential in the grain...emmer is an ancient variety and is much larger...i have absolutely no experience with it an i am interested in seeing how the seed ears hold together...stubbornly if threshing them was any indication...those are some hard husks...so in the next month or so three varieties of winter wheat find homes out back...more on this in september.
when i dumped the rain gauge monday night we'd had five inches of rain since friday the twelfth...the rain we have had so far tosay beings the total to 6.7" since last friday...but as important as the rain total is, if you look closely at the second photo you will see a bee trapped in the rain gauge...that is unacceptable so i removed the gauge from its frame and carefully poured the water and the bee out onto the ground...she was alive but really disoriented as her wet wings grounded her and she was reduced to scrambling around on the ground...i lost track of her and am uncertain of her status...hopefully dried and flyable wings and off to the hive to tell of adventures in the back...beyond that the tesointe is robust ( seventh photo ) while its descendant the bear paw maize nears the end of its season...the ramp seeds are manifold but taking their sweet time about maturing...gardening teaches nothing if not patience.
today's rain has added .7" of precipitation to the total from friday night into saturday morning ( so far..it is still raining as i type )which had put paid to the early august dry spell...and it is helping the jerusalem artichoke in the bed of my truck along too..it has received only rain as moisture...another challenge to its relentlessness...and it was looking a bit droopy up until this past weekend..now it is looking well...it has topped the cab of my truck and so when i am on the freeway it is routinely exposed to fifty-five mile an hour winds ( always drive the legal limit )...this has done some damage to the upper leaves on the plants..actually destroyed some...however the plant has responded with new growth lower tot he truck bed in more sheltered conditions..an old evolutionary response to exposed conditions no doubt..another couple of months before the grand uprooting and the search for tubers..until then it will continue to be pummeled...and the aerial bulbs from the walking onions have sprouted...time to plant.
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.