the top photo is of one of the potatoes that i had found sprouting in the pantry taken fifteen days ago...i took the next four earlier this afternoon ad all three have cone into leaf and are growing quickly...it will be interesting to see how long a season this "improved" variety has and what sort of production comes of it...they are fully leafed and reaching for the grow light...seriously, growing these was as simple as potting them into some soil...not that traditional varieties are any harder to grow...these just seem much quicker...the sixth photo is of the yacon fifteen days ago as well...a much slower growing plant, there has been progress and there will be more after it moves outdoors...but that won't be before may and the end of a danger of frost ( although, as warm as this winter has been that danger may be passed much earlier )...finally the onions i found in the pantry have both exhibited new growth...far more cold tolerant than the yacon, these will be moving outdoors sometime next month...if this warmth keeps up it will be time to unmulch the asparagus in the community garden very soon...things are moving at an unnatural pace...best to be alert.
"if temperatures fall below freezing at night but climb to the 40°F+ range during the day, the sap will begin to flow and it’s time to get out there and tap your maple trees!"-mapletapper.com_____________________a trip around deep river county park this afternoon we enlightening...the trees say it isn't spring yet ( unlike the ones in my front yard ) but there are signs of spring around...the "maple syrup time" sign for instance...they will be boiling sap down in the sugar shack:
next month...traditional wisdom has it that you begin tapping sugar maples on the first of march...this has been pretty well debunked as fallacious and the timing is more or less based on day/night temperature variations per the opening quote...so some begin tapping in jaunuary...looking back on the temperature history for this area in january there were eight days that fit those parameters...the others were mostly below freezing while three had highs that ranged from 51 to 62 degrees fahrenheit ( in january mind you ) which may or may not impact sap flows ( more research )...this month has had only six day ( so far ) that fell
within those boundaries while fifteen days have had highs ranging from 51 to 69 degrees ( fahrenheit )...the buckest i peered into were not brimming with sap...i also do not know what sort of emptying schedule is being observed...i may have just missed it...i will be attending "sugar time" and asking a few questions...one thing that maplertapper did have to say was that anyone tapping trees should stop when the trees "bud out" as this can lead to an unpleasant "buddy" flavor in the finished syrup...i would direct your attention to my last post about the premature budding of the maples in my yard and then i would wonder about that flavor.
after yesterday's post i went for a tramp around they yard and was taking photos of the summer-like blue sky when i noticed what looked like green on the buds at the top of the maple tree out front..."nah..i'm imagining things" i said to myself...this morning tells me no i was seeing green...which in and of itself isn't that unnatural..until you stop and think about the fact that it's february...and this sort of thing isn't usually seen until later in march..it would be running a bit early...and it's not just my tree...the neighbors' are going at it too...like a month...so i took the lops and cut the end off a lower branch ( the higher you get in the tree the greener it is...i wasn't going to climb it ) and had a look...the buds are very active and very green even this low in the tree...spring is close...but not close enough...temperatures ( which are just unnatural in themselves...see bottom photo and that was about 10:30 a.m. ) are due to fall below freezing by next weekend...what impact will that have? unknown...it aint natural...stay tuned.
a good friend visiting norway sent me this photo today saying the trees should be covered in snow and the pathway inaccessible...she didn't call it that but i would say snow drought or my images of nordic countries are poorly informed...it aint natural all over it seems...from the california coast ( where there is another dear friend who reports the conditions )to the south end of the inland sea...to norway.
my back yard thermometer reads four degrees higher ( microclimate again ) than the "official" temperature about a mile away...either way this is extraordinary weather for the eighteen the of february at the south end of the inland sea...some applaud...i find it unnatural and disturbing despite the fact that there is snow in the forecast for next weekend...the garlic ( second photo ) is pushing up through the mulch which is fine..it won't mind the coming cold much...that and a few onions are the total outdoor activity..it isn't time to abandon the basement for the yard just yet...the yacon down there is moving along very well ( third photo ) and the forth and fifth and sixth and seventh photos are of potato plants that sprouted in the pantry from six days ago and this afternoon...robust growth comes to mind...the last two photos are also of former pantry denizens as the yellow onions both are exhibiting new growth...volatile weather isn't the norm quite this early...usually at least a month away...things are changing and i wonder what the long term impact will be.
it is unseasonably warm here on the south end of the inland sea today so, after planting onions indoors this morning i decided to have a look at the beds outside and see what, if anything, was going on since it is still very early in the season...too early for ramp activity...the bed, besides some thriving lichen, is inert...however...the egyptian walking oni9ons ( fourth photo ) have successfully overwintered, to this point anyway, and their cousins the early italian red garlic are poking through the mulch ( fifth through seventh ) i did not repeat my murderous over-mulching of last year so i am hopeful of full beds of garlic ( there are two with onions along the border )...even the garlic in the bed of my truck is greening up...so..a small but encouraging ( for me at least ) tour of the yard...there is more on the way i am sure...we are just starting 2017.
iv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
he pantry is becoming an agricultural powerhouse...i found some onions in full sprout to go along with the spuds i found there the other day ( a second of which has come into leaf under the light )...it seems the pantry is telling me to clean it out a bit more often as well...that aside however, there was an open container down in the plant room with a braod spectrum grow light all to itself...so i took them down and planted them to see what transpires...there will be containers of "improved, store bought" vegetables out there come spring...finishing their season alongside the organics...not that they will be treated other than organically...their progeny won't be getting the chemical inputs they got as youngsters...they will be better parents.
the potato plants in the first and third photos have been done for a few days now but i have been putting off digging around in there because it was the middle of the week and there have been things that are easily more important than a few potatoes in the basement going on...some spare moments presented themselves this evening after work so i took my camera and went down to see what was what...the results from each plant are in the photo directly below their portraits and the fifth photo is a group shot of the results...they are small and i have some question about the viability of the smaller ones but the larger german butterballs and corazon rosados will produce another generation in the spring...they ran the season through in eighty-one days and yet the plant i put in one hundred and nine days ago is still going strong...genetic diversity lends itself to variable season length...clearly the one still up and running is of the one hundred and twenty day variety...give it time...in the meantime the potatoes that sprouted in the pantry and that i planted eleven days ago have at least one plant coming into leaf...the others are still growing sprouts towards the light...give them time too...finally the last two photos are of new growth yacon...the older plant is about two inches tall and has now been joined by three more shoots from the same ( actually the only one in that container )rhizome...one container over is the home to a brand new yacon plant...even if it might be a bit difficult to see...season endings...season beginnings...gardening can be an all weather, year-round sport..more later..i am waiting on an important phone call.
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.