Sunday, August 18, 2019

august storm...maize down

an early morning storm replete with lightening, thunder, and wind, has dropped a shade more than half an inch of rain ( so far...it is still noising out there and there is intermittent rainfall ) in my back yard...
so it wasn't much of a surprise to find a tree down across washington street ( which necessitated something of a detour since there were trees down in adams and jeferson streets as well...i mentioned wind didn't i? ) and the alley behind the garden awash in deepish puddles...
a storm out of the southwest was indexed by the slant of the asparagus...
and by the way the maize and the zea mays mexicana blew over...teocintli has an aggravating habit ( when you want it upright to photograph ) of falling over on its own to disperse its seed at a distance from the parent pant and increase the colony's territory...and the falling does the plant no harm..a trait its descendant has acquired so all you need do is stand it back upright...something that has been done here before...
so i did...
the teocintli down at the south end of the bed still has quite a few green seeds with no protective husks which doesn't bode well fro viability...
however it is developing true ears...silks and all... so i am hopeful of a fair harvest of viable seed in a month or so...
the pepper plants has multiple buds and a fully open bloom...
however the pepper it was working on last week would seem to have vanished...
the carolina horse nettle continues to bloom lustily across the garden ( and, probably, beyond by now...it has been two years since i first spotted it...lots of time to migrate into the community )...at home in lake county these days...
it isn't called horse nettle for nothing...those spikes are no joke...be careful when you are shifting leaves around to take photos...they are adorned with nasty thorns all along the bottom of the leaf stem...
back in my yard the jerusalem artichokes bent in the storm...but laughed uproariously when the storm thought they might break...
here a bit more of the maize took a tumble ( there is more here to tumble...it's only natural more would )...
and, like campus, it did not take much to right them...a few leaners in there...we will deal with those when the rain stops...a few shovelfuls of soil should take care of that.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

allium in august

i was bringing in the einkorn wheat that was in this half barrel when i noticed that the aerial bulbs on this egyptian walking onion...
had sprouted...so after i cleared the barrel...
i carefully removed them from the stem...
and planted them...
incidentally this is what happens to the parent plant when you don't pinch off the aerial bulbs and let the plant invest energy in producing them...something of a minimalist onion...just a heads up...
my interest piqued, i wandered over to the strawberry/jerusalem artichoke bed where this onion that had been challenging the sunchokes has toppled over...
the jerusalem artichokes are in full bloom by the way...a sure sign that it is august and that september tubers and autumn are closer than we might think...time's passing by you know...
a couple of the stems on this behemoth had produced two tiers of aerial bulbs...
while these over by the seedless grapes limited themselves to just one tier...
i took the double tiers...leaving the rest in the beds where they were to root there and repopulate ( all perennials are invasive colonizers...these walking onions are no different )...
and planted them around the yard...some in containers...
and some out in the east bed to cohabit with the strawberries and asparagus...all happy roomies...
on a last allium note, the ramp seeds are coming along nicely..the cases will be splitting open to reveal the black seeds soon and i will be spreading those and the ones i collected last season around to , hopefully, increase the local ramp population.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

unnatural landscapes

even when they are planted in the local bi-annual monoculture of soybeans ( like these in porter county ) or dense yellow #2 there is nothing "natural" about these fields...chemically treated to a sterile "growth medium" with neat rows of all the same plants ( which is why there's a need for herbicides and pesticides...the lack of diversity makes them vulnerable to all sorts of issues...there's a lesson in that ) these fields are pretty much industrial plants and removed from nature....green or not...the majority of planted fields hereabouts are soybeans...
there are a few fields of corn here as well...replete with ears...they are, however a distinct minority along the roadside...
at least as populous along the county roads are the fallow fields...some, like this one, are supporting volunteer corn...which, in my experience, will not provide much of a yield...
many of the fallow fields have been plowed...this one looks to have been turned recently...
most of the ones that were turned in late june or last month have begun to show signs of a return if "native plants"...a first, albeit temporary, step towards a more "natural" landscape...
and there are a few out there that have been left untouched...work for the tractor come spring...the usda released its planted acreage estimate for corn yesterday and prices took a hit settling at $177.26 a metric ton...down $9.45 a metric ton since i last checked prices...the government maintains that 90 million acres are planted in corn...successful farming says 87.7 million...the usda figures are roughly equal to the total for 2018 which has some questioning them ( notably successful farming )...the harvest isn't in yet and prices will remain fluid and driven by speculation...if anyone takes a hit it will be the farmer.