Friday, November 16, 2018

outside to inside

it has turned somewhat wintry here at the south end of the inland sea...there is snow on the winter rye and wheat...however the temperature is up and the state of the forecast precipitation for tomorrow is up in the air...could be rain...could be snow ...could be both...
the cold has more ears opening and shattering...
there are still many green ears whose eventual status in viability terms is uncertain...
i am still managing to collect some fair sized mature seed however so i will be checking on a daily basis for the time being...
downstairs puddles' kids and their onion friends continue to do well..green is the theme...
the wheat is topping out between ten inches and afoot...in twenty-three days...that they are upright is reassuring...even if the foot tall ones have grown past the light...
all four mashua plants are looking as robust as grow light plants can...the yacon behind the mashuua in the last photo is looking pretty well too...with some luck there will be a collection of spring tubers...

Monday, November 12, 2018

teocintli and friends

i have been checking the teocintli plants daily and have been collecting what mature seed i find...however...the weather has turned somewhat cooler with daytime highs in the 30s ( fahrenheit ) and nighttime lows well below freezing, so the ears have begun to open and shatter even though there is still a lot of green seed...i have gone out and brought in the opened ears i found to collect as much viable seed as i can...it is a mixed result at best...
the seeds are coming in in one of three types...still green and whose viability is completely suspect...lighter and smaller seeds ( which surprised me with a germination rate somewhere in the sixty percent range last year )...and the larger, darker seeds whose chances of becoming a full blown adult are much better...there are many more ears still unopened, and many, unfortunately, that are very green...i will continue to look out for viable seed but the later it gets the less the chance...
as things move along outdoors the basement is showing signs of good movement...all four mashua plants...the two transplants and the two from cuttings, are showing new growth..good news since i there were zero tubers produced outdoors this past season...which i have to think was due to a bit too much shade where they were planted..an error i will not repeat if these indoor plants succeed in setting tubers...they did last winter ( which is where these plants came from ) so i am hopeful of a good outcome...
puddles' kids and their onion cohabitants are doing fine...hard to tell from the tangle but most have second and third leaves sprouted...they are leggy and falling over...which is expected...we will see if we can get them through the winter and into the april sunshine to aim for another generation...so far things are alright...we will see how this progresses...

Thursday, November 8, 2018

basement mashua

it has been a busy week and it is not over yet...i am planning to address the asparagus in the community garden as soon as i have the time...in the meantime, the basement mashua is coming along well...and that pleases me.

Friday, November 2, 2018

a calculation and a road

the beans behind the big box store are in and at $305 a metric ton ( last price i saw...the trading today could push it either way ) i wonder how much of a profit/loss ratio is gong on...and on the subject of loss...
looking around i saw quite a few loose soybeans on the ground...
and any number of plant stems with pods seemingly still attached...so i stepped of approximately three feet of one row and took an census of beans..i found twenty-four in all...using michigan state um=niversity's calculator i come up with a loss of 1.6 bushels of beans per acre for farmer brown...loss is loss but in a time of depressed prices the harvester has hidden costs beyond the price of fuel and the intangibles ( and so externalized ) effects of greenhouse gasses...this is an approximation of loss...i did not have a tape rule with me for definitive exactitude...
the road to nowhere that i began commenting on in october of 2015 up to as recently as the last day of this past september has exploded in autumnal activity and it would seem that it verges on being utilitarian and fulfilling its roady destiny...why so late in the year i wonder...
while we ponder the lateness of the season let's note that some of the northern tepehuam teocintli ears in my yard have begun to open and shatter while others remain utterly green...i have begun to collect what seed i can..however...it is november and killing cold will not hold off forever...i am uncertain of how much viable seed will come from this ( these are second generation plants gown from last year's back yard seed ) and won't until i do test germinations ( and, if successful, basement teocintli again ) later in the winter...all the zea fans should stay tuned...
a final note...the wheat i planted on my birthday ( puddles' kids ) are booming along...i had to raise the light.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

hoed

about two months ago there was a lot going on in the garden...
even a month ago it was a fairly lively place...
not so much so today...
the asparagus is still there...it is beginning to die back though and i will be tasking it out sometime next week when the opportunity arises...
and despite the success of puddles offspring in the basement ( eight in all so far and the onions are up as well )...
as well as the robust growth in the winter wheat bed in my yard...
the effort yo grow winter wheat as a cover crop and green manure in my bed on campus has inexplicably ( to me ) failed...not that i expected much from the second planting..however, the cause the failure of the first after a fairly promising start is and unknown...so i pulled out the dead geranium ...
and took a hoe to it to disrupt any nascent "weeds" i don't want hampering progress in spring...
all that was left when i finished was the alfalfa in the corner...
there were no bees in the alfalfa today...there were a couple of visitors though...enjoying the late october warmth...more on the asparagus later.