Friday, March 15, 2013

making the bed

in a day filled with activity i stopped off at the iu northwest community garden and started the season...the ground is thawed just enough to take care of what i wanted to do which was start the annual teosinte...mid-march is usually when i try to sow this particular plant ( although i did put some in at the pgp and in my back yard last autumn to see what would happen if i "naturalized" the cycle ) because it needs cycles of frost and thaw to break dormancy ( or you could soak them in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide for twenty minutes...but that's cheating ) and now is the time for that...i started by turning in one hundred and twenty pounds of composted cow manure to enrich the soil...then i rummaged through my bag of seeds to find some dark ones which are more viable and i planted multiple seeds in a row about eighteen inches apart...they are notoriously fickle in germinating ( at least in my experience ) so if they all show up some thinning will be in order...if all goes well by later this summer they should resemble the plant on the right of the trio in the bottom photo ( from left to right northern tepehuan teosinte [annual], zea diploperennis [perennial teosinte which is heavily mulched at this time and which i hope puts in a return appearance in the garden ], and a stalk of hopi blue maize [annual] that was on its last legs ) i'm calling it a start to the 2013 season and about time too...i have been reading about local food, food sovereignty, the destruction of traditional agriculture, the value of small scale diverse organic farming, community gardens, and the evils of bio-fuels all winter...time to put some theory into practice and root around in the soil to see what comes up.

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