Monday, June 30, 2014

blooms, near blooms, vines, and a season ending

we have squash blooming in the community garden and we have been thinning the blooms on the vines so we get bigger, rather than more, squash...good news for the squash fans...the jerusalem artichokes are beginning to bud and will be in bloom this coming month...a display of yellow blooms because they're sunflowers...another pole bean has found the maize in the three sisters' bed...looking to see blooms there soon as well...and the last photo is of a german butterball potato plant whose leaves are curling up at the top and dying back at the bottom...a sure sign that the season is drawing to a close for these spuds ...the garlic will be done soon as well...could we have some garlic spud from the garden? who's up for that?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

up ersatz creek

i know i have said i lusted after a riparian rustication but this isn't that dream come's the south side of my house after a rain that left standing water in the wheat and beat up a stand of winter rye out back ( and knocked out the power for a couple of hours to boot )...that brought the total for the day to .94 inches pf rain and 9.43 for the month...with a yearly average precipitation of 39.14 inches that means june has scored us 24.09% of our annual total...things are getting seriously waterlogged in places and leaves are beginning to turn yellow which isn't an especially good omen...out tomorrow looking at the industrial world and how it is doing in all of this...low-laying crops will be drown out and there will be tell-tale bare spots as it is too late to replant in most cases...there was some yellow in the garden this afternoon...more an that as it turns up.

progress report I

the jerusalem artichoke/potato bed on june eighth in the top photo and today in the second...third photo is of the ollala/german butterball/mashua bed on the eighth and the bottom is the same bed today...those potatoes have been in since early april and had pretty much reached their mature size by thew beginning of the month...the have flowered and are setting tubers right now...we expect a july harvest.

progress II

a long shot of the garden on june eighth on top and the expanded garden today just underneath...the bottom two photos are of the looks like a nasturtium because it is closely related to the flower

progress III

the jerusalem artichokes have grown around forty inches this month...there will be blooms soon and tubers in a couple more months...the squash in the three sisters' bed had begun to develop a fourth leaf...vines shortly...the pole bean vine in the third photo is growing faster than the maize and is searching for something taller...hope the maize gets doe warmer weather so it can catch up...the bottom photo is a view of the garden from the sidewalk on 35th avenue...boom town.

Friday, June 27, 2014

population explosion

oh there's an explosion alright...the top photo was taken looking west across the garden fifteen days ago and the second one was taken this evening..see what i mean? the rain has eased up and the sun has appeared and the plants are responding across the beds with impressive growth...there are some isn't perfect...never is...but that doesn't mean there's no progress...we are good and that is fine news...there are green tomatoes on multiple plants ( we have seven )and the pole bean vines in the bottom photo have found maize plants all along the beds and have started to leaf..bloom sand beans sure to follow...if we continue to harvest the beans as they appear the vines will continue to produce all season...fresh green beans? green bean casserole? perhaps even some soup...time to revisit some recipes...a casserole and some corn fritters? eating the produce is as satisfying as growing the garden...they go along with one culture is the bedrock of a community ( also the most conservative element of many cultures...people don't like to budge from what they call food and don't adapt to new ones readily...maize and potatoes are world class staples now but they started out in new places as "famine food" and subsistence of the poorest of the poor who could not afford "real food" ) and food and community are why we are here...harvest = fiesta..i, for one, can't wait.

explosion II

the three sisters bed is moving along well with its tag along peppers and pod corn ( top photo ) the sweet corn ( second photo ) was more than "knee high" days ago and is pushing past waist high these is an 80 day corn and will be done in mid-august...those jerusalem artichokes ( third photo at the back...spuds in front ) i was sweating being a foot high at the end of last month are nearly as tall as i am and that bodes pretty well for a good harvest...the bottom photo shows that we are becoming very visible form the thirty fifth avenue side of the garden...lots of attention...hoping that translates into community.

cucumber wall

something has been at the cucmber plant in the top photo but it did not damage the roots and the vines have enough leaves going to maintain the plant so no harm, no foul...and the rest of the plants are throwing out vines like crazy ( second and third photos )...robust as the chines yams across campus...we added more twine to the trellis and will be affixing a guying system this weekend to stabilize the trellis as the weight of the vines tries to pull it down in the middle...the cucumber wall is taking shape in late june...hopefully we will have blooms and fruit soon enough.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

not my neighbor's sort of grasses

there are several varieties of grasses growing in my back yard and none of them come from scott's and there's no "turf builder plus 2" out there either which, even though this is a thoroughly working class district of suburbia, leaves some of my neighbors less that ecstatic...they would prefer sculpted shrubbery and zoysia grass so thick even moles can't burrow through it...zoning ordinances haven't caught up to me yet...mostly, i assume, because the weird stuff is mostly out back...the front is sort of weedy but there are pansies and marigolds and some actual lawn out there that gets mowed almost regularly...only the cat and i go out back so i pretty much get to grow what i like and this season there are numerous stands of cereal grasses and a "wild and weedy" ancestor along with the standard helianthus tuberosum, solanum tuberosum, and the zea family ( teosinte and fern's pod corn )...from top to bottom there is intermediate wheat grass, spring wheat, black tip wheat , and winter rye...the wheat is maturing in dribs and drabs but is mostly still green..the rye is starting to arch which means it will be done all has its uses and will be hauled in as soon as it is ready for harvest...then what? well..another stand of winter rye for sure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

biology in the beds

the community is larger today and that makes us all happy...ran into harold and the kids from the biology club in the garden this morning as they were preparing to plant the western bed...had a chat about teosinte and green manures with cover crops...gardening stuff...offered to share seeds and help out if we can do anything...they seem pretty self-sufficient so we doubt we will be needed but it is the neighborly thing to do and you never's summer and someone might go on vacation...we can cover one another...that's a facet of the community part of the garden.

vines and clover

i am impressed with the length of the awns on the black tip wheat in the top photo ...and since this is my first experience with this plant we are curious to see where the name fits in the morphology...lots of new zealand white clover has popped up int the last couple of days...the perennial green manure will be setting nitrogen in conjunction with the rhizobia bacteria we put in there...with the rain there should be a fair colony coming along...another pole bean vine has found the maize ( third photo ) while the explosion of vines in the east cucumber bed had called for the addition of another tier of jute because th evines had topped out the poles and were trying to cling to air...trained to grow horizontally they will produce a wall of foliage and cukes soon...we will be guying the ends of the trellis down this weekend...boom town indeed.

touring the yard I

the all natural precipitation stand of jerusalem artichokes i doing just fine...hasn't drown in the 8.49 inches of rain my back yard has gotten in the last 25 days...we will see how long this preternatural rain continues...the nascent grapes aren't turning their noses up at the rain either...moving right along towards grapehood...campus isn't the only home to teosinte...some of the annual variety grown from viable seed produced in my yard last year...geeked...and speaking of green manures ( when don't i ? ) there are more and more seed pods appearing on the hairy vetch that will go along with the dixie clover and winter rye into beds this coming late summer.

touring the yard II

the winter rye and the spring wheat ( first and second photos respectively ) are beginning to show signs of advancing ripeness...the wheat is being grown for decorative purposes for the crafty people here but i will be hoarding the winter rye as seed for autumn cover crops in the gardens...( i will be sharing too..this will produce more than i can use )...fern's pod corn is looking hale today and , while there is no three sister's' guild in my yard because of predatory squirrels, there is a brace of squash plants out by the cucumber hills...crowded but thriving.