Tuesday, June 30, 2015


july is up next and, top to bottom, collards are leafing...peppers are popping...there's a profusion of kale...mashua still kicking...ellen's radishes are filling in as are harold's peas...things are getting interesting.


spuds like the early blue and yukon gold in the top two photos have been blooming ( and, while i am prepared to be disappointed in this, i am greedy fro potato fruits ) for some time now...envious perhaps, the asparagus in the third photo has joined in and has produced the small, bell-like flowers that asparagus do ( fourth and fifth photos )...i would be deeply gratified to have another generation of seed from a plant dragged out of the back of my truck...we'll see...the bottom photo is a view looking west down some of the beds.

,,,and vine(s)

the top photo is one of the trellises in the garden and they are filling in nicely with a tangle of pole bean vines ( no blooms yet )...the vine in the bottom photo has latched onto a jerusalem artichoke in the next bed over...despite their colloquial name, sunchokes throw a lot of shade as you can see by the darker greens in the photo...i don't doubt the vine will find it's way to the jerusalem artichoke canopy and the sun but i am curious to see how man leaves ( if any ) it successfully deploys in the shade...time will tell, no?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

first container spud.

this plant has been through quite a bit...it started out as a spud merrily chitting away in my basement and was planted in a container under the lights in march...it was moved outside when the weather finally warmed enough in april only to be critter disturbed, insect gnaw, and bludgeoned by hail...i has been dying back fro a bit but today i noticed the stem beginning to turn yellow and there were some leaves that were brown and dessicated...its productive days were clearly over so i decided to see if ti had managed to produce anything...resilient is a good word here...when i popped the root ball up i found it had produced only one red pontiac spud..but at 6 3/4 ounces it wasn't a shabby one...first spud of the season and it's a good one...out of the soil before any insects or rot could set in...unfortunately i have had store bought potatoes today so i will leave enjoying this one for later...imagine it will be good...it has been a busy weekend around the blog...believe oi'll take a break...more later.

potato seedling transplant

three of the potato seedlings out on the deck have deployed true leaves so it was time to transplant them to peat pots until they are big enough to put in their own containers...i prepared some compost mixed with vermiculite to keep it form compacting and, as delicately as my fat, clumsy fingers would allow, i used tweezers to extract the seedlings with ( hopefully ) their entire root system intact...i put each one in its own peat pot and put them out with their larger brethren to bask in the late june sun and grow...we will be looking in on their progress...if their season is as long as the ones i grew in the basement ( 167 days )they will be finishing their season under the lights downstairs...we'll see.

industrial no til sighting

a couple of things about the corn field next to the supermarket ( no i have not gotten over that ironic juxtaposition yet ) jumped out at me when i went to check on it today ( it is late june and i have been remiss in tracking local agriculture...i will assay to do better )...first, judging by the amount of litter in the form of cobs and corn stalks left over form last year's harvest ( second and third photos ) and the number of "weeds" sprouting up in the rows that are nearly as tall as the corn ( fourth and fifth photos )..which is "knee high by july" by the by...before july actually...this is a no til corn field which makes it a cut above the standard plowed, disced,harrowed , and sprayed with poison fields you find to the near south of here...that this field is well withing the city limits may have something to do with the lack of herbicide spray...but there are probably not any municipal statutes on limiting plowing rights...so i am suitably impressed at the farmer's stewardship of the field today and would tell them so if i knew where to find them...the other thing that jumped out at me was the fact that it's a corn field...it was last season too ( hence all the harvest litter in the rows and the telling indication of no til )...given the dual nature of the soy bean/dense yellow #2 monoculture hereabouts it is odd that the dual cycle has been disrupted...the system dictates this should be a bean field...i have serious doubt about the ability of "round-up ready" soy beans to set significant amounts of nitrogen in a standard industrial field, legumes though they be...what passes for soil in a regular field is so sterile i am willing to believe it lacks the colony of rhizobia bacteria necessary for the symbiosis to occur...but this isn't your normal industrial field so the beans and bacteria might have a fighting chance...another agribusiness riddle i won't be able to solve by asking the farmer...perhaps tracking corn prices and trying to decipher the arcane farm bill will clear things up.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

garden walk I

a stroll along the beds from east to west seems in order...sort of a lengthy walk over the next seven posts but there's a lot going on...some beds are busier than others it's true...but some are just starting and some have crops that have finished crops and are waiting for fall harvest plantings...so even if a bed seems empty it really isn't...the far east bed ( top photo ) is awash in onions, potatoes, and a single bean plant ( you will hear much of spuds and pole beans today ) and the next three photos are those blooming spuds...the second bed in the fifth photo was planted on the twenty-second of march and the spinach is all but done...the beets are ready but no one seems to have noticed and the collards are fine...so are the onions ( sixth photo ) we have been planting piecemeal as the spinach and turnips came out...we have seed for fall crops and over-wintering onions...i have some brussels sprout seed as well an that would seem a good replacement for the beets...two beds down...nine to go...next!

garden walk II

the bed in the top photo was planted in the last ten days or so and it looks it...it may be a bit before anything establishes itself here so i'm inclined to move on...the kale in the fourth bed ( second photo ) is hale kale indeed and Parker! calls it the "super plant"...it's yours to enjoy...there are peppers cohabiting the bed with the kale and the green pepper in the third photo is bound to attract attention soon...the nascent jalepenos in the bottom photo will, no doubt, find takers soon enough...the garlic in this bed is slowly vanishing...organic garlic? no surprise there...more space opening for new planting soon...more turnips perhaps?

garden walk III

the fifth bed down had potatoes, cabbage, and asparagus in today's census...and the spuds here are not willing to be outdone by the first box and have deployed multiple blooms...i am in hopes of potato fruits...but will not hold my breath...the asparagus is attaining significant verticality and so i provided some of the droopers with support ( fourth and sixth photos )...that they are doing so well pleases me immensely since most all were transplanted from the back of my truck to his bed and i was not certain how viable they would be..from my truck garden ( which,incidentally, continues to churn out asparagus seedlings i have to find homes for...and since the asparagus in my back yard is flowering there will be more...let me know if anyone would like some )