Sunday, November 27, 2016

gleaning support roots

rounding up stuff to prepare the physical plant for winter took me by the filed behind the big box stores...there were geese out there gleaning the field however i spooked them when i drove up and failed to get a photo to add some life to the field...and i am thinking more critters have been at work...i did find grain ( if you can call industrial feedstock grain )out there in some quantity, including full ears, however i had to cover a lot more of the field to find it today than i did last week..its disappearance may not bode well for my hopes for volunteer corn next season...we will's an iffy sort of crap shoot anyway...there almost always is some in the bean fields however it is usually so deep in the field that wading out to it without causing significant crop damage is difficult and i am not out to damage farmer brown's crop...i will not make circles...the bottom eight photos are juxtapositions of support roots...the top photo of each successive pair is of the roots of the domesticate corn and the bottom one in each set is the "wild and weedy ancestor" teosinte...i will leave it to you to make morphological comparisons...the two below this are teosinte in my have to admit it looks corny.

Friday, November 25, 2016


the season is as finished for the teosinte as it is for its descendants in the field behind the big box stores so i cut down a stalk and propped it up by the house to provide another scale for its size..much larger than northern tepehuan teosinte with ears alternating down the main stalk...these are fairly large...about three inches in length and they resemble the ears on dense yellow #2 ( sixth photo )...unlike the single stalk field corn however, the teosinte has branches ( last two photos )...there are four coming off this stalk and each of the branches has ears aligned along it end to end ( like smaller northern tepehuan plants in shadier spots produce ) all told this plant had thirty-one ears and my experience of this variety so far has been that each husk contains two or three spikes of seeds wrapped in their own interior husks...could those separate spikes have mutated into rows around a cob...seems likely.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


it has dropped well below freezing the past few nights ( 27 degrees fahrenheit last night in my back yard ) and some of the plants out back are the worse for it....the yacon in the top photo is done as are the peppers in the second...the teosinte today ( third photo ) is looking a little more ragged than it did just ten days had produced numerous ears..some of which i have been exploring..and i will be bringing more in this coming weekend...not everyone is under the weather just yet however...the wild berry leaves are still verdant and i found a berry sheltering under the canopy...the brussels sprouts are going strong...i have harvested them in december before...we will be seeing...there's kohlrabi still looking peppy as well while the winter wheat is a mixed bag..the cham 2 dwarf wheat is still upright as the emmer wheat begins to go dormant and lay down...over in the bed the hard red winter wheat is already done until spring and is waiting for a snow pack to insulate it from the cold...the folks at purdue are forecasting a mild winter for the might not get that might not need it...there may be many sprouts.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

left behind on the road to nowhere

went out to pick up supplies for the indoor season this morning and so i stopped by the harvested corn filed to have a look at the detritus...heavy rains earlier this week matted own the remains of the harvest and the matting exposed further inefficiencies in the harvesting process...just a quick stroll along a row about twenty rows in from the berm displayed increasing amounts of unharvested corn...assuming this to be representative of the field there is still a lot of putative grain left on the ground...and that leaves me wondering...where are the birds? and the deer? both opportunistic feeders i'm wondering why the field isn't being gleaned...perhaps there is a sudden surplus of ground level grain about and they haven't gotten to it all yet...perhaps i am missing something..could we will be looking around the field on a semi-regular basis until the snow covers it and observation is stalled...hopefully this will be a bean field next season and there will be volunteers from this corn...that would be interesting to observe...and the road to nowhere just down the street? still going nowhere.