Sunday, December 10, 2017

my plans don't fit the plants' agenda

i had planned to limit the growth in the basement this winter to pretty much teosinte and mashua and the odd and insistent plant that turned up ( like Jean's puddle wheat )...this was foolish of course, and the nature of plants has rewritten my agenda...
my harvest of potatoes, onions, and garlic was adorning the counter tops and being used piecemeal until someone decided thanksgiving should be here and it all got put in a paper bag and shoved into the pantry...i was digging it out of there and what should i discover?
sprouting aerial bulbs from egyptian walking onions...
an onion that had sprouted and wrapped its roots around the sprout on a spud...
and more sprouting onions and chitting potatoes...
so now, in addition to the dozen or so teosinte plants and the bogota market mashua...
so now i have half a dozen potatoes spaced around the teosinte and five onion plants around, including two cohabiting with Jean's puddle wheat...i have moved the tubers i set aside as seed for next spring down into the plant room in cooler temperatures and indirect lighting which, i hope, will deter chitting somewhat...the blue potatoes are no issue...they will take their time...the reds, yukon golds, and german butterballs may be another story...there could be a population explosion.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

snow

seasonal temperatures have turned up at the south end of the inland sea...and with them the season...
the egyptian walking onions, having walked, now fin themselves up to their necks in winter precipitation...nott hat they seem overly concerned...
the winter vetch seems fairly nonchalant about it all as well...
and the small stand of winter rye probably welcomes it...even if it will most likely have melted before the week is out...
most of the northern tepehuan teosinte ears i left unharvested have shattered...
there are, however, still some seeds hanging around...winter has put in an appearance while it is still late autumn...the snow will be gone ( except in some shady nooks ) tomorrow if the forecast holds true...last year a snow drought killed the winter wheat i planted and, so far, this year isn't looking all that promising for the winter rye...still..it isn't winter yet...we could be buried by march...or not...the climate is nothing if not unsettled anymore...deniers tell me "the climate is always changing'...true..their refusal to look at whether we, as a species, are exacerbating ( or enhancing, or driving, or extincting ourselves with ) that change is profoundly foolish...nothing outside of human nature in that, is there? a close friend of mine has promised to send me photos of visible air pollution form the fires in califonia if she can ( it was a request not a demand )...it might be interesting to juxtapose the unnatural heat, low humidity, and late fires with what's going on here...and then there's the snow in the southern tier of states to ponder...many won't...i will.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

east and west ( relative to where you may be ) in the basement

the teosinte season in the basement is moving along...
some of the plants are topping out at ten or eleven inches with broadening leaves...
this particular plant has five leaves and has tillered...something only heirloom maize occasionally does...dense yellow #2 has lost the skill through the impact of human intervention through artificial selection and, now, gene splicing for things like herbicide resistance...internal insecticide as well...corn as a registered chemical hazard...
the new growth on the cutting from bogota market mashua has sprouted new leaves...obviously the has been some rooting taking place which is good news since i haven't sen any movement from the three mashua tubers i planted down there...there may yet be more...we will be careful with what there is
finally Jean's "puddle wheat" has resumed verticality after a momentary fall...one suspects this will be a cyclic event and one hopes for continued recovery and ears.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

maintenance

it was about sixty-four degrees in my back yard when i got home from the garden this ( late ) morning and i have to think the temperature there is nearly the same...
someone or something has been at these tomato plants and so, while some of the unharvested tomatoes have remained in the bed to reseed it come spring...
others have not and will simply be mowed over in 2018...
my main reason for the visit was to check up on the asparagus mulch..i don't want straw all over the garden...it is intact...which is what i expected...this system has worked well for years and so disruption seems unlikely...
the garden isn't exactly barren today..among other things i have seen a small stand of alfalfa hanging tough in early december...
one bed has at least a half dozen volunteer garlic plants...
and something that looks an awfully lot like kale is carrying on like it's still september...we'll see what winter brings...if and when it arrives.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

early december out back

the interweb says it's fifty-five degrees ( fahrenheit ) out there but my thermometer says it's almost sixty-two in my micro-climate..and that's what i will run with...this is still within the range of temperatures for this date ( right at the top end actually and i have to wonder just when the top end of that range was set...recently? odds are ) and twenty-six degrees above the average temperature for this date...so what's up in all this warmth?
well the egyptian walking onions have traveled, rooted, and sprouted very green..allium on the move fro 2018...
the imported wild strawberries from new york have taken a hit or two from the few nights of of frost so far this autumn...however they should winter over with no problem...
i may have buttoned up the asparagus in the community garden last weekend but it was still green...and so is the asparagus in the east bed out back...it will stay until it dies back...and i will be germinating and planting more come spring...
teosinte ears continue to open and shatter...
the brussels sprouts that overwintered last year have continued to produce...not enough for a side dish but certainly eiough to dress up a salad...
and finally the garlic in the bed of my truck seems to be enjoying the mild weather as well...no need for a mulch just yet.