Friday, November 17, 2017

seeds and a season indoors

the teosinte in the basement is doing fine...a couple of plants became too"leggy and toppled over and a couple germinated but did not grow...nothing unusual in either...there are still eleven plants under the lights...we will see how it goes...
the wheat is a nice shade of green and growing...i am in untested waters here...i have some idea of what to expect from the teosinte...the wheat will be an eleusinian mystery for me...
the mashua harvest was not the greatest...however it has, hopefully, put me in a position to produce seed tubers for next season...there will be a container crop next spring if this succeeds...
i have been collecting teosinte seed ( more on that in a minute ) as it matures, however numerous ears have already opened and shattered on leaving as scattering of seed on the ground...
i am inclined to leave them to see what transpires...
even ears with green and immature seeds are opening...
i have had a number of seeds drying indoors for a week or so and it was time to sort them, mostly by size and color, into batches of varying perceived viability...actually the viability of all this seed is suspect and only a test germination ( next spring so any that do can be planted outdoors ) will tell...
i separated out the seeds that were still green and those for which the seed case had not completely covered the endosperm ( like ones in the open but unfinished ears in the photos above ) and set them aside...
i sported out a second group of light colored, smaller, but not green seeds into a second group ( you can see some unfinished seed here too ) which may yield some usable seed...
and, finally, a group of two-hundred and eighty larger, darker seeds i perceive as having the best possibility of being viable...we will see in a few months...i will continue to look for mature seed however i am thinking the season for that is done...this has been by far the longest growing season i have had for teosinte since i started with it seven years ago..we will see what it has yielded soon enough.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

a few more ears

temperatures have definitely fallen off here in the past week...
and while many ears are still green others have turned brown ( or tan at least ) and begun to shatter so those i have started to bring in...
even these seeds are not all mature..i am finding that the more mature seeds are at the bottom of the spike, closest to the stem and that they green as the go towards the top...we will see how many of each there are after they dry and i sort them sometime next week.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

nexus

i got out of the back yard and out into the rural suburban nexus by driving down county line road about four miles from my house and out onto 450 N...
some of the fields have been reaped...
some have not ( pleas note the number of ears hanging down on the stalks...some behaviors are genetic )
still others are a work in progress with no definite end date...especially if it rains ( or snows )today and tomorrow...
thanks giving in less than two weeks away now...i'm thinking farmer brown would like to see the last grain truck rolll out of the field before then...we'll see

what? more seeds?

recent sub-freezing temperatures have done in the zea mays parvaglumis and the northern tepehuan teosinte...
one of the two northern tepehuan plants flowered late and while it produced numerous ears they are all far too green to have any chance of containing mature seed...i may harvest then as decoration but they will serve no use in propagating more plants next season...
the second tepehuan plant still has ears that look promising so i brought more in today to husk and dry and flense out the ines most likely to be fertile...
along the way more than one ear has shattered as i tried to harvest it and multiple seeds have hit the ground...i am inclined to leave them there to what ( if anything ) happens in the spring...volunteer teosinte would please me...
the zea mays parvaglumis has a much longer season than the northern tepehuan and, because of the late autumn warmth, this year i have actually found ears outside the stems of the plants...a first...
so i brought some in and was not surprised to find the sub ears all contained nothing but very green seeds...i will let them dry but have little in the way of expectation of viability...
finally i have been taking a look at seed structures and find i can sea a hardened sheath fro a sprout wrapped around the outside of these seeds...