Wednesday, November 25, 2009


since it's thanksgiving day eve it seems apropriate to say some public thank you's to some folks who have been extremely helpful in running down teosinte seeds for the garden....specifically, mimi williams from the usda nrcs in gainsville florida, maryanne gonter from the brooksville plant materials center in brooksville florida, and mark millard from the north central regional plant introduction center in ames, iowa...they were prompt, patient, and courteous throughout and i just wanted to say how much i appreciated all that they did to help's hoping that they, and everyone else out there, have a pleasant holiday season.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Teosinte IV

the usda in florida says the annual strain of teosinte they are sending us will be here monday...good news for those who want to see if it pops like's supposed to and this is the only batch of seeds that will be big enough to try it with...they are sending a pound of seeds whereas the seeds i bought and the perennial strains from ames iowa have weighed in in the gram the autumn planting is done, the garden is mulched, the semester is almost over, and i have tons of garden related reading to do over the break...winter may be a quiet time in the garden itself, but there will be activity in the potting shed soon enough...and there's always something else to learn.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zea perennis

fed-ex just brought me a package of Zea perennis seeds from the usda palnt introduction center in ames, iowa...a bit over six grams worth...about 200 seeds...great! now if the research center in florida comes through with the seeds they promised we will have three seperate strains of teosinte to work it's time to buckle down and come up with some worthwhile questions to ask the plants beyond why people in mexico would decide that they would make a good domesticated grass...that and planning how to raise the sub-tropical perennial strain indoors...i was aware that the garden would require any number of things from physical labor to some planning about what and where to plant...i truly was not expecting to aquire teosinte so the parameters of my research just expanded and as a result, so will my experience...a challenge to grow on.

i also prepared a bed and planted some eastern gama grass in my backyard...most likely it will be home to some intermediate wheatgrass and some teosinte in the's chock full of locust trees ( odd how they grow in pairs...just about far enough apart for a hammock) elm trees, russian olive bushes and the damnest ferral rosebush in indiana ( it is vicious and will need to be pruned with a flamethrower) as well as multiple ornamental grasses...a few more plants will be right at home in the wildlife sanctuary ( don't laugh...there was even a redtailed hawk out there the other day...just waiting to see what might turn up in the way of lunch)...spring will be a season of interest...i can feel it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

teosinte III

we have more teosinte on the way! the usda in ames iowa will be sending us a small ammount of Zea diploperenis and we will have a bash at growing some. i am inclined to try it both indoors and out doors, although i think indoors is probably the better bet for a perennial that's a sub-tropical. surely anything we grow outside will not survive the winter, and i'd really like to see if we can produce some seeds..i doubt my luck at finding this germplast ( doesn't that sound educated?) for free ( well 2/3 of it so far) is going to hold up forever. at any rate it is exciting to ponder the possibilities for the spring.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

i'm usually indifferent to wind...

...but not today....a royal pain fastening the fabric down over the straw on my own...but i am nothing if not stubborn and unyielding, so i succeded....there's six inches or better of mulch over the planted portions of the the melee of fastening the fabric down i muclhed the baggie of gama grass seeds i'd brought to plant in the garden someplace or another...imagine i'll find them in the spring ( well i wasn't going to undo that cover)...fortunately i have entirely too many gama grass seeds for this project so i will simply bring some along when i go to class monday and plant them harm, no foul...i turned in two hundred pounds of compost and cow manure in the gama grass and teosinte bed (i will have to re-map the garden and scan it in)...indiana university northwest has nice lawns, but the soil is godawful for growing anything else...i haven't seen an earthworm yet either...i will be importing some in the spring or this garden is going to die on its feet ( or in bed) now all i am waiting on is to see if the fed's teosinte seed plants this fall or next spring..if it's the spring i think work in the garden is about done for now...just sitting around researching and planning for spring...that's all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

teosinte II

the teosinte seed i ordered from native seed search has arrived more promptly than i had supposed...they are indeed triangular, but alot smaller than i had imagined...the instructions tell me to plant in the spring, just before the last frost, so i don't think the gama grass will have a partner to winter over with...tough looking little's hoping the grasses they produce are as hardy.