Monday, October 23, 2017

rain

temperatures more indicative of autumn have arrived...and along with it significant rains...
the last time it rained, nine days ago, this rain gauge collected just over an inch and a half of precipitation...
today it shows five...a three and a half inch rainfall today in the middle of my back yard...
the one on the north side between the housed uncharacteristically held a shade less than the other on the fourteenth of the month...
today, characteristically, it is topped out...we have had some rain today...
the evidence in on the petals, silks, and ears...
the hawthorn tree in the front yard stood out sharply as i pulled in the drive this evening...
the bees that gathered the nectar in the hawthorn blooms this past may...
will help feed the birds as winter deepens...nature is a web of interconnections...this one is so obvious i can see it plainly...there are others, more complex and obscured that human cognition has little hope of finding, much less understanding...time to relinquish the idea of control and be part.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

just bees

a wander around the back yard

it's another warm day ...like any number lately and they are becoming less and less seasonable as we go deeper into the month with still no frost forecast...
the nasturtium ( here with a friendly cricket ) are still blooming away...
and producing seeds...they netted me a handful today which is fine...i will be sharing...
one of the nasturtiums has produced a vine that trails across a bed for about eight feet...
so it shouldn't come as a surprise that their cousins the mashua, which started out as sprouts that looked like this...
look like this five months after they were planted...i am sure there are vines at least as long in there, however they are so bound together by tendrils they are inseparable without significant damage tot he plant...and i am not interested in that so we will simply not really know...
this bucket of spuds was obviously finished...
so i dumped it pout in the bed that will be spring wheat before you know it and discovered that the plant had deposited a number of small, blue fingerling potatoes along the bottom of the bucket...
they will do as "drops" when it is time to plant again...
rummaging around the pile of soil i found some larger ones as well which will do nicely as part of a meal...
Jean's imported new york wild strawberries are well established and producing daughter plants all over...i have already transplanted three from their beds of origin to other quarters to reduce the risk of overpopulation...they are, i am told, very cold hardy plants and they should over winter with minimal care...perhaps some straw mulch just to make me happy...
finally the obligatory teosinte shot ( just one this time ) here some very green seeds peeking through a parted husk...the weather is warm and i am still hopeful of some viability.

government seeds

this past thurdsay i received some maize seed and seed from two accessions of teosinte from the from the ars-midwest area plant introduction research unit in ames iowa to use in a morphological demonstration in the community garden on campus...the seed arrived intact and, obviously, the maize won't be planted until next may, however i wanted tot est the viability of the teosinte seed...
so i soaked ten seeds from each accession in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide for twenty minutes ( nothing new here...a standard for germinating around here )...put the seed in brown paper towel dampened with distilled water and and folded the toweling into appropriately marked baggies...those went into a dark, reasonably warm place to see what happens germination-wise...if it all goes well there will be seedling teosinte under the lights downstairs in the plant room...more on this project as it comes up...literally.

Friday, October 20, 2017

pollinators and ears

another warm october day in the calumet region...and a series of...
...a series of busy pollinators...
and some maturing teosinte ears...i received zea mays mexicana seed from two different accessions from the usda this week and will be test germinating them starting this weekend...look for more on that soon ( provided this interests you, of course )

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

what's blooming?

another warm october day here with no frost in sight and that means there is sitill a lot of activity out back...
the bogota market and mashua blanca are still looking robust...no need to harvest yet...
and while the confused tomato is still...well..confused, that doesn't mean other beings aren't moving forward with a single-minded purpose...
the mashua's cousins ( and denizens of the gardens of inca royalty )the nasturtiums ( peppery little blooms ) are flowering and working towards producing seed as long as they can...
the potato cousins and fellow nightshades the tomatoes seem bent on extending the reproductive process as long as possible too...
the bell peppers seem loathe to call it a season as well...
and finally ( you didn't think you'd escape this did you? ) whether horizontal or vertical, the teosinte is chugging away and producing seed as quickly as it can...now we hope for good viability.