Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

The BIG Snow

First we got an inch of rain and then we got this -

After a little scrapping, the sun started to peak back in.
I went back into the greenhouse in September, after stopping for the summer. This is my second winter since Larry helped me rebuild her. In addition to the salad stuff, I have jade cuttings , airplane plants, Dutch irises, lilies, aloes, and my brave little Norfork pine.
All of it is growing just off the sunlight . No extra heat at all. We have already seen nearly a week solid, of cloudy weather with back to back 13 F degree nights in that spell. That's when my irises were starting to sprout.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Winter Solstice - 2009

I got a package of seeds for Christmas, from Las Cruces, New Mexico . Thank Bart & Blonde.
I'll start these in the greenhouse tomorrow.

I started my " salad bars " at the end of October. The first cuttings were in the chicken salad tonight. pictures to follow. My greenhouse is going a super job this fall.
Salad Bars

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

" One Good Meal a Week "

Tomorrow's Chicken and Rice soup -

When I was a very young man in Austin, in the spring of 69' a girl named Susann cooked spaghetti once a week for people from Lubbock. Some Mondays she had 20 people in her place. We'd all kick in a few bucks for the next week's food, and we all had at least " One Good Meal a Week " . I can still hear the " Nazz " on the record player.

There's something about people breaking bread together.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Related Interesting article

I thought I'd stir up the blog with a new posting.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seeds of corn to come.......

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tacoma Harvest

It's not much, but rather amazing considering the weather we have had.  What do I do with it now?  Is there a process for letting it become seed for next year?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Harvest Rolls In

My harvest from the big garden I worked on.

From Chester in New Mexico -


From Julie here in Lubbock -

Hello Bob,

Yesterday Darin and I pulled the corn and unwrapped beautiful blue kernels. This year was sparce in the garden. As you can see, there was no much of a bounty but what there was is gorgeous. This is my favorite shade of blue.

Please see attached and add to your blog as you see fit. Back to the 'rillo, look out for Darin!



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seed Harvesting in the Great NW

Here's a ear I pulled because I was worried about some bugs. I cut the stalk and husked this one. The other few plants/ears appear insect free from the outside. I'm drying this one in the sun hoping to obtain some seeds. I'll be lucky to have four good mature ears. I read that it's best to let ears dry out of the stalk and then harvest, husk, kernel and save them in a cool dry spot. Can I get an "amen" or "you're screwed"on this from all you farmers :-) TIA

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

summer's done......the spiders are croaking in their webs and the horrendous heat, while not over, is at least tempered now and then by tolerable winds........this particular summer's hand was dealt by Cbob's Blue Corn-a-palooza with joedon for musical acrompinerance.........it, for one thing, made for one of the more pleasing heat spells i've ever had to endure here in this mosquito infested festerously humid paradise.........checking the corn.......

times was when at the onslaught of this heat you'd find any number of rogues, blackguards, crabbers, farmers and musicians mysteriously appearing at Hart's shrimp dock.........there would be mason jars............with ice....and shrimp......and crabs.......and geetars.......

The shrimp dock of course has been sold and mr hart has gone to be with his chicago ancestors......I assume that's the price one pays for dying..........

Blue corn as opposed to white corn and next year it's gonna be a whole damn field.............

Salute Corno

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Corn harvest, the first hill

This is a picture of the Blue corn I grew in my back yard. Next week I will harvest the corn planted next door on the bank owned house.

I cut and shocked the corn or at least I tried to get it in a shock. It takes at least three stalks for a shock to stand. I have only two so I leaned them up against the pitchfork.
Shocking fodder is one of those lost farming arts. I was on the tail end of it and learned it as a child when my father borrowed a corn binder to bind his crop of sorghum. It would cut the long stalks and tie them into a bundle of 8to10 stalks and would lay it on the ground. We would pick up the bundles and shock them. To form a shock you would gather 4 or 5bundles together, tie them at the top with a piece of twine, then spread them out at the bottom so that they would stand. Then you would pickup the surrounding bundles and lay them against the shock being sure to distribute them equally. Think of a tepee looking structure made of corn stalks.

By the time I was in high school a neighbor bought a silage chopper and we had him chop it up into pieces an inch long, put it in a pit in the ground, where it would ferment. Some of the fermented juice would run out and collect at the end of the pit. Our cows would gather there and drink it then stagger up the hill. Bet you didn't know cows could be alcoholics.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not worthy of being involved in your experiment Bob

Well after two plantings and building that darn rabbit excluding enclosure, I failed to fertilize my corn. No fish heads, no Miracle Grow, nada. I guess I was hoping the Hopi would do the rest of the work for me. I will have to blame some of it on that rabbit exluding enclosure. It not only kept the rabbits out but it kept me from getting close too. It made it difficult to mow around. Then the grass got really high. Then I was sure some snake would be lurking, waiting for me. And then, the garden was 1.7 miles away and I couldn't see it everyday. I have at least a dozen more excuses if anyone is interested.
Warning, those ears are smaller than they appear.

Bob, I just hope you won't exclude me for any other experiments. Don't make me turn in my project card. I just might be better at the next one.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hot Damn, We've Got Tassels!

Wasn't completely confident I'd see the day. I'm not the photographer you all are, but hopefully you can see the three sisters at work. Additionally in the photo on the left, in the top right hand corner is my new hammock, strategically placed overlooking the harbor and corn. What a combo!

Knee High By The Fourth of July!

The old adage up here in New England is that the corn should be knee high by the fourth of July. They weren't all knee high, but with my late start and the lousy growing season here, I was pleased as punch to have any that height yet.

We Do It The Old Fashioned Way

I am trying out a modified Three Sisters planting style, a combination of corn, pole beans and squash. In this symbiotic relationship the beans are planted in the center of the corn hill and the squash should be alternated with the corn hills. I didn't have enough room to plant the squash in between the corn, so it is planted a row over. The corn works as a pole for the beans, the beans help to stabilize the corn from wind, and the squash is a living mulch. I chose this method as I just wanted to see how the ancients did it, and I just plain like the name. Sisterhood and paganism!

The Iroquois Legend of the Three Sisters

Erney, Diana. 1996. Long live the Three Sisters. Organic Gardening. November. p. 37-40.
The term “Three Sisters” emerged from the Iroquois creation myth. It was said that the earth began when “Sky Woman” who lived in the upper world peered through a hole in the sky and fell through to an endless sea. The animals saw her coming, so they took the soil from the bottom of the sea and spread it onto the back of a giant turtle to provide a safe place for her to land. This “Turtle Island” is now what we call North America.

Sky woman had become pregnant before she fell. When she landed, she gave birth to a daughter. When the daughter grew into a young woman, she also became pregnant (by the West wind). She died while giving birth to twin boys. Sky Woman buried her daughter in the “new earth.” From her grave grew three sacred plants—corn, beans, and squash. These plants provided food for her sons, and later, for all of humanity. These special gifts ensured the survival of the Iroquois people.

It Gets Better- Sorry, Just Catching Up

The problem with my camera and computer has been resolved for now and am finally able to load photos. Here is how it all looked the day I planted the sacred seeds-

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago.

My wife talked me into picking one of the ears of corn. It was at the perfect stage for roasting ear corn, what is called the milk stage.

Tootsie, our blue front amazon parrot, approves of the corn. I understand that farmers in central America call parrots winged rats. The way Tootsie goes after the corn I can see why.
We combined the corn with other vegetables from the garden, onions , Anaheim and poblano chilis, tomatoes and okra.

To make this delicious stew which will be served over the brown rice in the rice pot at the top of the picture.

The rest of the corn is maturing on the stalks waiting until the end of August to be picked and stored.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hello August

Our big garden on the first of August.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Growth In Tacoma

Since I don't have a clue what I am doing after stuffing seeds in ground and watering, what will this become?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Capital Forest Crop

Here's the lastest photo update from the Northwest corn experiment in the Capital Forest. What a difference a month makes.

These remaining four are all over five foot and tasseling.

I'm lucky they're nearby so I can keep them watered in the 100+ temps this week.

I've had to fence them since I've caught deer and coons nosing around.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The new kid in town.
Blue Belle

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aerial View

This is the Tacoma Cornfield shot from the second floor patio. As you can see, it is growing by leaps and bounds, but doesn't have any sign of blooms ears or whatever it is that corn does.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My crop, 2009. Many seeds for next year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching Up

Sorry for not keeping house the past week or so. It was 107 here on Wednesday of last week. Then 105, then 102 ...... Looks like the heat will break on Saturday . Good news, because our heat like this always comes with dry southwest winds. And the 2 together really suck the water out of everything. Got this wonderful set from Kentucky -

Mr. Bob, here are pictures of the two batches of hopi blue surrounded by beans and squash, and the fields of native grasses/wildflowers in front of our not so old Kentucky home back of which resides the corn patch. The first batch survivors of rabbit raiders are tasselling now and the second batch in the foreground are holding their own guarded by Owl, the Intimidator.
Your friends at Windham Wallow
aka, Windham Wallow Wildlife Wefuge (wascally wabbits welcome)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Ear

Hubby and I picked the first ear of corn...we have been 'groping' the ear for weeks and since all of the silk is missing from all of our growing ears, we guessed it was ready...we were a bit wrong. (Bologna the dog and the first ear are the same length.)

First peek.
This ear was from Van Gogh...a second ear is forming. Van Gogh was the only survivor from the first planting. Fabio is from the third planting and a real champion. Fabio has four ears with a fifth forming. I want to save seeds from both plants as they are genetic winners.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fabio and Van Gogh

Van Gogh

The original stalk with one ear of corn.


Long, blonde & silky hair.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NW Forest Update

Here's an update from the Olympia National Park Rain Forest. I ended up with about four viable plants that seems to be doing fine. However, I do not have any signs of tassels or silk and am thinking it's about two weeks away from seeing them. I'm wondering what if I do not get both male and female plants. I guess I'm SOL.
Anyway I've included a couple pix. Of course, they all look alike :-)