Monday, March 26, 2012

Taters start your engines.

The potatoes have all been sliced and placed in their (freshly tilled) beds. Around St. Patricks Day is a good marker for our area if your trying to time your planting just so. Figures, cuz you know those Irish folks do love their Irish potatoes. But for reals, you know the Peruvians have those spuds on lock down. They have over 800 different varieties. Yes variety is the spice of life, and that's some serious spice. I always like potato planting time. I'll even make your lives easier and give you a little instruction on how we do.
First things first. When your seed potatoes arrive you need to green sprout them. as in wake them up. Or abren those ojos if you will. You want to keep them warm and dark for about two weeks. I do this in the living room nearish to the wood stove with blankets covering them.Although this week you could have done it anywhere, its been freaky hot. When they are sprouted we haul them to the field and start chopping. You have to chop your potatoes so that you get about a 2 inch x 2 inch or more piece with two active eyes on it. The plant grows from the eyes so I'll put it like this, if you don't see eyes when you plant you ain't gonna see shit when you go to dig, ya dig? This will give you some funny shaped seed pieces for planting. We put these GENTLY! into buckets and then put them in rows. Each piece goes down in inch or three in the ground and we do about 14 inches between each piece. Every body differs on this, I've seen from 10 to 24 inches and yes they have all grown potatoes, so do what makes sense space wise for you and get on with it then. Then you gots to cover them! They will dry out pretty quick so make sure you have good soil contact all around. In a week or two you'll start seeing little shoots sticking up. After you get some growth on, potatoes need to be hilled. Which just means throwing some dirt up against the plants. Not too much, you don't want to smother. But every time you hill, you get another layer of potatoes forming. And you know what that means...
work, and also fries.
And just to show you what a stand up guy I am, I'll give you this link. It has correct growing info, so you can promptly disregard everything thing I said on the matter.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A line in the clay

Sometimes soil changes in a field. You'll have clay at one end and sand at another. Sometimes two different soils will run up next to each other and you can tell where they transition. Occasionally its really freakin obvious.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Get swole

We just had a winter harvest of this "swole" ass root. This is ginger we over wintered in the house to hold over as some of our seed for the spring. It started as a little piece last spring and had quite the lovely canopy of leaves throughout the season. When it started to get cold out we moved it to a sunny spot inside and promptly ignored it.Slowly but suerly those leaves started dying off We thought we were doing a bad job, but it turns out that was not the case. When you over Winter it like that, it has a period where its leaves get their senescence on. Its marking down a birthday on the plant calender if you will, where it basically goes to sleep, and thickens its skin a bit. It has no thirst nor hunger. Just wanting a nice long slumber.
Now we just rudely awoke this sleeping beauty, and we'll cut it into to tiny pieces to let the process start all over.
Wake up yo- spring is upon you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Throw some dirt on it.

Threw them beds up. Getting potato ready.
Also got clay for days. Don't be jealous all you sand farmers.
If it won't make veggies I can always make vessels, or tiles, or mud masks.

Gingerly, I approach

Ginger came in the mail yesterday. Along with a few friends- Galangal and Turmeric. Pretty hyped to try these out this year. They grow real similarly, so you can pretty much handle them the same. New things can so often be quite exciting, and If I'm not mistaken (I so rarely am) turmeric is one of those foods the NYTimes is always trying to make you eat because it has some magical powers. Galangal is pretty much the shizznit too, its like a spicier white ginger, most common in Thai food, and alot of times the base of green curry paste. So get ready for that. If you need to start saving money so that I can have your money than please plan accordingly.
These crazy looking sea creature tentacle looking root things show up the first week of March. They immediately go into a presprouting phase on heat mats that we made. I start them in open cell greenhouse trays, cover with soil and put them directly on my little heat cable mats. It holds them between 70 and 80 F. Too much more then that and you'll anger the ginger spirits. But lower temps keep it from going all crazy. The point is to keep it warm for a few weeks, to get the sprouting on. Then it will get transferred to grow bags, still kept warm, but given a little room to stretch them legs as it were. As it grows it gets hilled like a potato, a little grow a little dirt reward repeat. From there hopefully it sends up enough stem to create a canopy to shade itself. It prefers around 80% if you can get it. If your lucky things continue on like this for several months, and then around middle September you get to start breaking into the stash. You'll know its time because the grow bags start to look like the Incredible Hulk's pants. Except black not purple. At that point you can start picking that fresh baby ginger. Selling it to everyone, making ginger beer, and candying that shit. Prepare yourselves for the gingersplosion. wait that's not a word. Word