Friday, May 13, 2011

Now on Twitter

Thought I'd give this stupid twitter thing a shot... 

Seems like a good way to share links and blog post updates for those times that I don't feel like putting hours into a full post. Follow me.

Commercial Perennial Crops?

The "perennial grain" story seems to pop up every few months. The basic idea is that perennial crops would have higher yields and lower environmental impacts than their annual kin.

The picture on the left explains pretty clearly why - large permanent root systems secure the topsoil, exhaustively scavenge water and nutrients and support more vigorous shoot growth over a longer season.

This week, it's perennial maize.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weed Seedling ID

I've spent the past hour reacquainting myself with the likely weeds I'll find in my plot, which ones are useful and what they look like.

While pulling up some chenopods among other weed seedlings, it occurred to me that some of these "volunteers" would be worth sparing. I went through my "Wild Plants to Eat" book along with a mess of extremely helpful extension weed seedling ID websites and came to the conclusion that I'll spare the two little dicotyledonous pseudograin weeds: amaranth and quinoa. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Opportunistic Gardening

It's amazing what you can accomplish with some reckless enthusiasm and an emergency shovel.

I've been out of grad school/postdoc for half a year now but have been slow to acclimate to my new budget. After spending 75 bucks to rent my garden plot, I couldn't help but balk at the idea of spending hundreds more on tools, containers, plants and fencing - so I started cutting corners.

Warning: irrational frugality will be a theme here...


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