Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 7th, 2007

Hello all. Here are my notes from May 7th... We began the day by hoeing our radish plot. This is very serious business. To properly hoe is a skill that takes a great deal of patience and skill. You are basically trying to just skim the surface with the hoe at an angle. There is no need to really sever the weed at the roots, but the maim its debut at the surface. Over time, the plant will not continue to recur as the villain in your precious plot. Mark has this down to a science- I need much more work to perfect the zen of a good hoe. There is also much discussion on Korean hoes... but that is for another post.
Mark and I decided to put together a 'showcase' bed, which will be the first bed you notice as you enter the farmed paradise. We wanted a smattering of different crops, and settled on Nerotondo Black radishes to mark our rows, and two types of lettuce running down the middle. We have christened the bed our United Nations plot, as the two types of lettuces are Austrian Forellenschluss (meaning speckled like a trout's back) and Israeli Jericho. (Quite as irony for us both, he of German descent and me being a hybrid Jew). The Austrian variety has maroon dappling on the leaves, and the Israeli is a Romaine bred in the hot climates of the desert. We are anxious to see if the Jericho blend is as bolt-resistant as it claims (Bolting refers to a plant prematurely flowering as the weather turns warmer and taking on bitterness as the energy of the plant is focused on accelerated maturity..), so we could potentially have really great lettuce in the hotter months.
Before we dove into composting the planted seeds, we put down some corn gluten meal. Corn gluten acts as a natural herbicide, and prevents germination of certain plants. We had to be careful to keep it away from the seeds we had sown that morning, but next to the full seedlings from the greenhouse, we hoped that it would prevent weeds from entering our peace loving United Nation space. Until next time....

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