Thursday, June 8, 2023

Tomato plant pron


Stupice. It is already flowering!!!

Orange Icicle


The structure with twine hanging down to clip the tomato vines to.

I watered the portion of the garden with the flour-corn last night.

The yellow bucket marks about where the irrigation intersects the row of onions. The onions closer to us are not nearly as robust as the ones getting water. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I was having chipmunks digging up my cabbage plants. I prefer that they be much larger before transplanting but events forced my hand. I got them planted today. 11 Typhoon and 30 Deadon

Zinnia seedlings with a post on the right side of the image.

These are yellow sweet cherries. They will be ripe in a few more days and we will be gorging on sweet cherries.
Today had a diversion from gardening. Handsome Hombre and I moved the cattle to Sprite's back pasture. It went very smoothly.

Planting and weeding


Lovely. Just flipping-lovely. Circled area is my area-of-operation
Air quality is currently rated as bad, locally. The good news is that it is expected to resolve over the next 24 hours.

Even better news is that the weather-guesser (Mr Richard Tease) is suggesting that we might get as much as an inch of rain from Sunday-to-Tuesday. We need it.

Cabbage transplants are going into the garden today. Deadon and Typhoon.

The watering schedule means that I can only work certain sections of the garden on any given day. Walking on damp soil compacts it and the footprints become spots where weed seeds like to germinate. That means that I schedule the day's work on the section that is driest. When transplanting, I will do a spot-watering of the plant to get it through the day. Then I put the sprinklers on that section for the over-night watering.


It seems like I am always cutting stakes.

In very round numbers, I have a stake about every 10' of row. I like to mark seeding rows with stakes every so often so I can till before the seedlings break the surface.

In total, this year's garden is about 7000 square-feet (1/6th of an acre) and my rows are 37" apart. That works out to about 7000/30 square-feet per stake. In round numbers that is 200 sticks/stakes.

Euro-centric, rectilinear, Xenophobic partriarch

I image that somewhere in America some Social Justice Warrior is writing a Grant that reads something like this:

Solicitation for Grants:

Leptard Community Farm

Veer/Vus/Vii are seeking funding for an interactive study where Feminist Ideals are used to reimagine Agriculture and create a safe-space that reductively diminishes the Cultural Imperialism of the Heteronormative, Cis-binary power structure.

The Leptard Commune envisions an agricultural space that will provide all of the food, fiber and medicine for the members of the Leptard Commune with each receiving to her needs.

The Urf, our birthing-Planet, will be coaxed into producing in a non-coercive way that does not perpetuate Euro-centric, Patriarchal norms. Specifically, our Urf’s skin will not be breached in violent, non-consensual, penetrating ways. Seeds will be made available to the Urf’s birds and furry creatures for them to plant in natural ways. Plants that rise from indigenous seeds will be raised and nurtured just like the ones we plant. We will nurture our children, the plants through poetry and song and used Pampers.

No poisons will be allowed, nor will any sharp tools be used to injure or traumatize ANY plants in our sacred, agricultural space.

We feel that productivity will increase in the first year by at least 16-fold (a sacred number) as we treat the Urth with love and kindness. Furthermore, we feel that productivity will increase by 256-fold the second year.
The thing about straight lines and evenly spaced rows is that it is efficient to cultivate which is the most cost effective way to suppress weeds. There is only so much water, sun and soil nutrients and what goes to growing weed biomass is not available to grow broccoli, tomatoes or other plants more suitable for human food.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

MTV and targeting data

Our celebrity guest will henceforth be identified as MTV because he embodies the heady optimism and energy of that channel in its early years.

MTV is a fan of Michael Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs".

In one of his first jobs he found a grizzled, ancient field technician (mid-fifties) in the first week on his job calibrating verniers on Gonkulators. The field technicians was A.) Stunned and B.) Very willing to take this "office guy" out in the field.

MTV said that he needed to see the chain-of-custody and how Gonkulators were handled at every hand-off in the tortuous path from warehouse to installation.

The field technician squinted at him and said "Gimme the address of a customer and we will do exactly that."

MTV happened to know that Camp DeSales used their brand of Gonkulators and said "Any Gonkulator at Camp DeSales in Brooklyn, Michigan".

And that is what the old-tech and MTV did. MTV sat in the passenger seat of a service van as they traced the route of Gonkulator: Serial Number FOAD-867-5309 from the main warehouse to an enstupidation box in Camp DeSales.

The crusty old-dude was quite taken by MTV's enthusiasm and MTV's burning need to understand the nitty-gritty detail of the business. It is entirely possible that the technician MAY have visited a few other customers during the day and they MAY have made a few high-speed laps at a local race track (in the service van) and enjoyed a few other perks of supplying critical, if boring, equipment. Access that would have taken months through official channels happened with a couple cups of coffee and the nod of the old-boy's head.

MTV's belief that there are parallel and complementary systems (Head-work and Hands-work) was validated.

MTV never abused the insights he gained that day, but it gave him a forward-observation post perpendicular to "authorized" data that provided exceptional resolution for targeting.

I may have the details cross-threaded, but I think MTV's MOS may have been MOS-13E, Army Cannon Fire Direction Specialist

Hey, MTV, if you read this and it offends you or you feel it betrays your trust in me, I will delete the post and not write any more about our conversations. I believe that I fuzzed up the critical details enough to keep you from being prosecuted. That, and the Statute of Limitations.

ERJ has high-society come to him

I met with a friend from high school today. We were going to meet over lunch but things came up and I could not leave the property.

Consequently, he came to over to my house and stayed for three hours.

He is a sharp guy and he lives life pedal-to-the-metal...and he has the scars to prove it.

The conversation went in a million different directions. My friend noted that our generation was trained in formal debate. We were trained to consider both sides of the argument to be better at anticipating the approaches our opponents were likely to take. He believes that fully understanding your opponent's world-view, constraints and inclinations gives you an empathy that creates mutual respect...and sometimes can allow synthesis of a way forward that results in a mutual-win.

Sadly, opposing sides are now so locked up by ideology and team-loyalty that mutual respect and the possibility of a win-win is almost impossible.

Compared to him, I am a total piker.  We both found fulfillment and contentment. His life was more of a pinball-machine, roll-the-dice affair while mine was more the gentle arc of a ballistic missile.

Ticks and fleas

We will be trying a new product on Zeus called Bravecto Chewables. Merck claims that a single tablet can protect for up to three months. They are pricey but shopping around on-line can reduce the prices by about 35% from MSRP.

Remember when Reagan was mocked for saying trees pollute?


Small particle pollution caused by wild-fires in Canada.
"Trees cause pollution" is still mocked as "Gloriously stupid..." by Progressives.

Haze in New York City caused by wild-fires in Canada.

Mrs ERJ is driving to Detroit today. I will suggest that she run in A/C mode.

Peer reviewed literature

Peer reviewed literature suggests that the tree/pollution issue is very convoluted and there are many moving parts. A good, if long, paper HERE.

Trees emit isoprene and terpenes (ironically, "terpenes" are one of the "unique value propositions" for selling cannabis) which together with NOX (nitrogen oxides) are precursors to ground-level ozone.

The trees which emit the most isoprene and terpenes are also the ones that are best at sponging up and mitigating ground-level ozone.

A confusing image. Vertical axis is NOX availability. Horizontal axis is NMVOC availability. Label in black font is the position of Innsbrook, Austria. Label in green font is position of rural Georgia. The dotted line is a theoretical drive from the core-city to a rural area and the color gradient is the ozone level. Source
Urban areas have excess NOX and ozone formation is limited by the availability of NMVOC (Non-methane Volatile Organic Compounds). Rural areas have lots of NMVOC in the air (from the trees, naturally) and ozone formation is limited by the availability of NOX. The two come together in the suburbs on the downwind side of the urban heat-bubble where conditions are ideal for ozone formation: NOX-rich air is carried by the winds and encounters locally generated NMVOC from suburban trees.

Some trees produce less NMVOC than others. In some cases it is due to mutations.

The single most useful thing a suburb could do to mitigate ozone formation and retention would be to de-stress the trees by ensuring adequate soil moisture and fertilizer. Stressed trees emit more NMVOC and absorb less ozone.

Happy Birthday to ME

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday dear blog.
Happy Birthday to me. 

My first blog post was ten years ago on my first day of retirement. Blogging was on my bucket list.

The median number of posts for a blogger before they hang it up is about three. I am 7500 and counting. Being able to talk/write when you really have nothing much to say is an art.

My first blog post was about flour-corn

My second blog post was about the "Wellness Wheel". I think this concept aged well.

My 4th post was about Orchard Grass pollen. This picture was taken 6 hours after exposure, 100mg of diphenhydramine and two rounds of Opcon A eye-drops.

The second week had a couple on "Things that go Bump in the Night"

And then the food-pron started.

Thanks for making this blog part of your day or week. Your comments made me a better person.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Butterpeas and Cowpeas

I asked Lucky in Kentucky for an education in "southern peas"

Butterpeas (Phaseolus lunatus) are a bush-type Lima bean. Typical Lima pod, but the beans are more plump/round than most limas. Very productive and tasty. Links below for illustration purposes

I grew up with Dixie White butterpea. Henderson bush lima is a fair substitute, and I have grown them in the past.
Couldn't find seed locally, but did find Dixie Red-Speckled on clearance at Southern States a few years ago and bought 2 lbs. They are pretty, but I prefer the white strain, and found them at Sandhill. I think the reds must have a high lectin content or something like that. I have to cook the dried red ones til fully rehydrated, pour off that initial water, then add fresh water and whatever seasonings ( usually ham bullion & bacon grease).
It's a killer bending over to pick them...I still have nightmares of looking down those two 100 ft rows Dad always seemed that it took forever to make any headway picking them. Nowadays I may pick a few for a meal, but I mainly let them go until most pods are full, then pull up the entire plant and go sit in the shade to pick them off without having to bend over for hours.(Is that lazy?  I like to think... resourceful. lol)

I messed up and planted red & white too close together and 'contaminated' my whites... still working on segregating the whites back out.  All my seed this season are white, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a few pink/red ones in the mix when it comes time to shell them out. 

Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata)?  I've got Piggott, a mix of KY & Franklin Red, black Cow, dimpled brown Crowder and Iron & Clay.

I grew up growing & eating Pinkeye Purplehull cowpeas - and thought they were the pinnacle of cowpeas... better than blackeyes... but there are hundreds of strains that are so much better than PePh... I'll probably never plant them again.
Trialing Bisbee Black, Black Crowder, Maroon-speckled Whippoorwill, and Old-fashion Red Ripper this year.  Will plant more Piggott - very productive - and Iron & Clay - my fave for flavor, but I&C is a very rampant grower and less productive than Piggott; and it's about a 100 day maturity strain vs 75 for Piggott.  I think some of the deer hunter food plot boys put I&C in some of their summer food plots.
(ERJ note: I was looking at various cultivars and I had to chuckle over "Zipper Cream" cowpeas. I may have to grow some of that just because of the name.)
Freezer space is at a premium here, so for the last 3 years, I've been shelling & drying all my cowpeas and dry bean varieties.  Have a few dual-purpose 'green beans' that we eat either as green beans or let them go to produce dry shell beans - Turkey Craw and Black Nightfall are pretty, but need something to run on.  Tenderpod bush green beans make a nice dry shell bean.

Hoping for some rain, soon.  We're under air-quality alert today, from whatever's coming south from those Canadian wildfires. 

(ERJ note: Either of these species might make a good substitute for Red Clover in the "rest" period. They produce food more directly usable by humans. The downside is that it would have to be drilled into the small grains in early summer. Scythe off the rye or wheat and then the peas which have been sulking/smoldering should take off for a second crop. Does anybody have any tricks up their sleeve?)

Thanks a million Lucky.