Sunday, January 10, 2021

Shepard Lane Garden for January


Well, it is January, that time of the year gardeners the world over start looking at their seed stores and starting things in little pots in hopes that they will grow into big strong transplants.  

The chickens had their first eggs in about a month.. it has been that cold.

I checked on the front bed with the carrots and parsnips planted last September.  The parsnips (Hamburg rooted parsley) are about a pencil's width but still have green tops.  The carrots are a bit larger than that - nearing on index-finger size, but they are supposed to be short Oxheart version.  Both of the seeds were sourced through Victory Seeds.  Mark has said I should dig out that entire bed soon and put greens in for the year, as it keeps warmth and moisture from the brick wall behind it.  I had forgotten there were a few vines of Jackson Wonder Lima Bean in there, as well - and pulled those out just now.  There were about six dry good seeds there and about six that had started to germinate, and the rest were a loss.  So - the germinating seeds are in a pot indoors here.

The picture below is a pod of Shackamaxon bean that was the same story.  That was about a week ago when I cleared vines out of the main garden, and they are now starting to grow.  One has a taproot four inches long - and they will need to be repotted as soon as the second gets above the soil.  

So now I'm growing heirloom landrace 'rescue' beans... I'm kidding, really.  But we have been keeping the same varieties alive for years with my hobby.  I studied the articles of Joseph Lofthouse with his 'landrace' seeds that changed to adapt to his location in the mountains of Utah.  We have been growing the children's children type seeds of our plants for long enough that these really are 'pea ridge adapted' for Tennessee.  These Shackamaxon were from northern New York and are the survivors of several plantings, some which did better than others - over the years here.  The ones that we planted in July seemed to always do the best and be the most prolific, but not until they were at least two month old vines or more. 

There is such limited space and such limited time as well.  What to grow out this year?  Last year I didn't have time for much, but still got some Shackamaxon and a good crop of Whipporwill peas out of it.  I think using the main bed to grow lots and lots of kale and mustard was very useful for cooking - although I did not save any seeds off of them.  I had planned to look for seeds from the arugula/rocket and it was attacked by some sort of fungus halfway through.  I have more seed for that this year and did enjoy eating it.  Our purslane came back up from self-seed but then the weather never did get great for it, and it died back without making much of itself.  The lemon balm, however, went EVERYWHERE as did the lemon-scented basil.  I collected heads off of the basil and the perennial lettuce and will see if any of that is good seed.


 The 'rescue' beans, sprouted after a week

There is another pot that was started today, will check back on them in another week


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