Thursday, April 19, 2012


I continue to see great results from an experiment that I thought was likely to fail due to root burning...planting a few cucusa seeds in a 55 gallon compost barrel NEWLY filled with layers of compost formers, including horse stall sweepings. About once a week I put the hose atop the compost (which is rapidly losing height) for a 10 minute or so slow trickle. And the vines continue to grow explosively, requiring just a little training from me to grab the five foot tall goat wire and NOT cross the path to grab the duck pen.  The foliage is wonderfully healthy looking, and I'd forgotten just how LONG cucusa tendrils can get as they reach out to grab things. It is a delight to already see many female blooms....I would not be surprised if my first harvest was in a month. I have a few semi-empty barrels that I will try this is in too but perhaps with different crops, such as a calabaza.

A very large number of seed heads on my first ever crop of 'San Ho Giant' mustard are forming, with a few protected from cross pollination by the only other brassica blooming in my yard, Chinese kale. I fell in love with San Ho this winter, will grow it again next fall and winter, and it will be interesting to see if any of the plants are the result of stray Chinese Kale delivered by bees.

Life is good on the Starnes urban farm!

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