Wednesday, July 21, 2010

broody duck

Our duck "Milk tea" or is it "Lemon Tea"?, has gone broody

Lately she doesn't lay in the nesting box early in the morning, but later after being let out for the day.

The eggs are much cleaner this way.

da da

da da da da

Corn earworms: I've tried a variety of organic solutions, hard to tell if they're really effective. So far I've pulled out about 10 plants that have been really infested. I realize now that last year I made a big mistake of not disposing of infested plants properly, so the pest has come back this year. If it keeps up at this rate it won't hurt harvest too much. If things go exponential from here though it could get ugly.
Haven't been in the field for two whole days which is a no-no, especially at this critical time of flowering , silking, pollenating. Hand watering takes about 30 minutes. Inspection and spraying also takes about 30 minutes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

weave hybrid

We had heavy rain and high winds that began to knock down the corn. Being my lazy self I went swimming the day before the anticipated storm instead of putting up supports. How could I resist?

At least the ducks are happy and I'm saving on feed.

This looks more like a Florida weave system designed for tomatoes. It was the only thing I could think of other than gathering 400+ bamboo stakes from the riverside somewhere. That would take forever.

Spent about 6 back-breaking hours in the pouring rain and winds paying for my laziness. Nearly each plant is tied loosely to the support line

99% of the crop is upright, pretty good considering the winds. At the top of the valley here it all gets funnelled straight to us from the south. Good for a wind turbine- bad for corn. I can't do a block planting cause of the heavy rain, wouldn't be able to enter the muddy block for days at a time, forget about weeding it. The only other thing I can think to help is make my rows run south-north, as opposed to east-west like I have now. Can't imagine it'd make much difference though. This is the first test of many to come this summer for sure. In the meantime, I'll start gathering bamboo poles for next year, and wait for things to dry out and cultivate the rows again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sea of Corn

OK, not quite that much but there are 400 plants so far. The battle against the weeds this rainy season is going surprisingly well so far. The double-wide space between raised beds, black plastic mulch, and very carefull weed cutting with the 草刈り機 is working out. Now if I can only keep the future pests at bay. Hoping for a few sunny days to dry out the rows and get the tiller in again.

Kotobikihama beach in Kyoto. 琴引浜 my favorite place in summer. On July 4th, practically no one there, cloudy but no rain, warm water and free outdoor hotspring, unbeatable.

I have no idea where they get this from.