The Race Is On

Felipe and Callum hard at work trying to keep the deer out of the new tomato area, “Tomatotown”.


I feel like a real farmer buying seed corn by the pound now.  Well, it is only ONE pound, right.  I can hear Pilgrim Farmer John laughing at me now.  I know I have a long way to go.   But the point is that I am soaking the little guys in water with Saturday and Sunday being my window for planting.  No turning back now.  They are counting on me to get them in the soil in a timely manner.

I have a corn planter offered to me to try.  I should do that.  Have always planted by hand but the whole operation is growing and have to match that with the appropriate technology.  Will has that, the guy that came to tapas Tuesday and gave us the wine plumbing story.

In Forestry College way back when I took botany and other sciences.  But botany was the most fascinating and I still use it a lot in woodworking and now my farming endeavors.  Yea, so what I am getting at is something called geotropism.  This is the ability of plants to grow away from or toward gravity.  Yea.  Then there is phototropism or the  ability to grow toward the light.  Here I found two more from good old Google.  Hydrotropism to grow toward water.  And here is a good one, thigmotropism, or the ability to responded to touch.  That is sounding pretty woo woo.  But it would be how do certain plants find their way to wrap around a trellis for instance.  We have all seen that.

But I digress, back to geotropism.  It is called positive when the roots grow downward toward the center of the earth and called negative in the above the ground part of the plant growing away.  Anyway, I am trying to get my precious pound of seed to a certain point before I plant it and not too far.  If I can just get the root to crack through the now softened shell of the seed that will be perfect.  Then I can drop those little guys into the furrows any old way and geotropism will take over.  See?  But if I wait too long the little plant is growing a big root and I feel like I have to plant it as you would transplanting.  Well at that point that is what I would be doing and that is too labor intensive.  So, this is where this whole geotropism thing got started today.  Thanks for bearing with me.  I don’t know maybe we learned something new.

OK, off I go.  See you in twenty four hours, love as always, Pilgrim Farmer Felipe.



7 thoughts on “The Race Is On”

  1. Felipe, You will have to watch that seed closely to not miss your window… and better a smidge early than a smidge late… to save all that pointing the root down on each one! That would be a LOT of work!
    Can’t wait to see the corn coming up! Good timing with the sunshine:). You are in a happy place:).

    1. Michelle ~ corn-o-mania, right? I am so so corny! This is always so exciting getting the seed in the ground. I saw a US corn map in National Geographic. Corn is growen in every state and the map had corn products from each state. It didn’t have Raven Ranch on there. Will have to do something about that. Felipe.x

  2. Yup. THAT’s the advice I needed. Smarter now, although I still need 2.5 yards if compost to break up what they call Ashland Gumbo– I call icky sticky. Been wearing my straw cowboy hat, too. And mixing stain colors for the deck, balusters and rails — all different types and ages of wood. Redwood, cedar and fir. Gardennpics soon!

    1. Steve-O ~ amigo, how’s things? Lovin the doggie pics. Thanks for those. Yea, corn-o-mania here at the ranch. Have to run to the hospital tomorrow but planning on planting my corn this weekend. So exciting! Yea, straw cowboy hats are so in! Felipe.

  3. PFF!
    I’ve been wringing my hands here waiting for you to tell us that your corn is in the ground! I’ve always been curious about the “soaking” thing you do with the seeds before planting. I know sweet corn doesn’t have the bred-in toughness and adaptability of field corn, but we plant our little plot with the same equipment and at the same time. My plant breeder colleagues have told me they work mostly on “tastiness” for most sweet corn varieties. There are varieties that the commercial growers buy that have more “umph” and will stand better for longer periods. Neither of which does any good tho unless the “fruit” measures up. Tricky business, that sweet corn thing! Sadly, most people will never know just how good sweet corn really is because they don’t get to eat it within the “magic hour” of harvest. Fresh means something entirely different with sweet corn: it really means “right now!” We always get the credit for having “the best sweet corn I’ve ever tasted” when non-farm friends stop and eat with us in the summer, but it’s really all about picking it just before it’s ready to go into the pot.

    Our corn crop is up and looking pretty good considering the dearth of sunshine and paucity of warm weather we’ve had since planting on April 20th. The storm that took our machine shed down also brought some hail which thinned the stand a little. That’s one of the reasons I always “drop” more seeds than are needed for a good crop (35,500 seeds/acre). No event (short of re-planting) is going to increase your stand, but there are lots of things that try to reduce the stand.

    It’s “pilgrim season” and several of my Camino Amigos are out there doing it again. Love hearing from them, and fight the jealousy.

    I faithfully read your blog everyday and admire you so much for getting it out there!

    Corn Commando Companion,

    1. Dear Corn Commando Companion ~ I like that. You must have stayed up late. Yea, corn-o-mania! National Geographic in their February issue had a story on our favorite grain. Seems it is grown in every state of the Union. They have this really cool corn map of the US built of of cobs and chips and all the other corny things.

      So, are you living back at home now? Someone said that you displaced because of the downed power poles. Man, what a weird deal. Is that like a hundred year thing or do we blame it on Trump.

      At the hospital this morning. Watching out the window the building of some multi floor building where the local one story McDonald’s was a month ago. There is a crane picking girders off a semi parked in the turn lanes in the middle of the street. A lot of tight maneuvering. Not like being out in the middle of Iowa.

      Not a cloud in the sky here. I can feel my soil warming up back on the Island. Man, it was a long excruciating spring and we have catch up to do. Rebecca got our tomatoes in yesterday. Put in a bed up against the south facing wall of a steel building. We have high hopes for this micro environment.

      OK, buddy say hello to Farmer Cathy. PFF.

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