the little wild kingdom

flowerbug

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today was the first nice day i had a chance to get back outside so i got some work done on that messy grass infested garden and also cleaned up some of the dead bean plant vines off the fence.

i was glad i found some of the dry beans from one specific type that i left out there to finish hoping i would pick up at least a few more seeds. got a few dozen more and that's all i really need anyways. :)

as for that messy garden, i didn't get too far, but i was able to dig out the plants along the pathway i'm removing and get the divider/slab/edging out of the way. i figure at the rate i'm going it will be May next year before i finish this one. between the weather getting worse and other things now getting in the way too (holidays and some winter prep like chores, etc.) i'm not always getting outside each day.

it did feel really good to dig for a few hours today and the rest of it too. :)
 

flowerbug

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It feels good to get in the dirt even if it's not all day. I got about an hour of dirt therapy today. :) Love it!

i have my worm farm here in my room for emergency dirt therapy during the times when i can't get outside. more aptly put though the buckets are not just worm farms, they have small spiders, wood lice, springtails, and many other creatures in them too. :)

if i grab a quick breakfast i can get out for a bit this morning so i'm heading out now while i can. if i get distracted i won't be able to do it otherwise. :)
 

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a good day for taking a few pictures of the bulk beans and getting the pictures edited and posted to the website. :)

this one shows the difference in color between the Purple Dove beans grown in various locations. the lighter beans were grown in poorer soil (with very little or no organic matter, clay and in some spots very poorly drained). the darker beans were grown in the North Garden which has actual loamy topsoil put down over the clay subsoil and that area has had a lot of organic matter added and plenty more weeds buried that grew there over the years. the two other pictures are just closer shots of the lighter and darker ones. though if you look closely you might notice that the darker beans are somewhat different from each other too (by a little bit :) ).







these are three other bulk beans Red Ryder, Fordhook Lima and Huey which is a cross i've been working on to get it stable. this was the first year i grew out enough to see how they did in multiple locations and soil conditions but also testing how they did when interplanted with Purple Dove.



and a closer shot of Huey, notice the pinker color background when compared to my other Tan Goats Eye bean that i normally grow instead (i did grow some Tan Goats Eye beans too this year to make sure it wasn't a soil or conditions variation). i'll put the link to the TGE beans here just as an obvious comparison.


Huey is likely to become my main bulk small striped bean that i like to use for making chili because it is firm and stands up to being cooked a long time and it doesn't fall apart easily, plus i like how it looks and grows (semi-runner) and it finishes pretty early and will work ok as a shelly too (i think i'll have to verify this next year for sure). since it is a cross from Red Ryder it has the characteristics i really like from that plant (easy shelling, beans fall out of the pod easy for dry and shelly stage, early, does well anyplace i plant it, etc). this year i planted Huey alternating with Purple Dove and even in spite of that it was pretty productive. i think next year i'll be block planting it and should get double the harvest in the same area as i got this season. note that while i'm not solely focussed on productivity of a bean (i don't want to draw too many nutrients out of a garden at one time) i do like it when a plant is moderately productive enough so that i'm also not wasting the space and my efforts.



 

frustratedearthmother

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You have certainly got the bean production down to a fine science! Me - I just put a seed in the ground and hope it gives me something to eat, lol.
 

flowerbug

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You have certainly got the bean production down to a fine science! Me - I just put a seed in the ground and hope it gives me something to eat, lol.

well my experience here is that some beans do pretty well and others don't so as time has gone on i've collected more and more to keep trying but also to work on cross-breeding others to get improvements. i like all the differences in tastes and textures on top of the fun of doing it and the various pretty flowers and such.

i have to replant as many of those beans as i can manage to find space for next year because i'm searching for out-crosses to start showing up.

i'll have other pictures eventually as i get to the rest of the beans i planted that are not bulk beans quantities. they are much more interesting in terms of patterns and other differences, but it won't be anytime soon for the actual pictures i'd like to have done (that is a longer term project) so they will be less formal versions.

i think i have about 60 more (i haven't organised or counted them all yet) bean/varieties/out-crosses/selections that have come back from the 44 i planted. not all of them will be actual new varieties, but i won't know that for several years in many cases and that is if i even decide to do anything with them at all. i just don't need many more yellow/brown or goats eye striped kinds of beans no matter how well they grow.
 

flowerbug

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for those who don't like spiders this is a warning, spider pictures follow...

these are the small spiders i use to keep the worm buckets from being taken over by fungus gnats, fruit flies and other various bugs that come in with the dirt/humus i dig up when i restart the buckets each spring.


two of them on the left. :) aren't they cute! :) :) :)




one of their meals. just the reason i have them in there to begin with a fungus gnat.




and a very small one running along who is about 2-3mm total size (including legs).

 

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