Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grow ops

That is one damned humungous broccoli plant!
Sleepy 12-year-old for scale.
Do you see Christmas lights in the lower left corner of the photo?  That's not because we decorated the garden.  That's because I've been using them to warm the tank on the nights when it has fallen below freezing.
This is a Gypsy broccoli, which means that the plant will continue to produce satellite heads following the primary decapitation.
It was an organic cultivar, and I've used the best organic growing methods I could muster (no chemical additives, fertilizers, or pesticides).  I planted the thing in the stock tank six weeks ago today, as a slip with about six little leaves on it.  It's about ready to harvest, as that's 42 days and it's rated at 58 days-until-harvest (from seed). 

Just as an illustration of how divorced from our food supply we really are, I didn't even know there was any such thing as "gypsy broccoli".  In fact, I can't tell you if I'd ever seen a living broccoli plant in my life prior to this one.  I remember my grandfather's garden and the gardens of a few other folks, but I don't remember if they grew broccoli, so this may be my first one ever (similarly, when the nurse handed Cayley to me as she was born, she was the first baby I had held in twenty years... my own!).

We have gotten lucky, haven't we??  For the most part, we're still on the lowest part of the garden learning curve, but we've sure had a great success with this one (and there are three other younger broccolis coming up - two conventionals and one other gypsy).

This broccoli is not the only thing growing vigorously around here:
We sure miss the seven years of wall markings
at our old house. 
Now THAT was a growth chart!
From this crude chart we see that Cayley has grown as much in the past ~three weeks as she did during the previous two months.  And almost as much in the past three weeks as during BOTH of the prior three-month periods. 

I can always tell when her growth is accelerating.  I get a feeling.  A little voice in my head alerts me to it.  It's a similar type of feeling I get when she's getting sick.  I am so attuned to Cayley's physicality that I can tell when she's getting sick before she can herself.  She will sometimes come to me and ask, "Mama, am I getting sick?"  I can run my hands over her back and make a determination.  It has always been that way.

Life is cool.

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