Sunday, October 31, 2010
No, this is not garter week, it is banking week. The woman in the picture had withdrawn $5 from the bank in the background, and is depositing the money in a garter purse. The picture certainly looks staged, but is interesting nonetheless. The picture was taken in 1908.
I very much enjoyed anarchist week last week. We saw that the anarchist are not only opposed to "government", they are opposed to large corporations. It appears the thing that annoys them most are large banks. So, this week we will be looking at pictures of bank, and be talking about the banking system.
Things continue to progress nicely out in the Been Barn. The picture above shows a nice piece of squash I picked this morning. The lettuce continues to do well, and the cucumbers are unbelievable. I had mentioned that Mrs. PJM took some samples to work, and everyone wanted to buy her produce. The two restaurants in the airport have pretty much said that they will buy all of what she brings in. Mrs. PJM has found that she does not have to compete with the grocery stores on price. People like the produce because it is "picked this morning", is pesticide free, and really of exceptional quality. So, if she charges grocery store prices, people will pick her produce over grocery store produce. Since the produce is grown hydroponically, you can not describe it as "organic", but it really has all the characteristics of organic produce. So far, pretty much everything I have tried to grow out there has worked.
The one thing that you have to stay on top of with greenhouse vegetables is pollination. Since there are no natural pollinators in the greenhouse, you have to make sure everything is pollinated. For the cucumbers we grow, they are self-pollinating. Each bloom has male and female parts in the same location, so nothing needs to be done for pollination. For the tomatoes and peppers, each bloom has both male and female parts, but they are in different spots. So, you have to take a vibrating wand around, and touch the stem holding the bloom. The vibration causes a little cloud of pollen in the bloom, which results in pollination. For squash, watermelon and the like, some blooms are male and some are female. You have to go around and pick the male blooms off, take the petals off, and then place the tip into the female blooms and let the pollen spread around. This is a little tricky, and if you don't do it right, the fruit does not develop, or is misshapen. They do sell little boxes of bumblebees to put in the greenhouse to do the pollination, but I have not decided to take that step yet.
Also, last week my new large hydroponic systems came in. Right now, I am in the middle of a crop in the test systems I have set up, so I really don't want to break them down to install the new systems. I plan to wait a little, and install the new systems a little at a time.