Wildlife observation. We have a resident family of three Sandhill cranes that wanders back and forth among my yard and the neighbors on either side giving them about 10 acres to cover. They were strutting about George’s this AM when I went over to water the garden and since they are used to me now intruding, we shared the space with no problems at all. I had noticed that one particular area of his field, a 20’x20’ patch, had been getting more and more torn up as if someone was hitting it with a tiller or garden hoe. Turns out it’s the Sandhills and they were pecking it vigorously obviously digging for food. I never was sure what they ate but it’s clear they’re digging for worms, grubs, or whatever else might be living in the ground. The part that surprised me the most was how deep they were digging. They have pointed beaks that look to be 12”-18” long and they were stabbing down the whole length of their beaks. You also have to wonder why they have chosen that one, average looking spot out of the large area equally available to them. I’m sure they know what they’re doing, it’s just interesting.
Got a nice surprise in the garden this morning. Remember me mentioning that New Zealand spinach is supposed to handle the summer heat? Well it didn’t and about a month ago I pulled out all the dead vines. That was the last of my greens until next November. As I was weeding that area today I noticed some bright new green just sprouting. Upon closer examination I saw that it’s the spinach rejuvenating. I don’t know if it’s sprouting from old rootstock or germinating seeds but whatever the source, it’s happening. And it’s happening in 95 degree, lots of sun weather. I let the last crop get totally out of control in terms of spread but will try to keep this better managed in hopes of having some blendable greens by the end of August – about 3 months before the kale and collards reclaim their control of the ninja. By control I mean thinning the plants much earlier and maybe transplanting some to places with some semblance of shade.
Well it’s time to fish or cut bait – referring to picking a pineapple. I checked the grocery store offerings again and for sure mine look identical in terms of size, color, and the size of the leaves growing out the top. I’ve also notice the plants have put out new sprouts from which I assume new fruit will form. That may also be a sign that the plant is ready to be shed of the old and start anew. I did a little research and learned that I should pick a fruit and then let it sit a couple of days before cutting into it. I also learned that a single plant will continue to put out new sprouts or pups and those in turn will eventually produce fruit (and more sprouts). There’s not a season and the plant will put out a fruit “when it feels like it” as opposed to any kind of schedule. So with new sprouts popping out and replanting fruit tops as we eat them, there can be an ever growing crop with fruit happening nearly continuously. They get most of their nutrition from the air so no need to fertilize or worry about the soil. Seems like the only danger is frost so I need to be sure to keep them nice and warm during the winter.