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Saturday, January 28, 2023
Gardening Experi-mint!
by brian @ 15:53:46 - [perma-link]

I picked up a mint plant on a whim at Trader Joe’s. I enjoyed growing and propagating basil last year. This should be fun!

I cut these trimmings in the three small pots from the big one, and cut off the main branches (which had a case of mold) once the new shoots appeared. The ones in the bird pot were cut more recently, and were not moldy, so i didn’t trim them back.

The experiment was originally 2 controls getting water vs one with masterblend, but is now water vs masterblend vs accidentally-being-dumped-over-and-haphazardly-scooped-back-into-the-pot-AND-water. Mint is notoriously invasive and persistent, so I’m rooting for the dumped pot. Also, i forget which one got masterblend.

Lol. Science!

 
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
More flowers
by brian @ 10:25:16 - [perma-link]

The stalks keep growing and flowering. I have a small makeup brush that i have been using to try to pollinate the flowers. A few times per day, I softly touch all of the open flowers with the brush. I’m trying to pick up pollen from the male flowers and leave it on the female flowers. I usually see about 5-8 open at a time during the morning and afternoon.

 
Friday, January 6, 2023
Avocado Flowers
by brian @ 11:40:43 - [perma-link]

One of my avocado plants is flowering again! This is the second time. The first time was in 2018, with just a couple of bunches of flowers that were mostly in sync. This time, there are two big sets of clusters, and the flowers are not in sync!
Avocado flowers open twice. The first opening is the female form. They then close, make some changes, and reopen as male flowers with pollen.
These first few are the female form. If they close and reopen male while some of the other flowers open as female, the plant can pollinate itself (with help from a small paintbrush) and produce fruit!

 
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Second Butt
by brian @ 10:12:18 - [perma-link]

First smoke of the year! This is my second pork butt. On Saturday I smoked one with just salt and pepper as a rub. More of a douse than a rub. It was really good, but the thick salt and pepper crust was a bit much.

I added brown sugar to the mix this time, and didn’t pour it on so heavily. I also got a later start this time, by about an hour. 250F for 3.5 hours, started at 10am!

Jan 6 - it’s delicious! Salt and pepper aren’t overpowering. The “crust” has a nice sweetness without being like candy.

I did not realize the grill turns itself to 150F once the probe targets are reached. I’m not sure how much time i lost on “warm”, maybe a half hour. Still it turned out ok. The meat probes kept increasing temp the whole time.

 
Monday, November 14, 2022
First Saffron Harvest
by brian @ 14:34:13 - [perma-link]

I picked the first flower today and pulled three threads of saffron from it. They smell wonderful. Now i need a recipe!

 
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Flowering begins!
by brian @ 12:58:04 - [perma-link]

I think that's a flower pushing up the middle of the tall sprout. It's kind of purplish compared to the other white leaves. None of the others look quite like this yet, but others are starting to open up. This one is in the front yard.

I just counted 118 sprouts across all three areas (48 indoor, 37 back yard, 33 front). I think each one is potentially a flower. And that could make as much as 0.8g of saffron spice.

I got the covers, and put them out there, but after further research, the saffron probably doesn’t need it. It should survive the not-extreme winters here just fine.

 
Friday, November 4, 2022
Saffron is Looking Good
by brian @ 17:37:59 - [perma-link]

All but one of the indoor saffron corms have pierced the soil in the 3 weeks since I planted them. Almost all of them have multiple sprouts. I count 35 sprouts from 19 corms.

I think the bigger one in the 2-pot will be the first flower. I don’t know how many will flower in the first year, or if some are too small. I don’t think I will be wondering much longer.

The ones outdoor do not seem to have the near perfect sprout rate, but I counted 10 or so in each spot, mostly multiple sprouts. Critters dug up some when I planted them. I’m pretty happy with 50% (so far… new ones are still coming up).

I have mini greenhouses on order to cover them, because it’s finally getting cold now, and we’ve had a ton of rain in the last week. I should get the covers before the 29 degree nights, but not before the first freeze. So, yeah. We’ll see!

 
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Swapped Hops!
by brian @ 15:05:40 - [perma-link]

I accidentally mixed up the hops when i was brewing an Anchor Steam-inspired beer and a Munich Dunkel. I didn’t realize until I was preparing ingredients to brew the dunkel after “Mooring Vapor” had finished that I had used the Magnum hops instead of the style-appropriate Northern Brewer.

So I give you DunkelStiem and Bay-Arean Ankle Style lagers. Not quite done fermenting; it got too cold in the garage, so i pulled them in to the coldest indoor spot for hopefully just a few more days.

Both are cloudy and taste pretty yeasty, probably because these are the first pulls from the kegs, and the outlet tubes were poking into the sediment. I’ll find out soon.

Pesto Night
by brian @ 17:53:02 - [perma-link]

I just trimmed all of the basil plants to make pesto. I definitely did not get enough Parmesan. Wow that’s a lot!

 
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Something Sprouted
by brian @ 17:54:46 - [perma-link]

I was expecting to wait a few weeks before i saw any “action” in the saffron pots, but the smallest pot has 2 shoots visible! I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but they might be saffron flowers. Just sayin’.

Seriously just a barely visible pair of white points, but I’m so glad i caught it. Yesterday I started a time lapse recording on a camera above the pots. I set it for once every 12 hours. Two photos later, I see these sprouts! I stopped it and changed it to a 20 minute intervals. The initial phase of growth is “grass-like”, from what I’ve read, so i think 20 minutes will go quickly through that, at least until all of the pots get visible growth, or this one starts to look more interesting than grass.

The corm in the small pot is planted slightly shallower than the others, which are planted 4” deep. You can’t go 4” deep in a 4” pot! The other pots should start showing soon.

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