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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.

Friday, October 14, 2022
Wild About Saffron
by brian @ 13:32:08 - [perma-link]

A few years ago, a friend introduced me to Saffron Buns, a Swedish Christmas tradition (something like that). As you may expect, saffron was the dominant flavor. They were so sweet!
But saffron costs a freaking lot (though a little goes a long way!).
Several years ago I decided I wanted to try growing my own. I’ve read several versions of how to grow them, but they are a fall harvest, and I’ve always thought about it in the fall, when it is raining in portland, and not ideal for the dormant corms (the “bulbs”). Each year, i was disappointed that i forgot, and I’d vow to plant them next summer. Repeat for 4 years, and that brings us to last week.

This year, the weather is different. It is mid October and no rain. Highs are still in the 70s and 80s. How can the dormant corms I planted possibly know it isn’t still late summer!

Hopefully they will wake up when the rain starts next week. I planted 40 corms in two spots in my yard, and another 18 in these pots (9,5,2,1,1), that I will keep indoors under grow lights for “the warm dry summer”. Once the flowers start to show, i will move them into the garage where it is cooler.

The black bucket is a variation on a Dutch bucket, with dual root layers. Above the grommet is soil, with perlite for drainage underneath, and cheesecloth separating the layers. The small pots are self watering from bottom trays.

Oh yeah. I shoved the last two corms down into one of the Dutch buckets with a lone tomato. Diversify!

Blooms in about 40 days.

Monday, October 10, 2022
Using Up Old Spray Paint
by brian @ 14:32:07 - [perma-link]

I had a crate full of spray paint cans, accumulated over the years. Old, and stored improperly, most of the cans were rusted and clogged, or otherwise didn’t work, but a handful of them were adequate.
I used up all of them that worked painting most of my Playatech table. There are a few faces that didn’t get covered, and most of the edges are not painted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Replanted Aquaponics
by brian @ 11:21:10 - [perma-link]

The indeterminate purple (not purple) tomato was not a good fit for this small growbox. I cleaned out the growbox, soaked the clay pebbles in aquarium treated water, let them dry overnight and put it back.
I planted 2 red and 1 yellow “indoor dwarf tomatoes”. I’m definitely going to need more fish to make enough “nutrients” for all these plants.

Thursday, September 22, 2022
One of these things is not like the other
by brian @ 12:55:16 - [perma-link]

After power washing my patio and furniture, i realized that the broken center leaf still works, it just doesn’t fold or stow properly. It was under a bunch of plants, so i didn’t wash it.

The rest of the table looked like that yesterday. I’ll pull that piece out next time I use the power washer. For now it makes a nice before/after. And I can cover it with plants until i clean it.


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