Monday, October 29, 2007

It's October and it is summer.

I apologize whole heartedly for the extreme lapse of time. Things here in southern california have been somewhat hectic. I'm sure all of you know about the raging fire that has been burning about one third of the landscape.

It has been snowing ash over the last week. When I walk outside, I expect to see zombies creeping into the streets. The sun and moon have been bright orange from the smoke's filter. the air quality has been so bad that its like having free cigarettes all the time. No, not fun.

It has also been ridiculously hot. This is inexplainable. I've always remembered halloween to be cold to the point of dampening my halloween costume. This year however, was too hot. Yesterday was about 98 degrees, the nights are about 77 degrees. This time of year is supposed to be cold enough for a scarf. I have been wearing summer dresses.

This could be due to the santa ana winds which have driven this fire, but it just does not feel right.

But speaking of warm autumns and mild winters, Southern California is great for some plants. I think only here can you grow strawberries in winter.

Strawberries are natives to this area. And with a little water and some crushed eggshells, strawberry plants will brighten up your morning.

Attack of the giant strawberry! The hippo doesn't seem scared. In fact, he looks hungry!

I have begun to plant some in front of my store as well. We gave the store front a nice coat of paint, accentuating the original brick pillars. Soon, i plan to plant more edible plants when i get the time.

Are any of you planting lettuce? Kale? Now is the time! Plant away and have some nice winter varieties to even out your dinners! Lets see some pictures!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

sad day :(

Today is the saddest day in a very long time.

The santa ana winds came with fury, and 90% of my leafy plants are thrashed to death.

to be continued.

Monday, October 15, 2007

negative ions make for happy plants and people.

today is nice and cloudy. it makes me happy. it also makes a lot of other people happy. The reason for this is the abundance of negative ions in the air.

During hot dry times, such as the santa ana winds, there is an overabundance of positively charged ions. This makes allergens and dust particles as light as the air. It is hard for people to breathe, and also disrupts the constant flow of serotonin in one's brain. In los angeles, the murder rate spikes during the santa ana winds. It is the wind of crazies.

With negative ions however, the dust and allergens become kind of "magnetically" charged, and sticks to the negative ions. This causes them to fall, and clears out the air. For some reason, it also slows down and regulates the serotonin, and pacifies people. People become calm, contemplative, and content. Think of foggy airports.

Elevated levels of serotonin increase dream activity and habilitates easy thinking. These levels of serotonin can be increased with the presence of negative ion generators.

My plan: I will build 2 ion generators, one which generates only positive ions, and one which generates only negative ions. I will somehow contain each generator in some kind of room with plants. Of course, i will need a control plant which exists outside the contained areas.

Here is my dilemma: i would have to construct an airtight container. Because i have little space and materials, i was thinking about using fans, a ventilation hole, and large, clear trashbags. This would create a space of high humidity. Ions are naturally negatively charged by mist, often occurring near beaches or lakes. How will i be able to create a positively charged area within a breeding ground of humidity? Will the positive ion converter dry out the space? Or will i need to use more generators to get back to regular outdoor conditions? Should i just scrap the idea of constructing a contained air-tight area?

Interesting stuff i found during research:

Serotonin concentrations of 3 - 30 mg/kg have been found in plantain, pineapple, banana, kiwifruit, plums, and tomatoes. -From Wikipedia's search of seratonin.

The quinones and melanins derived from dopamine may help protect damaged fruit and vegetables against growth of bacteria and fungi. -Mayer, AM (2006). "Polyphenol oxidases in plants and fungi: Going places? A review". Phytochemistry 67: 2318-2331. PMID 16973188

using lie detectors to measure telepathy in plants.
Cleve Backster

Dancing telegraph plants

these plants respond to the vibration of music and will start dancing.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Blog Carnival!!!! and some good winter veggies

The Balcony Garden is doing a Blog Carnival! If you are a garden blog, send Balcony Garden a link to your favorite post. I believe you should post in the comment box. Read more here for further instructions.

This is a great way to spend the down season, although there are still some great things you can plant.

Here's a quick list of things you can still plant:

Fava beans- High in protein and fiber. Great with pita bread. One of Ryan's favorites.
Beets- Beautiful color and taste. Great to color up any winter dish. Try a chilled beet borscht.
Kale- also has an ornamental version with deep purples. This is will be a beautiful edition to any garden.
Kohlrabi- a kind of cabbage. Wikipedia says it is "sputnik in shape". How can you not grow these?
Bunching Onions
Roquette- a somewhat wild plant, great in winter salads for its peppery taste. Think arugula. high in vitamin C and iron.
Rutabagas- pie anyone?
Swiss Chard
Turnips- a little bit of heat for the cold winter.
Winter Zucchini- hearts to infinity! try a pureed potato, onion, zucchini, and pear soup. garnish with mint! try warm or chilled!

it is windy and i am sad

Disaster has struck in my garden.
Poor plants, ripped apart and broken from the stems.

my nose is in a constant leak from all the blowing allergens.

i have a theory that it is mostly cat dander, blowing around into my nose.
riverside is a working class town, and with little room in an apartment dwelling town, cats are easy and cheaper to maintain than a dog.

cats are more self sustainable than the needy dog, and my eyeball sockets are oozing mucus.

i'll try to post some pictures of my fallen friends later.

how are all of your plants doing?