Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Garden Habits + The Growth of Corn

A common habit I have when gardening is to identify a plant by it's smell.  I never bend down and sniff, but rubbing the leaves between my thumb and index finger gathers enough scent to aid my guesses.

Another habit is to take small harvests of my sage plant every time I walk about the garden.  I love having my mouth full of a fresh sage leaves - which tastes more like furry medicine than anything.

This is the first year our corn crop was selected by our kids.  They both love popcorn and, sometime in the spring, decided to throw way too many seeds into a tiny blue pot once used by my wife for oregano and other herbs.

In a magical world or highly advanced society, the corn plants would appear a foot tall the next day. Unfortunately, time is not on our side and lends us glimpses of growth only for the most patient of souls.  My kids would ask me each day, "Can I see how the corn plant is doing?", and I'd let them see.  Their faces showed some disappointment, especially compared to the speedy growth of a coffee plant.

Soon the time came where the frosts of winter retreated, and I placed a few corn plants down each week.  In New England planting early has almost always killed all of my former indoor plants due to surprise frosts, or pests like the Japanese beetle.  After a few months in the ground, 2 corn plants grew up to be taller than my son and very close to my height.  When they flowered, they were around 5.5 feet.  The corn plants that were installed into the garden after the early planted crop didn't grow anywhere near as tall.

My son witnessed all this growth and now instead of a stalk that was as big as his arm, he sees the stalk waving in the sun at heights he doesn't yet know.  Within his reach he can graze the hairy tops of the corn husks on the way.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Postage Stamp Holder

Any snail mail die hards will apprieciate this postage stamp holder by Mr Nib.


Thoughts from the start of July


I do my best to sneak out to the garden before I begin the day job.  It is my little sanctuary.  A reminder that despite the tornadoes, the heat, humidity, and selfish scavengers plants are determined to grow.  From the chewed leaves on the sunflowers to the weeds encroaching all plants from every side, plants still rise above it all.  This ascending not only makes sure the plant continues to get sun, but it ensures it's fruit isn't lost.

Another thing I learn from the garden is to embrace the unexpected.  My wife was adamant about bringing black raspberries, golden raspberries, and blackberries into our back yard.  We've enjoyed their presence, but a couple of years ago, wild blackberries grew through the gaps of our berries and now produce more berries than all our plants combined.  They are thorny and often grow in hard to reach areas, which means my hands and dress shirt get several pokes for each handful of blackberries.  The upside is wild blackberries are ready to harvest earlier than the other berries.  We get a thorny preview of what's to come.

I am careful to not shove my love for gardening down my kids throat, and watch them to see what interests them the most about this life shooting up from the ground.  My son has taken up my habit of tasting fresh sage leaves upon each trip to the garden.  My daughter loves picking blackberries, and makes it clear that her power extends to any berries I've picked.

Design Project #1

My client and fellow community member and I worked on this project for a few weeks.  I struggled coming up with an appropriate render, but drawing it out by hand seemed to work.  It is a concept/product pitch for an animal track maker.  I envision more animals going extinct, but I don't want their memory to be forgotten.  This product would serve as a nice way to remember those animals that aren't around anymore, and remind us to care for those that are almost extinct.

Design Project #2

Being at the end game phase, where a prototype will be ordered feels good.  Since the design I'm working on requires color, I'll be using tinkercad to add certain hues to the design.  Colored tinkercad designs make it perfectly into and can be ordered in multicolor sandstone.

Design Project #3

Oh you!  Target of my procrastination!  This project will most likely be several games, but my hope is to
have something ready for a conference I'll be attending in New York.  My primitive tests so far have been successful.

(Esc) - reset
(Up,Down,Left,Right Arrows) - Move the stick figure.