Meet the Mad Hatter, which is our new (to us) delivery vehicle, and no it’s not really a mad hatter, it’s a Honda Element. I’ve given it the name “Mad Hatter” because somehow it reminds me of the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass.
This was its maiden voyage as a Desert Canyon Farm plant delivery vehicle. It will hold about 45 flats of plants, so that’s not too bad. Our old mini van held 60 flats, so this isn’t quite as good, but it is good enough to do the job. And…it’s so much fun to drive!
Lizz and I had a meeting on Monday to start planning our propagation needs (seeding, cuttings, root divisions and the like) for spring 2017. We really have only just passed this year’s busy season for the greenhouse, and already we are beginning to work on growing our plant inventory for next spring. Oh my…I think there used to be a slow season, but that seems to be less and less the case as each year passes.
Well, anyway, the photo above is white prickly poppy, which is a plant that we grow from seed. I cannot buy organic seed for this plant, so we grow some plants in our gardens here at the farm and then harvest the seed ourselves. You can see the gorgeous white flowers, and then there are some oval-shaped green seed pods. The seed won’t be ripe for a while, but we’ll be keeping an eye on it so that when it’s ripe and ready to pick we can do that. Once the seed is cleaned, we’ll work towards growing those white prickly poppies for next spring’s Farm Stand store.
This morning I went out at 6 am to start the irrigation water in the flower seed field, and as I was walking back to the irrigation pump I passed the agave in the desert garden. I know I’ve been talking a lot about this plant, so you’ll have to indulge me as I talk some more about it. Look at all those bees!!!
They were coming and going from the flowers like a freeway system, and they were inside the flowers, on top of the flowers, under the flowers…all over those flowers! A couple of hummingbirds also checked the flowers out, but they didn’t linger. I guess agave nectar isn’t as high on their list of desires as it is for the bees.
I’m not sure how tall this flower stalk is now, but I would guess it is about 18-20 feet tall. There are still flowers that haven’t opened yet, so I think it’s blooming period is going to be very long indeed.
Agave have been used as food, to make fermented and alcoholic beverages, as a sweetener, to make twine and for other fiber to weave into hats, clothing and the like. Rope from Agave fibers is even used as part of the apparatus in the pulley systems that move elevators up and down tall buildings. These are amazing plants to say the least.
I hope we get a lot of viable seed from this plant so that we can grow baby Agave paryii to sell in the Farm Stand store. It truly is a very special plant!
Pouncita has been scowling at me tonight. She is 20 years old and completely in charge of the entire household. She tells us what to do, when and how she would like things to be done, and if you don’t listen and follow instructions properly, she will give you an ear-full of scolding yowls. She is a tough old gal, but so sweet and loveable. Most of her hours these days are spent sleeping or finding a warm place to hang out. Old bones don’t like the cold even in summer. Pouncita has lived with us since she was about 4 weeks old. She is one of our dearest four-legged friends!
My container of sweet corn is covered in immature ears of corn. It won’t be too much longer before we’ll have some delicious sweet corn with our meal.