Soil supply problems.


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Soil Options | Posted on 30-05-2010

Having a problem getting the Fafard FOF-30, so until I can get that cleared up, I brought in a trailer load of Fafard Organic Potting mix. It will get me by till we can sort of the supply chain.  I also picked up 28 CF of good old 3B, which is the non organic version of FOF-30.

Dirt makes you smarter?


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Soil Options | Posted on 28-05-2010

Spending time outdoors has always offered health benefits for the body and the mind: fresh air, clean water, awe-inspiring vistas, peaceful quietude. Now, it turns out, even the dirt is good for you.

Scientists at the Sage Colleges of Troy, N.Y., have discovered that exposure to certain kinds of soil bacteria can reduce anxiety and increase learning capabilities when ingested or inhaled, reports Hippies everywhere can rejoice: dirt may actually make you smarter.

The amazing bacterium in question is Mycobacterium vaccae, which occurs naturally in soil and is often breathed in innocuously when people spend time in nature. Previous studies had revealed that when the bacteria is injected into mice, it stimulates neuron growth and causes serotonin levels to increase. Since increased serotonin levels are known to decrease anxiety, researchers already suspected that the bacteria could have antidepressant benefits.

But decreased anxiety isn’t the only effect of increased serotonin, and researchers wanted to investigate further. “Since serotonin plays a role in learning, we wondered if live M. vaccae could improve learning in mice,” said Dorothy Matthews, who conducted the research.

After feeding the live bacteria to a group of mice, Matthews and her colleague Susan Jenks subjected the mice to a test of wits with a control group by having them run a maze.

“We found that mice that were fed live M. vaccae navigated the maze twice as fast and with less demonstrated anxiety behaviors as control mice,” said Matthews.

Two subsequent experiments revealed that the mice fed the bacteria still ran the maze slightly faster than the control group once the bacteria was withheld from their diet, but the effect did not last for long — meaning the effect was a result of the presence of M. vaccae. If the bacteria had a similar effect on humans, it could mean that spending periods of time outdoors would need to be part of a regular routine for maximum neurological benefit.

“It is interesting to speculate that creating learning environments in schools that include time in the outdoors where M. vaccae is present may decrease anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks,” noted Matthews.

Grapes are coming!


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Blooming/Producing | Posted on 16-05-2010

Grapes are in their 2nd year, and have started to produce grapes.   I really need to get some trellis(es) built for these, as with all the food they get, they seem to grow a few inches every day.

Banana plants – Generation 2


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Blooming/Producing, New Plants | Posted on 16-05-2010

Banana plants grow new shoots, often called suckers, pups, or ratoons, from the shallow rootstocks or rhizomes, and continue to produce new plants generation after generation for several decades. In about nine months the plants reach their mature height of about 15 to 30 feet. Some varieties will grow to a height of 40 feet. From the stems, that are about 12 inches thick, flower shoots begin to produce bananas.

Here is my 2nd generation of Banana trees.  Soon to be moved to their own pots, and moved to the tables for more attention.

Organic Blueberries


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Harvest | Posted on 05-05-2010

This is some of the first 200 or so Blueberries I’ve picked this year.  The taste is fantastic. I can only imagine the yield I’ll get after these plants are a few years old.  So far I’ve been able to harvest about 40 per plant. and I expect to triple that once they all ripen.