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Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Latest Experiment

I have a long history of things not turning out like I'd planned.

I remember one incident where I'd purchased a sewing pattern and several yards of a lovely crepe de chine, with the intention of making myself a dress. Which was unusual in itself- I sew- I just don't wear dresses. At any rate, the dress was a soft, floaty thing, and I could have easily done it, but my friend Liz wanted to make it for me, so I let her.  The day it was finished, she brought it over for me to try on. I was a bit dubious; there seemed to be an awful lot of material in it. She helped me get into it, and my fears were realized.

"Jesus- this thing looks like a parachute," I muttered. It really did.  It was a pile of dress with me somewhere in the middle of it.

She tried a couple of times to adjust it but nothing ever worked out and we finally and collectively gave up on the project.

My latest fiasco: remember those cherries I took a picture of for you last week? Well, they're brown and shriveling on one side, and I'm going to have to go through my books to look for a picture to see if I can figure out what's wrong with them.  I hope it's something stupid, like I shouldn't have watered them (it's been hot lately), and not something hard to control, like some insect.

So it's with some trepidation that I announce my latest project: I'm going to try to select out a new strain of kale.

We eat a lot of kale, so I grow a lot of kale, and I noticed this spring when the clustered stuff in the long bed started growing again, there was one each of the white russian and red russian kale that had flatter, less curly and less indented leaves, which would make them easier to handle in the kitchen.  In fact, the white russian is so curly, I'd decided not to grow it again, until I saw this one plant with the different leaves.

Instead of this:

Original Red Kale

Original White Kale

I'm hoping to select for this:

New Red Kale

New White Kale

This is going to take several seasons, but for starters, I left each special plant in the bed, and they'll stay there until their seeds are ready for harvesting.  I'll have to figure out a spot where I can grow their offspring to seed and keep doing it until I get seed that I can count on.  I don't even know if I'm doing it right, but I think so.  If I remember correctly what little about it Carol Deppe mentioned in The Resilient Gardener, I should be good.

And yeah, I know. There are probably varieties out there similar to what I'm selecting for.  But I want to try anyway.

I just know better than to try to name my creations at this point.


Miriam said...

This is a much more interesting experiment than a parachute dress - after all, whatever the results, they will be edible! Keep us posted!

Paula said...

So true, Miriam, so true.