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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Chevallier vs. Maris Otter

So far given the limited data I’ve gathered from my small plot of Maris Otter and my really small test plot of Chevallier, the Chevallier is seriously outperforming the Maris Otter. Visually there is a huge difference, the Chevallier looks stunning, the heads are huge, bigger than other two row varieties I’ve grown like Conlon and Harrington. As far as weight goes I counted out a random sample of 100 corns of each and the Chevallier weighed 6.2 grams, the Maris Otter weighed 5.3 grams. However, I have not measured the moisture contents yet so these numbers may be a little off but they have been drying indoors for the past 10 days so they’re probably close. I haven’t harvested all the grain yet, I should be able to tomorrow. Unfortunately this year I’ve been hit with racoons, rats and squirrels. I figured they’ve taken about 30-40% of my Maris Otter crop, it’s hard to say. The cayenne pepper seemed to work for the racoons and maybe even the rats but made no difference to the squirrel who seems to like it spicy. I caught him a few times sitting on the chicken wire right out in the open munching away. The good news is I should have enough Chevallier seed to plant a big plot of it next year, I can’t wait to brew with it.

Two of the larger sized heads. Chevallier on the left Maris Otter on the right.

Three large sized heads and three average sized of each. Chevallier on the left , Maris Otter on the right.

You can see the big blank spot in the front as well as the upper left corner.

Chevallier. The plants are tall and the heads are heavy, it probably would have lodged on a larger plot.

Maris Otter drying in the kitchen. I’m so grateful that my wife “appreciates” (puts up with) my hobbies.

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Posted by on July 30, 2017 in Garden videos

 

Garden Update July 1 2017

Moonlight,

June night,

Just-right-for-racoon night.

Not too dark,

Not too bright,

As we look for treats.

Out we creep

While people sleep.

Soon we hope to find a heap

Of cheese and bread crumbs,

Piled deep

On codfish bones and beets.

-Nancy Shaw

Bere barley last week

This is from one of my kid’s favorite books when they were little it’s called Racoon Tune. I must have read this to them a thousand times back when I thought raccoons were cute. I’ve since changed my mind. The barley was looking fantastic last week and I thought I may even be harvesting the Bere barley this week but they beat me to it, the masked bastards. Look at the Bere now.

Bere barley this week.

They also destroyed about three beds of the Maris Otter. I’m thinking it’s raccoons and not rats because the stems have just been knocked over whereas rats tend to chew the stalk at the base and then take the seed head. Some of the seed heads have just been chewed off and the only other animal that could do that would be a skunk but they’re quite a bit smaller than the raccoons around here. I also found some of their crap which was rather neatly deposited into one corner of the garden, at least they have manners.

 

Looks like raccoon crap.

Fortunately, there is quite a bit of barley left in the garden, the Chevallier looks good so I’m not giving up.

Chevallier

The Maris Otter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t leave the garden today without doing something to deter these little buggers. Fencing is out of the question, they would just climb over it. So I figured I’d try to make it a little unappetizing for them. I bought three packs of cayenne pepper and sprinkled it all over the barley and I tried to get some on the ground as well so they’d get it on their paws. I know, it sounds kinda cruel, but I’m hoping they’ll just smell it and move on. Fingers crossed.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2017 in Garden videos

 
 
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