North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia

North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia
North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy two-day weekend!  We normally work six days a week, nine hrs a day, but once a month we get a treat and have a two day weekend.  A welcome respite for sure.  And a nice way to mark the beginning of the slow-down... things have been pretty crazy since I arrived at Pole (5 Feb) and even since the station closed for the winter (15 Feb).  But am finally feeling more caught up with things in the chamber, moved into my room, even taking time out to do some yoga!  Things look good in the greenhouse, harvesting and eating lots of locally grown produce... and the people keep wanting more so it looks like I'm in for a good time of it this winter.  Here are some recent shots from the chamber:

The food production part of the greenhouse: there are lettuces in most of the side racks, and tomatoes, cucumbers, and a couple zucchinis in the middle system.  At the back wall, melons are training up the twine in the middle, with malabar spinach coming in from the back corners.

This is the hobby system, located in the front room of the chamber.  We call it the "happy room" because there's a couch and a nice place to spend time reading, soaking up the light and breathing in the humid, plant-scented air.  There sunflowers, nasturtiams, chamomile, hibiscus, and red runner beans growing out here at the moment.

Happy colors-- calendula doing quite well at its present location in the back of the chamber, getting plenty of air flow and light.

Some of my babies in the nursery... radishes, spinach, cilantro, tomato, melons... lots of newbies to grow up a bit before getting moved up into their own big-boy-and-girl spots to grow grow grow!

The wee babies... seedlings just coming out in one of the germination trays.  The basil really does well here, and am hoping for good success with oregano and parsley this season.  So are the chefs!

Final shot for the day... wee baby cucumber!  These plants are so amazing... they start producing fruits before they're even two inches high these Jawell cucumbers.  We pluck off the fruits and any suckers (new stems growing from the leaf axils) for a while until the plants are well established (otherwise they'd be using their core energy for both growing strong and tall AND making fruits), then let the fruits start to set when the plants can support them.  A few weeks from now I think we'll start chowing on our own cukes.  Can't wait!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Arrived at Pole!  All is well, settling in amidst the hustle bustle of end-of-summer crazy pace... turnover with new crew, finishing last bits and pieces of projects, waiting for important cargo to arrive before the last planes... anticipation rides high.  Harvested the first greens of the season yesterday-- all is looking good for a winter full of fresh veg at the bottom of the world.  Here's a view of the chamber as of now:
chamber on 4 January with most plants started around 11 November
That's all for now-- once I get more photos sorted I'll post some more specifics.  Today the weather is pretty balmy... only -25F or so... hardly need a jacket to take out the trash!  :)