An Update on my Indoor Garden

November 16, 2013   My winter garden

With the Philippine Islands and their people devastated by typhoon Haiyan – most certainly made more powerful by rising sea levels and warming ocean around those islands from global warming – and the countries of the world now in the latest Climate Conference in Warsaw, Poland, I thought I’d take a moment to point out a study from Stanford University, on American opinions about climate change.

From an article in The Guardian, discussing the findings:
“A vast majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real and at least two-thirds of those want the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions, new research revealed on Wednesday.
“The research, by Stanford University social psychologist Jon Krosnick, confounds the conventional wisdom of climate denial as a central pillar of Republican politics, and practically an article of faith for Tea Party conservatives.
“Instead, the findings suggest far-reaching acceptance that climate change is indeed occurring and is caused by human activities, even in such reliably red states as Texas and Oklahoma.
““To me, the most striking finding that is new today was that we could not find a single state in the country where climate scepticism was in the majority,” Krosnick said in an interview.”

For a look at the questions asked and an interactive map that will give you the statistics for each state in which data was collected, you can follow this link:

I found the results encouraging, but they do raise the question, again, of just who our AGW-denying representatives in Congress truly represent and what, if anything, we can do to demand that they represent that majority of us on this issue that is so critical to the entire world.

In the meantime, I continue to experiment with my indoor garden, so I thought I’d give you an update on that. The picture above was taken this morning.

The squash plant became infected with white powdery mildew and is in quarantine away from the beans and melon plants while I try spraying the leaves with a solution of 1 tsp. baking soda to a quart of water. So far, the beans and the melon plants look fine, though the squash does not. In my fervor to do away with the mildew, I cut it back too much, I think before I began treating it. I’ll see how it goes.

The beans continue to bloom and produce a few beans at a time as I train them to climb the two wrought iron arches.

The melon plant seems very small. (In the pot at the bottom of the picture.) I put it right in the south window on sunny days so that it gets full sun from about ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. As I recall from the outdoor garden, they are slow growers until about mid July, so perhaps I’m impatient and it just needs time.

The two pepper plants, one green and one jalapeno, look strong and have just started to flower. I have my Q-tips handy and am ready to assist with hand pollination if needed.

As for the tomatoes (one regular sized and one a cherry tomato) they grow like weeds. Neither has begun flowering yet, but I have my battery- operated spray gun ready to buzz them like bumblebees when they do flower.

I think the flats for the lettuce mix and the spinach are too shallow, so I will take some out as they grow and put them in individual pots a little later.

The three cabbage plants have gone all leggy on me, so I moved the two cooler grow lights down almost on top of them to see if that would encourage at least a loose head to form. Even if they don’t, I assume I can still slice and dice the leaves for blanching and freezing or steaming. I’ll try that, if they don’t head. It may also be a little too warm for them, although that’s the coolest room in the house. These are some things to consider next winter.

Today has been cloudy, but warm (mid to high sixties). The clouds have begun to thin and the sun to poke through periodically. On sunny days, I move the potted vegetables around to insure at least six hours of sunlight. Then I move them over beside the earth boxes in late afternoon. The plants in the earth boxes usually get about four hours, so I leave the grow lights on them a full twelve hours. This seems to work out, so far.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is my fifth year at indoor winter gardening and the first year the garden has produced anything edible, except for lettuce and spinach. But each year, I’ve learned a little more. Each year, the plants have come a little closer to looking like a real garden. And Each year, even on the gloomiest days, puttering around in it brings me more pleasure.

Maybe this year’s garden will be the one that produces more than just food for thought.

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6 Responses to An Update on my Indoor Garden

  1. expedeherculem says:

    Interesting data. But all the “solutions” listed in the policies aren’t really solutions (build more nuclear power plants? are you kidding?), so to me it’s just as discouraging.

    • theozarker says:

      All right, Herc, ya old cynic. I have to agree about the scarcity of real solutions, but we can’t come up with realistic solutions if no one acknowledges the problem. 😀

  2. graveday says:

    I checked out a few states and some of the numbers are kind of a disconnect. Like Alabama has 88% thinking business should be limited in emissions, but only 76% believe in global warming. My state, California , has more balanced numbers, which seems the way it should be.
    I almost felt the pleasure you get puttering in your indoor garden. I wonder if you could hang something reflective, a white bedsheet, a film of mylar or some such behind the plants to increase light from the windows. Of course this would darken the rest of the room, a downside.

    • theozarker says:

      Yeah, I noticed a disconnect in a lot of states over the number who accepted global warming, but didn’t agree with certain solutions that would directly affect them. One step at a time, I guess. Sigh.

      I really do enjoy the garden – especially on gloomy days. All that green seems to pump up my spirits. The walls are all bright white, which helps with the light, but I have thought of hanging a white sheet between the plant area and the area where my son stored all his “stuff”. I’m sure all that stuff absorbs some of that valuable sunlight! 😀

  3. graveday says:

    Heh, as long as the white sheet isn’t going over your son I’m sure he won’t mind.

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