Saturday, May 19, 2012

May the Vegetables Rise Up to Meet You

Spring is glorious. 
Though now that I'm on the topic, I'm not sure we get spring here in Louisiana. I think the two seasons are probably summer, and "summer lite".

We are gardening...well, breaking ground for a garden.
 It is starting off very very slowly partially because we have been busy, partially because our garden has moved.  Jennie (of the former garden property) moved, and since we didn't know if we would have a new location, we did not tend the good old garden during the winter end of 2011.  But by the grace of God and through the love of friends, and people soon to be friends, we have a new and exciting garden location for which our exotic vegetable dreams are even more elaborate.  More on that once there are actually seeds in the ground...

The weekend before Jennie moved out we removed all of the stakes, tall dead plants, and fence from our old garden and released it too the wild.

It looks like an extremely diverse patch of meadow in a sea of sparse turf. 

So what has been keeping us so busy?

Well, Hemp Sesbania (Sesbania exaltata)... 

....and Indian Jointvetch (Aeschynomene indica L. )...
and the study of the influence they have on rice yield.

Nathanael has been away from home for long hours each day planting rice and weeds in far off locations with his research group.  A few weeks ago he did some germination studies (pictured), and he used the germination rates to calculate how much weed seed to apply to his research plots.  Then he and I weighed out Hemp Sesbania and Indian Jointvetch seeds carefully and packed them into little whorl-pak bags to be distributed for his studies.

I really like this guy.

He has been working so hard. 
In addition to his PhD research during the day, he has working on the end of his MS for Wisconsin at night. (His thesis for Wisconsin is also in Weed Science, but instead of rice, his research was in corn an soybean, and looked at more northern weeds.)  After weeks and weeks of writing and low sleep he finally has a defense date
 May 25
 I think I am going to make it a family holiday from this year forth.
Seriously, when that date comes it will be the first time since before we got married that Nathanael won't have something else he should be doing every evening and weekend.  I always feel bad for distracting him  from writing, but less than a month from now I can distract all I want!

 I have so many fun plans that have been building up.  We are going to go camping, and hiking, and visit goat farms, and take an airboat ride in the Atachafalaya Basin, babysit our friends kids so they can have date nights (and we can have play time), and maybe even dance in the evenings.
Nathanael said he is getting intimidated by this new life we are going to might be because I have some new plans for the chore chart too...

Don't get me wrong, we've been having plenty of fun with the time we do have together, but what a wonderful relief it will be for both of us to have a more balanced schedule. (And for him to regularly get more than four hours of sleep.) 

I am so excited!


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