A Few Random Notes

Things have been busy. Here are a few random notes:

Organic Potato Tuber Cuttings vs. Non-Organic Potato Tuber Cuttings: During the first week of classes in Plant Propagation we planted tuber cuttings from organic and non-organic potatoes. I did this because I thought it would make a good illustration. The organic potatoes were not treated with plant growth regulators (chemicals that produce hormonal responses in plants), while I was confident the non-organic potatoes would be treated with PGRs to inhibit bud initiation and shoot growth. It makes sense for a grower to use PGRs on potatoes, for without this treatment they will sprout quickly. You don’t want to eat a potato that has sprouted, the starches have broken down and who knows what the alkaloid content is at that point (word of advice: never eat green potatoes).

My prediction when we planted the potato cuttings was that the organic tubers would sprout shoots long before the non-organic tubers. Here are representatives to show what happened:

The organic tuber cutting on the left, the non-organic tuber cutting on the right.

The organic tuber cutting on the left, the non-organic tuber cutting on the right.

About half of the organic tuber cuttings have sprouted. None of the non-organic tuber cuttings have sprouted. PGRs work.

Fresh Lemonade: One of the things that I love about California is the ability to pick fresh citrus fruits. Yesterday I picked three very ripe lemons and made a batch of lemonade with them. It’s pretty cool when you can go from tree to glass in about 10 minutes.

Life gave me lemons.

Life gave me lemons.

Television, Billboard, Sidewalk: Yesterday I drove home from campus in the early evening. While stopped at a light in downtown SLO I looked over at the sidewalk and I saw a guy who stars in an advertising campaign. He’s on television and billboards. He was standing at the intersection, waiting to cross the street. I waved like I knew him. And I feel like I do. I know his name (if indeed he uses his real name on the commercial), his hobbies, and part of his health history (the commercial is for a health care provider).

New Lizard Species: I think I saw a new lizard species last week. It looked different from the ones I’ve encountered so far. I’ve been in California for a little more than four months, and the palm trees and lizards still entertain me.

I think this is a species I have not seen before.

I think this is a species I have not seen before.

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