Saturday, April 22, 2006

Jim has been busy blogging, and working this guy is amazing

18 April 06

We had 3 new students join us today! There were supposed to be 5, but one ended up in the hospital with liver problems. I surely hope he recovers and can join us. We expect one or two more will make it to Getk this week. It is something of a revelation for these good people, to experience first hand "the poor man's hydroponic method" and see it happen virtually as they watch. The seeds we planted only a few days ago in the hot-bed are coming up already, and these folks report seeds in their traditional cold-frames take about 20 days to show themselves above ground.

Today's students come from the Ararat valley, where temperatures are milder than in the Shirak region, but we still have bigger and better seedlings than they see in their own villages, and we are planting things in the garden that they haven't done yet. We show them how to extend their growing season as much as 6 weeks in the spring by growing healthy seedlings in a greenhouse or cold-frame/hotbed. One reason this works so well is the fact that seeds require warm soil temperatures in order to germinate and begin to grow, but strong, healthy seedlings can grow and thrive in soil that won't even germinate the seeds of the same plant. We will have corn seedlings going into the ground before locals even dare plant the seed. It was fun today - beginning the instruction of three wonderful people, who really have a thirst to learn



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