True Leaves

When seeds sprouts, the sproutlings will have one (monocots) or two (dicots) leaves. Most of the herbaceous plants and vegetable types in our yards and gardens are dicots, including the cabbages. These initial sprouts grow from the nutrients provide by the seed, activated by light and water. After a few days, these cotyledons will sprout their first set of “true” leaves. These will be shaped more like the mature leaves that the plant will develop (the cotyledons have a few shapes and are all quite small, cabbages have sort of heart shape). 

This morning, day 10 of the cabbage sproutlings, I noticed the true leaves are budding. You can just see them at the node between the two first leaves.  

  
(The onions are monocots so will have a single leaf. More on them later.)

Cabbage Sproutlings

After the first week, the cabbage sprouts are one to two inches tall. This is the “Mei Ching Choi” variety of Brassica rapa.

Some of them (two next to the label) still have the seed husks stuck on the first leaves: 

Within a day after 90% had sprouted, I placed them under a fluorescent light and started an initial mist with a liquid fertilizer. The fertilizer is mixed from a seaweed concentrate, SeaCom-PGR, diluted approximately 1:1,000. This concentrate should be rich in cytokinin hormones and deliver a 0-4-4 mix (i.e., no nitrogen but phosphate and potassium), so it should help root growth.  

I’m hoping these will be ready to transplant after 4-6 weeks. That will put them in the ground early, but I’m planning to plant in staggered groups about a week apart to  leave some backups if there is a hard frost. And if we’re lucky, that will also get us some early cabbage!  

If you’re trying this at home, too, and your seedlings aren’t looking too healthy, they may be afflicted by “damping off,” a complex of fungal disease that can affect germinating seeds and seedlings. More information about that at “How to Prevent Seedling Damping Off.”

Seed Project 2016

This year we’re gardening again. We’ve done a small garden the past two years. 2014 was not a good year – we didn’t prepare the soil well, didn’t sufficiently water the plants, and didn’t protect the harvest from birds or squirrels. We did better in 2015, when I took a gardening course through the Maryland extension, and we got a modest crop of tomatoes, a few zucchini, and strawberries (from the plants we started in 2013).

This year, we have fallen farther into the gardening trap. We’re not increasing the plot size (yet!), but we are planning for more veggie varieties and starting some from seed. So far the seeds are started for the cabbage (an Asian variety of Brassica rapa called “Mei Ching Choi”) and onions (Allium cepa of the “Ailsa Craig” variety).

Cabbage is quick! These were planted on Feb 13, just over three days ago. Already, more than 50% have sprouted! Here’s the little cotyledons earlier today:


For the selection of varieties and plant types for the early garden, I consulted the recommended vegetable cultivars for the MidAtlantic region (HGIC 70, U of Maryland) and bought seeds from Johnny’s and Territorial Seed.

Many more helpful tips and information sheets at the University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center.

Thinking of doing this yourself? Here’s another helpful resource from the University of Minnesota Extension: “Starting Seeds Indoors.”

Public Musicology as Connectivity

The ethnomusicology advisory board of the College Music Society has sponsored a panel at the 2015 CMS meeting about “public musicology.” As previously noted, I suggested that an approach to public musicology must explore the ways in which such an approach could and would develop and explore new connections.

What sorts of connections might a “public musicology” explore? From the scholarly and performance perspectives, it might recombine what some describe as the Cartesian split – the ideological distinction of mind and body; if a “public musicology” is a connective one, then we would want to join together theory and practice. We may want to join education audiences with broader public service opportunities. Connections between music and other academic spheres (sociology, anthropology We may want to connect the aural expressions we often describe as “music” to the social and cultural worlds we inhabit in other spheres of life. It would also connect research approaches, educational approaches, and performance in an integrative way. It would connect internal and external audiences. In short, a connection to audiences, and a focus on broad audiences, toward an engaged musicking in the public sphere. (Or, to be musically engaged in the public sphere.)

Thinking Public Musicology

On Thursday, a few colleagues and I will present a panel discussion on “public musicology” at the 2015 College Music Society meeting in Indianapolis. Here are my initial thoughts on what we might mean by “public musicology”:

I ended our panel abstract [see below] with a quote from the novelist E.M. Forster, “Only connect.” The phrase serves as an epigram to his novel Howard’s End (1910). In the novel, the characters living in the late Victorian era struggle with making and maintaining connections. The epigraph appears to place a positive value on making connections – at one point in the novel, Forster describes the phrase as a “sermon” to connect the prose of life with the passion so as to “live in fragments no longer.” However, the novel also explores the despair and difficulty of making such connections while the characters struggle with different issues of class, wealth, taste, and social convention. As we were discussing a potential theme for this panel, sponsored by the Ethnomusicology Advisory Council of the College Music Society, it seemed a fitting metaphor. All members of the society are doing creative outreach, diligently devoted to their performances, teaching, and other aspects of their work, and it is sometimes difficult to see where and the connections between the exceedingly rich and varied activities of our CMS can be made. We therefore wanted to join together some of the recent insights, from the Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major, to the challenges of dialogue between the various disciplines that come together in CMS, and also to the currently vibrant work in public scholarship, including work happening at the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as others engaged in what some have described as “alt-ac” careers.

You may know that this is not unexplored territory, so the job of the panel is not to define what public musicology might be but rather to explore and elucidate various approaches that might fall within this rubric. Feedback and thoughts are welcome!

The panel is described as follows:

From folk festivals to orchestra concerts, music is inescapably a social and public phenomenon; and from music bloggers to popular performers, musicians are public figures. Yet, the voice of scholars and musicians has often not connected beyond the academy. This panel discussion will explore approaches to “public musicology” – that is, making musical knowledge open, accessible, and available beyond the academic and classroom spheres – from perspectives of scholars, performers, and teachers.  Music is more present than ever – via digital delivery to personal music players; from greater diversity of musical styles and crossovers pushed by increasing global flows of culture, trade, and media; and through massive, open, online courses with lengthy menus of musical offerings. We consider the promise of these avenues while acknowledging some of the difficulties and accompanying challenges.  We ask: How can we train our students to be active in more public spaces through engaging scholarship and performances?  What is our role making musical knowledge, understanding, and appreciation more accessible and open to new audiences and what are the best techniques for doing so? What venues, formats, and spaces, including digital platforms, provide the most compelling “interfaces” for engagement? How can we make our music studies resonate with the musical and cultural realities beyond academia?   We follow Forster’s injunction to “only connect” by bringing together these varied voices and encouraging dialogue among the audience to share related projects and commentary.

Terry Riley’s moonshine dervishes

Bibliolore

Terry-Riley

The title of Terry Riley’s improvisation template Descending moonshine dervishes  is rooted in several sources.

“Moonshine” may be considered a triple entendre referring to the mysticism of the shining moon, the ecstasy associated with U.S. moonshine liquor, and Riley’s property on Moonshine Road in the Yuba River country of California’s Sierra foothills, which he has dubbed Shri Moonshine Ranch.

Dervishes are adherents of Sufism, and although Riley subscribes to a general spirituality rather than any formal religious orientation the Sufi tradition has clearly been important to him, as evinced by his performances in mosques and with musicians more closely involved with Sufism. Riley has also used the word dervish in reference to his Hindustani music teacher, Pran Nath.

This according to “Terry Riley in the 70s” by Mark Alburger (21st-century music XI/3 [March 2004] pp. 4–7).

Today is Riley’s 80th birthday! Above, the…

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Preservation Week 2015

All you cultural heritage information workers out there, it’s the end of preservation week!

For those not in a library, archive, museum, or other such organization, there are many resources online that can help you to find out more about preservation. Preserving family treasures, keepsakes, or just a few things in the attic? Here’s a few resources where you can find more information: