Sunday, July 24, 2011

The beehive state

Every state in the good ol' U.S. of A. has a nickname. For example the state of New York is called "The Empire State", California is also known as "The Golden State", Texas is "The Lone Star State", and so on. Utah, which celebrates its 115th year of statehood today, the 24th of July, is also called "The Beehive State."

Utah has been my "adopted" home for the past several years now, from the day I first set foot in America. Currenly I have no plans of moving to any other state as I've come to agree with Brigham Young1 when he declared: "This is the place."

Happy birthday to the Beehive State!!!

Similarly, the state of our Beehive ginger (Zingiber spectabile) leaves nothing to be desired for now that I know it has adapted to its "adopted" home i.e., the farm.

Last February of 2010 I asked Mom and Dad to buy another Beehive ginger. There is already one in the farm which was purchased last December of 2009. However we were not sure if it's the real thing so the second purchase was just an insurance just in case it's not. This more recent purchase we're sure is a Beehive ginger because it had a flower when it was bought.

For over a year the gingers just grew but very slowly and did not produce any flowers. I was beginning to think that they may not be suited to our local climate or maybe they were planted in the wrong area. Maybe the soil is lacking in nutrient, perhaps they are not getting enough water and nourishment.

Then in May two small knobs began to appear at the base of the more recent Beehive. I was so excited when Mom mentioned this development during one of our long distance phone conversations. Finally it's doing something more than just converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.

It took more than two months before the knobs turned into what they are in the picture below. They are now past their prime and will very soon be a part of history. Hopefully this is the start of a new era for this species of plant in the farm.

I suspect one reason why our Beehive gingers are sluggish is due to deficiency in nutrients. The upper garden was once a cornfield and as such the soil was subjected to much stress in growing corns, amended with chemical fertilizers and lacking in organic nutrients. The soil needs to heal from decades of mismanagement which could easily be remedied by applying composts. But despite the availability of materials they are not utilizing this eco-friendly means of soil amendment. Yet there is a glimmer of hope, as exemplified by the emergence of these two Beehive ginger flowers.

1 Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) is the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church) who led his flock's migration from Illinois to the current state of Utah.

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