I never thought I would ever prefer home office…

Slowly, but steadily, the end now really is in sight! It took a bit of work, and quite some stress, and even some sleepless nights, but we did it. Last week, we harvested our barley greenhouse experiment. Check! This past weekend I planted my first local Freising tansy field experiment – which consists of leftoverContinue reading “I never thought I would ever prefer home office…”

A silly clown

It’s quite funny how hysterical professional gardeners and greenhouse staff get when they see aphids. I get it, aphids are the devil – that is, when you’re a tomato grower or whatever. I cannot count count the number of times I have been warned about all the horrors that are aphids – as if IContinue reading “A silly clown”

A good batch!

Today was another amazing(ly long) day filled with Zoom presentations from 9.00 am until 3.30 pm. These were the final presentation of the landscape planning course I co-co√∂rdinated this semester with the landscape planners on-campus. I’m responsible for teaching the students a thing or two about ecology, and how landscape planning can be optimized andContinue reading “A good batch!”

I discovered the root-washing station!

Another ecological experiment was successfully finished today. Oh well, almost. The most important harvest is behind us now. I started my day collecting a shitload of liquid nitrogen at the nitrogen tank (silo? What are these things called?) outside our building. This was done with the purpose of flash-freezing our leaf samples in the greenhouse,Continue reading “I discovered the root-washing station!”

My love-hate relationship with rain

Over the past weeks, I have mentioned quite a couple of times the tansy plants that were still growing in our greenhouses, after we had established our field experiment in Jena. First of all, there were the original 120 ‘mother plants’ that were the source for the 18 selection lines that I created and cloned.Continue reading “My love-hate relationship with rain”

The power of team work

After a sleepless night, filled with anxious thought about failing experiments, this morning my team and I met up to ‘start aphid treatments’. They had not yet heard the latest news. They were quite surprised when I said that instead of adding aphids today, we would be removing aphids. Naturally colonizing aphids were the mainContinue reading “The power of team work”

I would make the worst orchid tour guide (but I can talk about snakes…)

Before returning home from our trip to the Chiemgauer Alpen, we decided to take a short walk in the Achental, from Marquartstein to a viewpoint called Windeck (probably because it is always windy as fuck – which it was today). The hike was short enough for our son to almost walk all of it twoContinue reading “I would make the worst orchid tour guide (but I can talk about snakes…)”

The very odd-looking stag beetle…

I’ve been lucky enough to find a couple of lesser stag beetles (Dorcus parallelipipedus) in my garden lately. About two weeks ago I found a female, and two days ago my wife found a male, approximately two meters away from the place I found the female, on the same wall. I hope they managed toContinue reading “The very odd-looking stag beetle…”

About bagging an experiment…

I just returned from what was supposed to be a short chat and check-in with Stephan,the person leading our running barley experiment. This evening he planned the fungal infection treatment. When I came in, Stephan had finished spraying and bagging maybe a dozen control plants. Another 200 were waiting. He was very optimistic in thatContinue reading “About bagging an experiment…”