The seedlings were transported from the studio to a new growing location. The location or place being The Fixed-Up Greenhouse, which has become an extension of the studio, a working area for art practice and a home for the seedlings until they are ready to be planted out at the Allotment Plot at MERL
The studio location was also moved, further down the corridor to a different space. A blank white wall appeared in order to negotiate art practice. What is the relationship of art practice in the studio to seedlings growing as art practice in The Fixed-Up Greenhouse, the Allotment Plot at MERL and the research for art practice? Theory, fact and fiction may surround the groundwork.
The first seedlings were re-potted in the studio allotment on the 4th February. The tiny seedlings were tentatively dug out of their plug trays with a spoon, then delicately transplanted into the waiting earth in their new (recycled) pots. Their radicles (embryonic roots) were carefully covered. Their hypocotyls (embryonic shoots) uncertainly sitting weakly in the soil, bowed under the weight of their new cotyledons (seed leaves). Quantities of germinated seedlings were recorded.
Not all the seedlings had sprouted. Only one onion had sent a slender green spike out of the soil. No Aubergine or peppers had appeared, their radical transformation from dormant seeds to photomorphogenesis would seem to be delayed in transmission by an undetermined set of reasons that can only be speculated but would seem rooted in probability.
More seeds were planted at the studio allotment on the 27/01/2010. The seeds were sourced from Tamar Organics. These seeds planted were as follows:
Aubergine Black Beauty x 15
Pepper Sweet Tamar x 15
Pepper (Hot) Ring of Fire x 12
Pepper (Hot) Early Jalapeno x 12
The seeds that had germinated on 29/01/2010 were recorded as follows:
Tomato Zuckertraube = 10
Tomato Gardeners Delight = 5
Nasturium = 3
Pot Marigold = 11
Sweet Pea = 5
Cosmos = 6
Carnation = 3
If seeds are rooted too early, life support may fail due to weather intervention. This failure can happen in the internal designated growing space, in this case the studio, (or more commonly in a greenhouse or domestic interior area) and externally, when a plant is growing in the open air. Failure in the growing cycle can happen unexpectedly at any given time due to adverse weather conditions. The breakdown of the organic growing machine and catastrophic crop failure can fracture systems and cause devastation for species. It is not just a question of survival of the fittest but an attribute of unpredictability out of human control.
The Allotment in the studio is in its early stages. Within the first week that the seeds were planted, tiny seedlings started to emerge, somewhat prematurely. “January – March” was the suggested planting window on the seed packets, but if the plants develop too soon there is a danger that they will die and be lost, composting themselves back to the earth. Careful management and monitoring of the seedlings will need to take place. Although growing and germinating conditions are obviously good as a consequence of enough heat and light, life support may not be that easy. The seedlings will need re-potting fairly soon. The process of growing and food production begins rooted in the studio prior to the outdoor growing destination at the Allotment at MERL.