Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yam Day

From Brad, Historical Interpreter:


This week we've been very busy preparing the West African site for the Good Times, Tastes, and Traditions Festival put on by the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce. We've been reorganizing a bit to make room for all of the local vendors that will be selling their goods this Friday and Saturday, so don't miss out this rare opportunity!

It's certainly a good thing that our yams are in the twilight of their existence here at the museum, seeing as most of our free time has been devoted to setting up, tearing down, reorganizing, and cleaning for the past few days. Each day the yam vines seem to lose a little more of their green, waxy color, giving way to brown, black, shriveled leaves and stems. We took a few pictures to show you their slow deaths, but we decided to stop the part of the experiment where we measure vine growth. All the vines are stagnant or beginning to shrink while they shrivel.

Here's on of the leaves on Yam 1. This particular plant one of the closest to death in its life cycle. Harvesting coming soon!
This next plant is our former botanical Di Ji. If you don't remember, that means "Yam King", typically awarded to the man with the biggest and fullest yam barn in the community. We've used this term to describe the biggest yam vine in our yam experiment. Oh the seasons of life! The Yam King is dead!
 These three leaves fell off in the process of taking the previous photo. You have to be very, very delicate with them when you're training the stems around the supporting stick. It's pretty tricky.
 ...And finally the twins, although you can only see one of them in this picture. Notice how the vine has begun to turn yellow at the tip and the leaves are dying off. We're getting close to harvest!!

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