Thursday, March 17, 2011

Arbor Day

No, I'm not confused...I know it's St. Patrick's Day, but I will be planting a tree today.  I could just as easily have called this Memorial Day, because I like to plant a tree in memory of a loved one.  I went to town yesterday and bought a fruited mulberry for Steve.  The trees I've planted for him previously suffered and succumbed to either drought or deer, but I am determined.  I like the idea of a tree that will not only provide shade, but also fruit to feed the birds (and maybe me, too, if they save me a few).  Given our weather of late, with more rain predicted for tomorrow, drought appears not to be a problem in the near future.  Better fencing should take care of the deer.  To me, a tree is a more fitting memorial than a headstone.

Sarah and her daughters came by for milk yesterday.  You've got to love a three-year-old who starts a sentence with, "A couple of days ago...."  That's big talk for a little kid.  Sarah and her husband are attempting full-time farming, and they put a lot of time and money into growing organic products, animal and vegetable.  In order to certify "organic," they not only have to not introduce pesticides and chemicals themselves into their product, they have to be able to provenance the feed for their chickens and pigs, etc., has been grown chemical free.  She is well aware of the problems that Monsanto is causing with the genetically altered corn because they are suffering the trickle effect of trying to find untreated corn.  Monsanto is a juggernaut, rolling over small farmers who refuse to buy their seed.  Clothianidin from Bayer was something new for her to worry about.  I just did a little more Googling on this, and find it abhorrent that Bayer has accused farmers of causing the bee problem because of incorrect application of the pesticide, and then offered reimbursement to the bee keepers.  Money cannot replace bees, for Pete's sake! 

Same subject, different tack:  were it not for Joel, I would not have had a watermelon last year.  In the grocery store, I could find nothing but tasteless seedless watermelons, and wouldn't waste my money.  Joel grew his own (from and with seeds), and they were so sweet and refreshing on a hot day.  My dad's dad had been a sharecropper in Texas, and Daddy would tell of growing so many watermelons that they would go into the field, break open a melon to eat just the heart, leaving the seeds to go back into the ground.  Daddy thought that California melons were wimpy...the really good, big melons came from Texas and were what he called "rattlesnake" melons (with stripes).  To prove his point, he made a trip back to Texas and came home with just two melons that completely filled the trunk of his car.  Like Crocodile Dundee, "Now that's a melon!"  And what kid from my generation didn't have a seed-spitting contest?  It is such a pity that future generations will accept insipid tomatoes as a fact of life, when home-grown are so delicious.  I've done so much prep work in the garden, and I've got my dander up now...I will plant my heirloom seeds this year.  In years past, Steve could hardly wait for the first tomato to ripen so he could have a BLT.  I will admit that, with the tomatoes from Joel's garden, I've skipped the bacon and lettuce, and made sandwiches with toast, mayo, and those wonderful, flavorful, juice-dripping tomatoes. 

To my Irish sister, wherever she may be on the High Seas (on her world cruise), Erin go bragh!!


Kathryn said...

Well OK, if you have an Irish sister on the High Seas...then SHE must have an Irish sister on the High Erin go bragh right back attcha! (Unless somebody is adopted...but the wishes are the same.) And no WONDER I have been having trouble getting good watermelons! Time for us ALL to get some planting going I guess!!!

Bo said...

Nope...I'm German, English, Welsh. My sister is Irish, German. (Different fathers, same mother.) I'm dark German like my mother. She's redheaded, green-eyed, freckled like her father. Regardless, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!

Kathryn said...

Now don't I feel silly...not having thought of the option of different parents - oh well, you are right - everyone is Irish today!

Anonymous said...

There's a really good documentary that is like the Reader's Digest version on the evils of GE/GMO foods and Monsanto. It is called "The Future of Food" and is from 2004 so the information could already be outdated. In the film they also talked about companies trying to patent GE/GMO fish as well, not sure if it's been done yet. One other evil thing about Monsanto is that they go around testing crops to see if their patented seeds have made it into a farmer's crop. Can you stop the wind? Birds? No, but they don't care and they sue or settle out of court. It's very depressing to learn of such greed but awareness can get the ball rolling to hinder/end it.