Friday, April 20, 2012

Good morning on this changeable Friday.  Changeable, you ask.  Well, we had a tiny bit of sun and a temperature in the high 50s.  The sun has already gone away and the temps will be dropping.  The weather people say we have a very good chance of rain, on and off, today.  I will be watching the forecasts early next week and I may set out some of my plants.  I am glad you like the early garden, Kay.  I have had, as I said over the last couple of weeks, a lot of difficulty getting some of my seeds started.  The Big Rainbow completely failed and the Brandywine looks weak.  I think the chocolate cherry and Sweet 100 cherry will make it.  Only got one of the Fresh Salsa.  I already have my backups--a Roma, Mr. Stripy, and Cherokee Purple from Home Depot.  I started some new peppers (Lipstick and Bullnose) in vermiculite.  If they don't sprout I will get seedlings to replace them.  I already have one--a mild jalapeño from Bonnie by way of Home Depot.  I don't always succeed with my plants but I am a stubborn old biddy and will try again.  I talked to one of the associates at Home Depot who confirmed my research on the internet about the difference between potting 'soil' vs potting 'mix.'  I won't make that mistake again.

I found this on USA Today--file under 'unknown history bites residences.'  A couple of weeks ago, my nephew brought his kids and his brother's over for a visit.  The kids were very interested in my container gardens and, evidently from the conversation, his girls have been interested in growing some plants in their yard.  I suggested he put in raised beds because I have read reports of high lead contamination in urban areas.  The articles I read cited the lingering high levels of lead remaining from when we used leaded gasoline.  I had no idea that lead smelting factories long closed were in so many areas and the contamination is just as persistent.  I love the term they use for those factories--'ghost plants.'

I love reading articles that cite John Williams 'Shadowstats.'  This King World News article does that nicely.  Anyone really think that we are in a recovery?  I wish I had the money to subscribe to Shadowstats.

I have to reconstruct a short paragraph on this article.  Blogger lost what I originally wrote.  You are all luck you couldn't hear me when that happened.  As you may have guessed I like to grow unusual and/or heirloom veggies here in my little containers.  My rule is if it isn't interesting or it doesn't taste good--why grow it.  I don't mind hybrids--they do have some advantages: vigor, resistance to disease and pests, and high yield.  But without the old varieties we wouldn't have hybrids which rarely produce viable seeds that show the hybrid characteristics.  One of the unfortunate consequences of our industrial agriculture, which favors varieties that produce uniform fruits that mature simultaneously and travel well over long distances (notice flavor and nutrition are no where in this list of desirable characteristics), is that the old, traditional varieties have disappeared.

Natural News writes today about an attempt in Vermont to pass a 'right to know' law requiring any foods containing 'genetically modified' ingredients to be so labeled.  So far Monsanto's threats to sue if the bill is passed has stalled the bill in committee.  I feel about this as I do on 'pink slime.'  Just label the damned thing as what it is and let who ever wishes buy and consume it while those who don't won't.  But these companies don't want to informed consumers.

The first paragraph of this article struck me as odd because I just saw a headline and teaser on Market Watch that was directly opposite.  The price of oil (whether Brent or West Texas) has stayed above $100/barrel but the prices at the pump have declined from about $4.10/gal to (at the lowest I saw locally) $3.79.  The analysts and economists are at a loss to explain the persistence of $100+ oil because they have their numbers tell them that we have an 'over supply.'  This article says the supply is actually not keeping up with demand.  Therefore no over supply.  I wonder where those analysts and economists get their numbers?

Perhaps they get their numbers from the same place a pundit who appeared on CNBC a bit ago got his facts.  He said he was bullish about the U.S. recover.  After all, he said, 71% of our economy is comes from consumers and that doesn't involve imports.  My question: where the hell does he think the goods consumers buy come from?  And not one of their talking heads thought to ask that.

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