Wednesday, February 4, 2015

We have been getting small spurts of nuisance snow and expect more today.  Clearing the car was a big job.  A layer of ice had formed under about 12 inches of snow the wind didn't blow away.  We shouldn't have much trouble with catching up on what fell over night.

Still, slowly, planning the gardens.  I have made my (nearly) final decisions on tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, and cucumbers.  I say nearly because, as I have mentioned before, the garden I have in the fall is never the garden I planned in the spring.

I always try a few plants totally new to me.  Last year I put in shiso.  Pretty enough plant but a big one and not worth putting in again.  We don't do Japanese cooking and it didn't seem to fit with our normal foods.  This year I have three greens I hope will replace spinach and lettuce.  I haven't had good luck with them.  My little patio goes from deep freeze to oven very quickly--a consequence of being a small cement platform with a six-foot white fence that concentrates sunlight, and heat, in that space.  All lettuce and spinach varieties bolt almost immediately.  This year I will put in Long-leaf Tong Ho, mizuna (mixed colors), and orach.  All are supposed to be heat tolerant and the Tong Ho is supposed to be a good substitute for spinach and all are supposed to be good in salads.  I will find out.

And what would a garden be without herbs.  I will include a number of old friends: lemon balm, lemon basil, sweet basil, peppermint, spearmint, hyssop, summer savory to name a few.  This year I am adding Moldavian balm and wintergreen.  The wintergreen plants will come later at an appropriate time for transplanting as will the lemon verbena plants.  Some of you may recall my struggles with lemon verbena but I am an eternal optimist and my success with my 3-year-old rosemary have me hoping I can keep it going inside.


Since the meetings at Davos began I have been reading more stories about the uber-rich getting ready to retreat to their castles and pull up the drawbridges.  This post has a good summary.  It is interesting the amount of attention it is getting this time around.  I saw similar articles soon after Obama's election when all the politicians and pundits were trying to convince us they had a real plan and there was "light at the end of the tunnel."

Gene Logsdon, the Contrary Farmer, asks an interesting question of whether we will follow the Maya and the Mound Builder cultures, based largely on corn farming, into oblivion.

Rhetorical question surely.  Like the author I used to find Chris Christie refreshing especially considering the colorless idiots lacking brains or backbone in the GOP.  However, sometime ago he shifted from refreshing to assholery.   How big an asshole?  Try total.

One of the foundations of our industrial commerce is the notion that "if you make it some idiot will buy it.  That is well illustrated in this article.  It seems that there is a new "disease" every week or so which requires large numbers of people to take a new pill.  Or "science" suddenly discovers that almost everyone needs to take a drug, like statins, "just in case."  Or that some people aren't helped as much as they would like by one medicine so they need another--and maybe a third.  I think we are being medicated out of our minds and, maybe, our lives.

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