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Satues, Man!

Posted 7/12/2020 9:16pm by David Zemelsky.

I've been thinking a lot about priorities in our government, specifically by the President. I don't think it will come as a surprise to any of you-he's not my President.  Probably, I'm going too far to say that, but its "my truth", as is popular to say.  So here we are in a world pandemic that all 50 Governors find themselves figuring out  solutions on their own.  George Floyd, to name just one African American has been murdered publicly. And, and... look not going to go on.  You're either seeing the smoke and fire or you're not.  And the President chooses this moment to do what? Comfort and assure us that we're doing everything that we can to turn things around?  Nope.  He's more concerned that people are destroying our heritage (a popular phrase from those who celebrate The Lost Cause), by taking down monuments.  Humbly, I say-this is crazy.  Not all history is worth memorializing.  I would argue that revering and honoring traitors to the Union does not fall in that category. Period.  Our  memorials  should help us remember important values and deeds that help further the cause of our American ideals, which on paper often look pretty good.  Its the execution that is questionable.  Further, there needs to be a deep empathy for people who had ancestors that were kept as slaves.  Its trauma, pure and simple and every time that any of us (and particularly people of African American descent) are exposed to symbols of  slavery , it becomes a retraumatization of them.  Is that more important that acknowledging ones "heritage"?  If having a slave owner was part of my family tree, I'd  come to terms with this knowledge.  And yes, it would be profoundly difficult for me. But never would it take the form of needing some traitorous general on a horse to keep my heritage.  Lastly, lets remember that we want to uphold values, not history as a priority.  And the values of those memorialized in Confederate statues are not those values that we want to uphold. Period.

 

Moving on...

I want to tell you about hornworms.  Hornworms love to eat tomato leaves especially the young tender ones at the top of the plant.  In very short order they can go thru a hoop house and strip it bare of the potential for fruit for weeks ahead.  From a growers prospective, they are disgusting, filthy (their poops are almost impossible to describe, so I won't) and should all be killed.  So that leads me to two things.  The first is how a gentle, older teenager (she's now in her thirties) who was working for us, became an avid killer of hornworms and almost unrecognizable to her employer (me).  Not sure if she was a vegetarian at the time, but totally a gentle soul to say the least.  Earlier in the week, I explained to her what to look for to find the presence of hornworms. Hornworms can blend into the scenery quite well, as they are the same color as the tomato plant.  A good tip off, I told her was to note the gross poops on the ground of the hoophouse and then start scouting upwards towards the very end of the plant and see if anything can be detected.  Well, one day, she  must have discovered many of them because as I rounded a corner, there she was with a plastic bat. Bam! Bam!, just making a real massacre out of them  For a moment, I was honesty worried that I'd  helped bring out in her murderous tendencies that I'd never seen before.  Honestly, it was scary.  Not unlike if you saw Mr. Rogers yelling at the top of his lungs.  Many years have now gone by and I usually will see my former employee when she comes home to visit her folks.  We talk about this incident once in a while.  She's home now and I had a good reason to re-look at this event with her.  But first, a very quick look at the natural predator of hornworms-parasitic  wasps.  The wasp finds the hornworm and lays eggs inside it. The newly hatched eggs will eat their way out of the hornworm, which will cause its demise.  Very cool.  Ok. So Joel has noticed that our wasp population seems to be growing every year and suggested us to not kill the hornworm, but rather allow them to be found by the wasp, which in turn will increase their (the wasps) population.  Very clever and makes sense and best of all, I won't have to worry about turning mild mannered farmhands into stark raving murderers (of hornworms, that is).

There's been tomato offerings for a few weeks, but the real festival is still in front of us.  There'll be so many wonderful choices.  We've been working really hard on pruning and nurturing our plants.  Recently, Jen sprayed all of them with a fish/seaweed mix to help stimulate their growth and also enhance the flavor.   This spray gets absorbed thru the leaf system and from there travels to the fruit to add its goodness.  You're going to have a good time!

Store opens at 8AM Monday.  Items that are sold out could become available later in the week, so check up .  We'll be at Durham Market on Thursday 3-6:30pm, Madison on Friday 3-6 and Cityseed in New Haven on Saturday from 9AM to 1PM.  And you can preorder any of those days and have your order ready at the market.  We're pre ordering out of our shed on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

I wish all of you a very safe week. Stay smart.

David