Oh, how many people have told me, "You don't name animals you're going to eat." I think even Barbara Kingsolver says something like that. Well, Rusty's gone, and he had a name, and in some other window in this browser is a recipe for chicken pot pie. And on the utility stove in the wood shed is a four-gallon stock pot heating up water to loosen the feathers of Rusty's (deposed) rival, Red.
So, my neighbor dropped by yesterday to wish Regina well--thanks Dave. After chatting for a while about this and that, conversation turned doomish, and he beat me to the question that I was going to drop on him--Where the frack are all the bees?
Okay, so let's get back to my tiller. When last we left our hero (me), he was cussing out the dead tiller at the bottom of the hill. This is the site of the "East Garden" for those of you not familiar with the lay of the land here at Pen and Plow. The East Garden proved to be pretty much a train wreck last year due to an explosion of weeds that simply would NOT be brought to heel. The lamb's quarters I didn't mind for a while, as it's really quite tasty. The other two weeds that strangled just about every bean and corn plant down there were this weird, bamboo-like grass species and this towering multi-stalked weed that may have been pigweed, which is a member of the amaranth family.
So close. So very close. The German butterball, the Kennebec, the reds, and the blue golds--all in the ground. Just the La Rattes and the French fingerlings remain to be planted.
Now, I should stop here and let you know that I did not realize what a hundred pounds of seed potatoes meant when I ordered them. I just thought, "Hey! Look at how much CHEAPER they are when you buy the 20-pound bag!" I kinda sorta did the math, but not really. I was in a spud-glutton stupor, thinking about how much I LOVE those butterballs all mashed up with butter and cream and garlic.
Okay, maybe I could have found any number of sources of inspiration to get me back to my keyboard. Winter should have been a time of magic and meditation. Should even have provided me with some down-time that I could have taken advantage of for creative purposes. Truth is, I got busy, didn't make time, and the season passed with me thinking a lot of imaginative or contemplative thoughts that never made it to paper or 'puter.
That changed yesterday. Yesterday the growing season really got under way. Yes, the asparagus has been up for a few days. Yes, the first strawberry blossoms lifted their heads to the sun a couple days ago. Hell, I've already tasted the first rhubarb of the season. BUT...but, but, but...It was the return of the hated blackfly that drove me INSANE to the point that I had to sit down and complain to you all.
Much of our food supply is the end product of poorly regulated large-scale agriculture, over and misuse of pesticides and chemicals, and the use of ingredients specifically created to increase profit rather than promote health.