Down on the Farm

It’s a beautiful day down on the farm. The birds are fighting over nesting sites, we now have predator birds moving in so the cat has to stay inside all the time or maybe move over to the studio, and the elm trees are thinking thoughts of spring. Assuming they can think, which of course they can not in the way that we do. But they must do something, or otherwise how would they know it is spring?

It reminds me of young human sprouts who have never seen the back end of a horse in front of a plow, and they are trying to tell me all about farming, or gardening, or the fabulous tomato they just ate. I mean, just because they just figured out where veggies come from doesn’t mean it’s a new story for me. I looked at it. Obvious supermarket tomato.

I stopped eating fruits and vegetables from the grocery store about 20 years or so ago, and meats soon after. The meat and milk because someone was injecting hormones into the animals, and while I don’t SO much mind them experimenting on farm animals, I resent it when “they” begin feeding me hormones. I happen to know something about hormones, too. I know quite a few things, folks, but that is another story.

A few years ago I tried another garden, and the tomatoes tasted pretty much the same as those in the supermarket. Sort of like cardboard impregnated with some essence of unripe tomato. It costs more than a McDonalds hamburger, which is made mostly of ketchup and relish. The ketchup and relish still taste pretty much the way they always did, a lot better than the tomatoes or the meat, so now we know why people mostly eat fast foods. The prepared food from health food stores mostly all tastes romantically of sage, rosemary and thyme, which is good if you lake sage, rosemary and thyme. There was a time when food tasted good.

No it’s not because I keep getting older; it’s because the food tasted good when I was young. I know this because some really smart persons started saving heirloom seeds about 30 years ago, and you can still buy them through the heirloom seed catalogs, and their fruits still taste good.

In the meantime, though, before I figured that out, I stopped gardening because the plants they sell us to grow the vegetables in our back yard produce veggies that taste pretty much like the ones in the grocery store. The only advantage is that mine have no innate pesticides or herbicides. They still don’t taste good, so why should I waste my time? It started with tomatoes, that were bred (the old fashioned way) to never get ripe and to stay round and firm and fully packed for the automatic tomato pickers (these look sort of like one of those big green cotton pickers, but for tomatoes). Now they can breed any kind of plant or animal more or less any way they want to, without waiting for the old fashioned way, by genetic engineering, and I especially do not want to be growing genetically modified soybeans or corn or anything else in my yard, so. And the government just approved alfalfa. Who knows if they have done spinach or not? Like I said. I stopped growing a garden.

So what brought all this up? Besides the young sprouts trying to tell me their tomatoes are good tasting? I was in the Producers’ Coop this morning and had a random whim of an idea to maybe grow some spinach. So I asked them if their spinach seeds were genetically modified.

They don’t know either.

You know what’s maybe better even than spinach? That I know of, and there is a lot I don’t know, this time of year the dock plants have really tasty young leaves. They just all froze off, but they’ll be back in a week or so. And later on the mustard greens are sharp and full of flavor. And they don’t cost a cent.