By LYNNE IRONS
A few weeks ago, a story was told on NPR of a man with a persistent cough. Fearing the worst, he scheduled a doctor’s visit. An x-ray revealed a pea plant growing in his lung. He apparently had a split pea go down the wrong pipe. Incredible as it sounds, all ended well with the removal of the half-inch sprout.
The story reminds me of an event in my own kitchen some 30 years ago. I was living, as many of us did in those days, in a construction site. The counters were two by four inch boards supporting rough plywood. Never being one accused of keeping a spotless house, the floors held their share of sand and dirt. A bean somehow sprouted between the stove and the aforementioned plywood counter. Always up for a gardening experiment, the children and I kept it watered until it made it up to the two-by-four, about a foot. It still amuses me to this day.
Finally, the weather is taking that wonderful end-of-the-summer turn. It is becoming more and more pleasant to complete outdoor chores.
My Stonewall’s Evergreen corn has ripened. I ate an ear on Sunday raw in the garden. There wasn’t a single ear worm. Can it be possible that the beneficial nematodes have actually worked? My earlier Golden Bantam variety was decimated by the pest right before we applied the nematodes. I don’t really care if I eat my own corn. I enjoy seeing it grow. Somehow it makes the plot loo like a real garden. I like it rustling all winter in snow.
Now that a significant amount of produce is being harvested, there is a bit of back-patting between Marie and me. I have to say, however, it is not the total point. While I could go on endlessly about the beauty of growing one’s own food, there is more. I find it completely enjoyable to spend an entire day working my vegetable patch. It is always a plus to have a couple of chairs and a table set up in a shady spot. I’ve noticed I can easily spend more sitting time than, say, in my twenties and thirties. The weird thing is, I never sit down during the day at home. I must continue to encourage you to grow food.
Sunday night I was able to make a sautée of spaghetti squash, onion, garlic, eggplant and cabbage, all products of my own hand. I think self-satisfaction rather than pride is the overall feeling. Here I am waxing philosophical once again.
My friend Phyllis and I were in down-Island Cronig’s recently. We ran into a man wearing a T-shirt which read Stay Calm and Carry On. We thanked him and said we needed that. Phyllis thinks the saying was popular during the London Blitz in World War II. This summer’s traffic events need words of wisdom such as these.
Norton Farm has a wonderful field of blooming buckwheat. I noticed it recently and must confess a bit of jealousy. In my perfect world I would have seeded it after all the spring crops. It is a great cover-crop, aka green manure. Because it is an annual susceptible to frost it can be turned into the soil around the end of August. The area can then be planted in fall greens, garlic or winter rye.
The honeybees are particularly fond of the buckwheat flowers.
Last Saturday afternoon I attended an event featuring White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and our governor Deval Patrick. Both were inspiring speakers. Gov. Patrick earned my vote when he discussed how we have a generational morality to enact policies that will ensure the safety, health and education of our children.
The sudden interest by the right-wing politicians of national debt being passed to our grandchildren is laughable at best. These are the people who helped the Bush administration take the national debt to a new level, topping even Ronald Reagan. They have consistently voted against state-funded children’s health insurance, extending unemployment benefits to those children’s parents and most appallingly the desire to keep the Bush tax cuts for the super and obscenely rich. Then they sell their bill of goods to people who could benefit most from some government entitlements. As Rachel Maddow loves to call it, scaring white people for political profit. Sadly, it seems to be working.