What’s up with men who don’t wear pants? Relax, people: they are wearing shorts even if the temperature is below forty degrees. Violet calls it white man’s winter.

I, for one, put on long underwear by early November until late in April. Of course, I spend a great deal of time outdoors. I often repeat the old adage “There is no bad weather only inappropriate clothing.”

I spent some time weeding in the hoop house. The lettuce and spinach are coming right along and are pickable.

There were a ridiculous number of opium poppy seedlings to be removed. They should not have emerged until spring, being an annual. The parent was a single Lauren’s grape, a lovely purple variety.

Honestly, I’m all set in the event of a worldwide disaster if I break a leg and need pain relief.

This past Sunday, Violet and I stopped in at a farm market at Beetlebung Farm. They had carrots, kale, all sorts of lettuces, local chocolate and some crafts. We are so fortunate here to have so much local produce, dairy and meats.

Granted, it’s a bit pricey to buy fresh, local food but supporting local businesses is a no-brainer for me.

As luck would have it I received a Christmas greeting from Sue Branch and Joe Hall. They included a copy of small publication The Hightower Lowdown by Jim Hightower. I used to subscribe to it and somehow forgot in recent years.

The entire issue is devoted to the state of agriculture in America. Just like Big Oil, Big Ag makes record profits, especially in the Covid years while we consumers pay more and more.

Farmers themselves, however, make very little of those profits for often back-breaking hard labor. The plight of farmers was immortalized in song by Woody Guthrie back in the day. Little has changed except now we increasingly rely on poorly paid and marginalized immigrants to do the work.

As far as meat, the “free market” includes just four companies: Tyson, JBS Foods, Smithfield and Cargill Meat Solutions. Don’t even get me started about the treatment of both animals and packing plant workers.

What can we, as individuals, do? For me, personally, it’s growing as much as humanly possible myself. I’ve been harping on this subject for almost 15 years now in this column. Hope you are not getting as weary as I am. Is there an end in sight?

One of my favorite seasonal pastimes is pursuing seed catalogues. I like the hand-held paper versions and avoid online shopping at all costs. I learned much of what I know about gardening from these catalogues.

I’m halfway through my recent arrival from Sow True Seed, a fairly new start-up company out of Asheville, N.C. Co-founded by the Vineyard’s own Carol Koury, it specializes in heirloom and open-pollinated seed varieties. Each offering comes with a little description and history.

FYI: open-pollinated seeds can be saved year to year and will come back true to form each time, unlike hybrids that can revert to a parent plant. Hybrids must be purchased yearly. Sow True seeds are found locally at SBS.

I’m sure some of you have heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, aka Doomsday Vault? Thousands of old varieties of seeds are preserved in the event of a worldwide catastrophic event. Just offering food for thought. He he.

Can’t wait until the holidays are over. I always feel bullied by all the Christmas hype.

Our family is low key. We attend church on Christmas Eve. Violet is playing her cello at the at the Chilmark Community Church this year at 5 p.m.

At any rate, “God Bless Us, Everyone.”