Monday, May 21, 2007

spring garden stuff

it has been springlike lately, even when the sky is overcast with clouds. warm air. fir trees blossoming and spreading pollen. we have been busy outside. stuff grows. and how when it's quack grass and thistle and clover. so we have been weeding a lot. we'll use more mulch next winter.
it was about 50 degrees outside when i took this picture, and cloudy. the greenhouse is unheated and not entirely airtight, but it captures heat from any bit of sunlight.

these are datil pepper plants in the greenhouse. i started them in january just to see if the seeds i have are still viable. i couldn't bring myself to discard them. i nursed them along under a light till i had set up a little heated area for starts in the greenhouse and moved them there. i transplanted them into the growing bed on april 29. the glove is for scale.

i set out broccoli and cauliflower three weeks ago and learned about wind damage and the bad result of not hardening starts. they all survived, but took a beating. so these i just set out have nice little shingle shelters and they have been outside on the north of the greenhouse where they got some morning sun and no greenhouse heat for two weeks.

fresh asparagus harvested 5 minutes ago. this is the second year for our asparagus bed. we get enough for a meal at least twice a week.


i read the news today. oy vey!

"Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.
Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.
Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.
Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.
These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit Chinese medicines.

"So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as possible," said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade representative for China and now director of international trade and services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.

As a result, the United States finds itself "kowtowing to China," Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers adulterated and mislabeled foods."

this is from a front page article in the washington post (free registration required) that details the problems with foodstuffs imported from china. but we can't vigorously inspect the imports and diligently apply existing laws and standards because big biz here wants access to china's market.

i thought it interesting that a former u.s. trade rep to china would use "kowtow." the link is to wikipedia because it has the best illustration i found.

eat hearty folks.


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