Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday and Cooler, Gardening and Peace

The weather has finally returned to normal and it is deliciously cool. After last week's heat wave it seemed almost silly to put on an overshirt and knitted hat last evening while I was watching tv, but that was necessary.

Yesterday, my young friend took pictures of my backyard. Clearly the roses and poppies enjoyed the hot weather as well as all the water that various friends kindly poured on them. These Oriental Poppies are being grown as ornamentals and not as a cash crop!

I associate poppies with Memorials after war. There are fields of red poppies in Ukraine growing where bitter battles were fought in World War II and soldiers died in massive numbers. They are blood poppies, truly and sacred as are the poppies that grow in Flanders Field, "amid the crosses row on row."

While the seeds have culinary uses and the pods are ornamental and can be used in arrangements, I no longer make wreaths and arrangements and I buy my food seed, so they probably will not last long enough to go to seed. My friend who planted them for me suggested that they would be good for pressing. That is probably true. Perhaps I will try to press or dry a few.

The pods would be appropriate for a memorial wreath. I began one a few years ago and put the names of all the ancestors who had fought in wars on the wreath along with the wars that they fought in.

Last week I began Squidoo lens Garden for Peace, which is linked to the right. I will be adding to it as time permits. It is an old interest of mine. Back in the eighties I was one of the plant growers for Common Ground, supplying them with pepper and tomato seedlings.

Before that, when I was an economics major at Stanford, I was interested in taking courses in the Food Research Institute. The building was not accessible and this was long before the ADA. I wonder if I would have been an analyst helping to shape policy about world food issues instead of a seedling grower if those classes had been held in a different building.

Maybe that is why I grew those seedlings and have been interested in seed diversity and related issues for the last twenty years. We do need to conserve and preserve our bio-diversity and cherish the earth on which we live.

There are interesting ethical issues that relate to all of this as well and I was heartened to see an episode of Bill Moyer's Journal several weeks ago that featured David Beckmann and Bread for the World.

If we could feed all the world comfortably wouldn't we be able to build a peaceful world? More later.

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