Saving seeds this summer? I just started fermenting our first batch of tomato seeds.
The YouTube embed below is a short documentary in which the interviewer asks anti-abortion activists “what should happen to women who have illegal abortions?” Most demonstrators won’t say but, rather, look dumbfounded at the prospect of an outcome they never considered. Anna Quindlen (MSNBC) assesses the recent Supreme Court decision in light of this line of thought and says “State statutes that propose punishing only a physician suggest the woman was merely some addled bystander who happened to find herself in the wrong stirrups at the wrong time.”
a narrative of twenty of my minutes in San Francisco:
As I cross the street, I notice that guy standing there again – the one who holds the well-made sign that says something about 12 galaxies and somehow has time to stand on the corner most days all day. I do quick u-turn past another person panhandling, and I am walking down the steps to the underground, thankful of that yellow no-slip tape that some genius invented. Once again, I am wearing those shoes that look great and feel like hell. Apparently my tolerance for pain exceeds my tolerance of shopping malls. Past the flower stand and through the turnstyle. As I board the escalator to the lower platform I totter on the too tall shoes, conscious in my decision not to touch the escalator rail and of the collamatous consequences this life decision might some day have.
I board the train, disdainfully glancing upon the bright teal fabric colored seats that one million other asses have sat in. I think “ew” but sit anyways, almost thankful to be off my feet.
Flipping through messages on my blackberry, I almost miss my stop. Up another escalator, through the turnstyles.
In twelve long strides I reach the bottom of another escalator, again conscious not to touch the virus covered rubber handrail. It creaks as it climbs me out of the underground vault and to the city street above. As the light hits my eyes, the stench hits my nose. Piss and homelessness. A quick U-Turn at the top of the escalator, heels click-clicking across the red brick sidewalk. Beside the sidewalk sits a painted brick planter full of dying thirsty shrubs, also planted with one dozen black men, ranging in age from 30 to 50. Their wares are displayed on the sidewalk: used CDs, spray paint drawings, I don’t care what else. I dodge a gaggle of asian tourists walking single file. One man seated on the planterbox says “hey slim”. I keep walking, don’t look back, give him the faintest of hand waves in a half hearted hello.
Another 35 steps down Market St. in these damned shoes.
Behind me a siren wails, getting louder as it gets closer. Up ahead, a one-legged woman in a wheel chair pushes herself backwards into the crosswalk, her eyes affixed on the approaching firetruck as her one leg propels her backwards toward her destination. The siren sounds close. The woman, half way across the street, more frantic now, crosses her chest in a hail Mary, uncertain if the firetruck would see her, or stop if it did. She makes it to the relative safety of the sidewalk, still one legged and in a wheelchair.
Another 15 steps down Market in these damned shoes.
China and US-based Westinghouse (a subsidiary of CBS/Viacom) agreed to an estimated $8b contract for the design and construction of 4 nuclear power facilities. Construction will begin in 2009 and the first plant will be operational in 2013. The nuclear waste created by the facilities will still be hazardous waste one million years from now. Additional contracts are being issued to French and possible Russian contractors. China currently relies on coal for 80% of its energy. more here
I wonder how a just few hundred people driven by a profit motive are able to make a decision that burdens the earth with nuclear waste forever.
Formula One says it will introduce major rule changes by 2011 to promote fuel conservation. Many of the 11 teams have already implemented measures to reduce their “carbon footprint” — but faster speeds and winning races remain the main target.
“Unless Formula One can become a contributor to the technology that might help the environment, it’s likely it will become a dinosaur,” Nick Fry, team principal of Honda racing, told Reuters in an interview at Sunday’s European Grand Prix.
Our tomato garden is almost at the tipping point — the point at which the rate of ripe fruit outpaces our ability to consume them. Truth be told, we are giving away bowls full of colorful cherry tomatoes every couple of days to eager friends and eating garden-grown bruschetta every third day (non local wheat…haven’t figured out how I’m gonna fix that dilemma).
We planted seven starts (4-inchers) on April 1st, and one more on May 7th (see photo to right, taken at planting). I knew that come mid-summer we would be awash in too many tomatoes, but I wanted the variety, we had the room, and there are certainly more worries in the world than too many home-grown tomatoes (though by the end of picking the onslaught of ripe cherry tomatoes on Tuesday I was starting to get annoyed with how darn many were ripe and had to be picked!).
The cherry tomatoes (a Sun Gold and a Sweet 100) were the first to set fruit, and oh goodness did they set fruit! For the past month we’ve had a steady stream of all-you-can-eat cherry tomatoes (the first full harvest went straight into my famous pasta salad).
For the past two weeks, the first heirloom Caspian Pink has been taunting with impending ripeness. It didn’t disappoint and was lovely with fresh basil, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and (Ken’s secret ingredient) Paul Newman’s light balsamic. This week we expect several more (photo to the left). There are probably 30 tomatoes on this plant right now, which surprised a friend of ours who had grown relatively unproductive heirlooms in the past (I’ll blame his green thumb, not the heirloom varietals!).
The Early girl was actually one of the last to set fruit, but each fruit ripens much more quickly than the larger heirlooms. Plus, it’s a short little plant that is almost hidden behind the vigorous growth of the Sweet 100, so I’m surprised when I see fully ripe tomatoes hiding back there.
The one I am on countdown for is the Cherokee Purple. The plant growth was much slower; it’s still pretty short and skinny compared to it’s neighbor the gargantuan Caspian Pink. It’s set out a good amount of fruit, and, like the Caspian, is slow to ripen.
The beefsteak and brandywine (non-heirloom) were so slow to set fruit, but they now have a hefty amount of green fruit on the vine. The Brazilian Beauty, which got the late planting, is a tiny little plant at about 3′ tall, but now has a half dozen neat small, oval tomatoes that are beginning to ripen. I planted it late to prove a friend wrong — he was insistent that April 1st was too early and our plants (already huge and leafy by Cinco de Mayo) were gonna suck. So I planted one late just to compare its vegetation growth and fruit output. He was wrong.
If you only grow one tomato plant, I recommend the highly productive and ÃƒÂ¼ber-yummy Sun Gold. (See photo to the right.) This cherry tomato variety kicks ass. Each branch puts out at least a dozen tomatoes, the plant is spindly and needs a tall trellis or cage to keep it’s spidery vines off the ground. It would do great in a container, especially if you were handy enough to hook it up to a little drip system on a self-timer to keep ‘er well watered. The little tomatoes are like candy, so sweet and with wonderful complex flavor. When ripe, they turn a bright bright orange and a slight tug releases them from the vine into your hand. They are everything a home-grown tomato is supposed to be.
Time for a salad!
So I wrote Home Depot corporate about setting up CFL disposal stations at their stores (using their online comment form). Here’s the semi-canned response:
Dear Ms. ,
The Home Depot Customer Care is in receipt of your email.
We appreciate you taking the time to forward your concerns regarding
establishing CFL disposal stations at our Home Depot stores. Please know
that the feedback you have provided will be taken very seriously and
will be used in the overall evaluation of our services.
We value and appreciate comments from all of our customers.
We look forward to your continued patronage and assisting you with all
of your home improvement needs.
Now I will follow-up with letters to my local Home Depot, OSH, and Lowes. I will also cc my local municipal hazardous waste program. Stay tuned.
National Geographic’s Green Guide has a response to a question about mercury in compact fluorescents, including what to do if one breaks.
Have ya heard about One Local Summer? Participants are cooking one meal per week with all local ingredients. I’m in. I do a pretty good job of eating local, but definitely space thinking about it sometimes so can’t ever definitively say I’m x% local. Being in California makes it easy too.
Participants are blogging their local eats, and reports are grouped regionally.
I’m pretty sure that it’ll be a few years before we need to dispose of our compact fluorescents, but the environmental scientist in me got a wee bit concerned when I saw the warning label on the package that said mercury was in the bulbs and so they should be properly disposed. As more people try to reduce their carbon footprint by swapping out their bulbs, I do worry that the average joe isn’t going to properly dispose of this new form of household hazardous waste.
This website, earth911, has a search engine to point you in the right direction to your US disposal resource. Both municipal and commercial recycling sites are listed.