Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Continued High Temperatures of all Sorts, Preserving Food, and Our Gardens
Waiting on tomatoes!
Between humidity, heat, mosquitoes, and politics (Wisconsin politics as reported by Rebecca Kemble) this summer just seems pesky. The economy is crappy, too. There's a lot to rile me up on a daily basis. Each day I try to concentrate on the things I can do something about and try not to worry about those things which I can't control.
I'm not advocating sticking your head in the sand, but I'm having a hard time finding the path on the beach. It's the same for many people these days it seems. The good things are probably not the easy things.
This weekend in the family garden, my sister-in-law made enormous strides in tilling. I was very impressed. Two torrential rainstorms, one in the morning, the other in the evening, have topped off any concerns I had for watering. Even with the heat, I am seeing small squash, pumpkins, and cukes forming. We are going to have quite a lot of vegetables. We are talking about doing some fall planting.
Here in the potager, mosquitoes are driving me crazy. They think my arrival in the yard signals "feast." The village sits on some of the springs and Mill Pond that feed the Pine River, and the water is arguably some of the cleanest in the state and also home to hoards of mosquitoes. I often spray DEET on myself to the point which I start to twitch (I swear!).
I worry about the quality of life here in the United States. Will these new world realities make us scramble to come up with good answers or will profit margins of multinational conglomerates keep financially raping the middle class? (It seems every time some economic indicators come back saying the economy has improved for the period, prices at the gas pump jump a few cents.
I came across these new stories about this company, the Tata Group, that has seemed to decide to develop products that address the severest needs of the most desperately poor in the world: shelter, clean water, and transportation.
This company seems to be demonstrating the sort of initiative which has made American manufacturing and research and development famous. This company, though, is Indian.
I have been watching the Cable China News Service lately. We Americans, I think, know so little about China. I don't wish to be quite so ignorant. They are going to have some serious issues with water quality and quantity, pollution, energy, and climate change. These are issues for which they have little or no government infrastructure in place to guide them. The business practices of the companies manufacturing within China for export to America because of low wages and lax environmental guidelines bothers me. Yet another reason, in addition to the balance of trade, to buy local.
I also have been worrying about the number of chemicals that are in our food supply that don't have any right being there. A particularly bad group of chemicals are endocrine disruptors like BPA.
So it comes down to the things I can control. Buy local, pay cash, preserve your harvest from your garden. Turn off all the lights, power strips, that you can. Recycle. Drive less. Everyone has to do these things. It starts small, but everyone has to do these things.
And those of you sitting on huge piles of cash, start investing it in energy production and products like those the Tata Group is manufacturing. And, do that manufacturing here in America, and if possible, right here in central Wisconsin. We have a great education system (a shout out for all you teachers in the state for a job well done!) and can develop any sort of labor pool you need. Consider us here in Wisconsin.
And keep swatting those mosquitoes! Each females hatches about 300 young in her lifetime, and only the females bite. Do what you can.