Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yet Another Snippet of Farm Life

It’s lonely here at the farm tonight, just me and 8,000 strawberry plugs.
The plugs that aren’t supposed to be here, that I thought would never come, are on a spiffy aluminum table outside the greenhouse, homeless, unplanted.
We order them together, a group of us, every year, and have them delivered here. The others farmers come and pick them up, I make excuses for all the weeds, and that’s it until next year. It’s an early September tradition, and about the only one there is.
Our plug grower, up in New Jersey, wrote and said they’d be shipped out late this year. His excuse was the weather. Late September, he said. Or October. Whenever his greenhouses got enough sunlight to coax those little plugs into actually growing some roots. I said we’d wait.
Last Friday a huge truck pulled up the driveway, and I immediately figured out the sun had been shining on the Garden State. So we scrambled to get them unpacked and watered. I called the other farmers and each called was met with the same glum, unenthusiastic, “Oh. That’s, um, good.” They hadn’t prepared their fields, either.
Not to worry, I said. They’re looking good and they’re being watered. I can keep ‘em here until you’re ready for them.
The greenhouses have become such that an extra 8,000 plants to water does not phase me.
Only, they’re still here. All 8,000 of them. No body can get any gas, and when they can, they don’t want to use it to drive all the way out here. The poor little plants are stranded here, unclaimed, orphaned, because of our failed energy policy.
I’ll be by as soon as I can, people keep telling me. Our local station is supposed to get a shipment in a few days.
And still they sit. Cheerful enough, perky even, in their little plastic plug trays, waving every time the wind blows. They think this is their home, for all I know. They don’t realize it’s just a weigh station. A lay over.We’d better get same gas soon or the little guys are going to root to the table. They’ll be here all winter. They’ll flower and fruit right here, all of ‘em, right in front of my greenhouse, a tangled mass of stunted strawberries serving as testimony to our dependence on petroleum.


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