Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

An Intergenerational Study on the Appeal of Corms

The gladiolus are in. (Gladioli?)
Slowly, the blooms crawl up the stalks and unfold, not unlike an old radio serial drama.
I cut them and bring them to market, stick them in a big plastic bucket and let people buy them.
"Oh, gladiolus! My grandmother used to grow these!"
And people purchase, presumably, the simplicity of yesteryear.
Does anyone other than people's memories of their grandmothers still grow gladioli, and if not, why are they still offered in catalogs? Has no one seen a glad since they were six, skipping across grandma's front yard with a skinned knee and a nickel Coke?
I didn't start growing glads as some attempt at hipster cred, I grant you, but neither did I anticipate the overwhelming reaction would be one of nostalgia. I'm left wondering why people are so quick to snap up the glads and so reluctant to grab onto something more current, say, lime green echinacea.
It introduces the largeridea of the appeal of farmer's markets in the first place. Whilst I grant you that many customers want nothing greater than fresh, local organic produce, there may be many who want just a little more for their dollar.
Simplicity? Innocence? The, um, good old days? There's no question that the iconic American farm is a powerful marketing tool. Look only to the verdant rows of crops and the well-constructed barns that adorn the labels of so many food products. These are not simple times, and we seek comfort in the appeal of the hearth. The land. Main Street. A few stems of gladioli.
Thus, a farmer's market, touted by some as the food source of the future, owes a lot of it's success to the past. Farmer's markets are a portal to another time, when life isn't so hectic and times are simpler. They're like Cracker Barrel, only without bathrooms.


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