Can Vegetation School Vegetables?

Preface: If you’re one who truly digs how humans have triggered (perhaps irreversible) climate change and how that can only negatively impact both flora and fauna; how it can only jeopardize the very habitability of our home world, you are not a vegetable. That said, be you afloat with the science or drowning in cluelessness, dig my own damning evidence of the looming troubles ahead…

Unplanned Field Experiment: Several weeks ago, this inveterate sixties era flower child enjoyed a few moments of preemptive gardening (more about that in a moment). My Goal: To set up a temporary, two foot tall wire fence capable of supporting two peony bushes, thereby extending their typical, 7 to 10 day peak blooming season; one that any garden-variety rain storm can end prematurely. Naturally, the major prob, here, is how these long stemmed fragile flowers simply cannot withstand even minor water retention.

Background: I’m reasonably certain that the plant that blooms white had been transplanted by my folks when our family of four transitioned from renters to homeowners back in June ’61. As for the one that blooms ruby red, it’d been my self-planted birthday present to my horticulturist mom (for her eightieth birthday). I can still vividly recall my greenhouse visit (purchase price a mere $8). And, by the by, that bygone MasterCard ad campaign which promises priceless memories remains spot-on. Anyway, it was one decade beyond that, upon inheriting my mom’s flowers (both indoors and out) that my motivation to honor her / keep her memory alive rendered this annual construction project akin to a labour of love. As such, I even welcome this upkeep.

Damning Evidence: Alas, during this 2021 lap around ol’ Sol, things did not pan out as planned. While my fence did successfully prop up the waterlogged blooms, the very next day, the flowers began turning sickly brown. I suspect the culprit is either acid rain or too much UV radiation (both?). And it doesn’t take much dot connecting to extrapolate that whatever shortens plants’ lifespan can similarly impact animal / human existence. Which brings us full circle back to my headlined Q:

Can Vegetation School Vegetables?

Long Sigh / Short Answer: That’d depend on the vegetables not remaining oblivious to the obvious evidence; e.g. such as that discovered right in my own backyard; and, doubtlessly, planet-wide, too. Or, in lieu of their heightened awareness / digging reality, their simply getting out of our way. After all…

To not dig the dangers of climate change is akin to digging humanity’s grave.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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A homebody & houseplant’s family trees

Ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve been admiring one of life’s few bright moments of 2020; the blooming of my family’s Christmas Cactus (botanists refer to it as Schlumbergera Truncata).

Following nearly an entire year’s worth of worthless events, which have torn life, as we once knew it, asunder, I could not help but let out my contented sigh, just this early a.m., as this profound sense of normalcy washed over me.

Imagine That! At least plant life can STILL get everything right!

Who couldn’t feel respect, even awe, for this decorative, stunningly attractive houseplant’s genetic instructions, all firmly rooted in antiquity; how this horticultural marvel knows how to decorate itself; and just in time for humankind’s year ending holidays, too!

However, what transcends even this wonderment, at least for me, is the symbiotic, oxygen / carbon dioxide, relationship between plant and animal life; the interactive merger of our two family trees.

While, re the ancestry aspects, I cannot dig much deeper than two generations ago, we must’ve met at some point shortly after the turn of the 20th century, when both sets of my grandparents emigrated stateside. At that juncture, the green thumb belonged to my maternal grandmother, who passed on in 1960.

Shortly thereafter, my mom’s sister began making regular Minnesota to Michigan Greyhound Bus trips to summer with us. On one of her early to mid 1970 visits, she brought along several “cuttings” from their mom’s Christmas Cactus. I recall watching, intently, as these two, green thumbed sisters expertly and successfully potted them.

I’m pretty sure that throughout all the decades that were to follow, my mom found much solace in the continuity; i.e., from just knowing that a part of her dear mother’s plant was now thriving within our household; would be brightening up all of our Christmases.

Then, when my mother passed on in 2003, it’d appear that I had inherited enough of her green thumb skills to ensure her houseplants would continue to flourish. And now I, too, sense that continuity; that same solace; just from knowing that my mom’s mom’s plant continues / will continue to brighten up my own Christmases.

I also sense a kindred spirit. Said she…

“During the holidays, the stores are filled with acres of blooming Christmas cacti. They flower brightly with blooms in red, pink, yellow, orange, white or purple. The average gardener can’t keep their hands from clasping one or more in exotic colors and rushing to the cash register. But at some point, reality intrudes and you not only want to keep it alive, you would like to have it bloom in future years. Why, you might even be leaving a giant, magnificent Christmas cactus to your heirs.” [read more here].

Ms. Gretchen Voyle • Michigan State University Extension • December 1, 2011

My best wishes, throughout our troublesome, 2020 holiday season. Hopefully you, too, can find similar solace while experiencing life’s simpler moments. With caution and patience, eventually, a more robust reality will be our reward.

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Dumb Donald’s Green Thumb?

For optimal effect, prior to playing back the clip, above, read the set up, below…

From 1973 – 82, long before the Real Donald became a (four-letter) household word, we found the clever (clairvoyant?) Match Game writers submitting Dumb Donald scenarios for emcee Gene Rayburn to recite to the panelists, contestants and all who were playing along in the home and studio audiences… situations such as…

Rayburn: Dumb Donald is soooooo dumb…
Audience: How dumb is he?
Rayburn: He tried to grow a bird by planting _____ in his backyard.

Soooooo… just how visionary were Mr. Rayburn’s “in-house” soothsayers / writers way back on (episode air date) February 27, 1978? Well they certainly were able to foresee the Real Donald’s inadequacies re all things science.

Were any shrink able to professionally slog through the vegetable garden… that is his mind… the good doctor might even discover a childish mash up of The Birds and the Bees and Horticulture… oh… say…

Donald’s misconceptions that babies are either grown in cabbage patches or get delivered by storks? Or to put a Wall Street spin on the latter… GROANER ALERT… baby shoppers roll their carts through their local Stork Market’s Re-Produce Section?

Hell, that’d be just as silly as farmer Dumb Donald trying to grow a bird by planting “blank” in his backyard… and speaking of that…

Seeing how plenty of time has elapsed since Gene first planted this Dumb Donald “seed” deep within the fertile imaginations of contestant Barbara and the celebs, alike, let’s scroll back up to discover how everyone fills in that blank… and how many matches will occur…

 

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