Gardening In The Nude (or New Use For Rhubarb)



From Gene Logsdon

One of the greatest mysteries of life for me is society’s ambivalence about the naked human body. People line up by the hundreds every day to get a look at Michelangelo’s anatomically-correct statue of David. But if a real live David were to stand naked beside that statue, the sex police would haul him away, even in Italy where nude statues are as common as pizza.

I once did a lot of “research” into the subject of outdoor nudity. Research for a writer means I “asked around.” What gives here, anyway?

Raw Deals Over Raw Milk




One of the saddest stories I have ever written appeared in the February, 1982, issue of The New Farm magazine. It was about a farmer in Iowa who went to jail for selling raw milk. I don’t know if he is still alive and I doubt he wants to stir up an old turd as we used to say so I won’t use his name. I confess to being prejudiced in favor of unpasteurized milk because I grew up on it and drank for most of my lifetime. I still have all my own teeth at age 84, have followed a rather rigorous life in spare time sports and broken only one bone, when I was in my 70s and had no business still playing football. But I am not against pasteurized milk if that’s what pleases you. We are supposed to be free enough in this land of the free and home of the brave, to drink whatever kind of milk we prefer.

The farmer who went to jail for bootlegging milk had a thriving business going, as many as 500 customers. When the law stepped in, one particularly persisted buyer would not take no for an answer. Her doctor had prescribed raw milk for her child and nothing else would do. The farmer decided to ignore the law. The law lowered the boom.

Lawn Farming, The Next Big Thing




Last week’s discussion in the comments section about making hay the simple, old fashioned way led me on to grandiose thoughts. Sounds crazy but the logic is all there. We have 40 million acres of lawns in this country. We spend $30 billion on lawn care. We annually irrigate our lawns with seven billion gallons of water and thirty million tons of fertilizer. That’s enough to make an awful lot of hay for an awful lot of livestock and chickens. An acre of regular hay makes three to eight tons or more per acre and I imagine lawn hay, fertilized and irrigated so preciously would produce in the middle of that range. Bluegrass and white clover cut short as they are in lawns, would dry out quickly, could be raked and sucked up with air bags for dry hay, or packed in bags as silage. Instead, we are taking this forage, some 200 million tons of what could be the best hay ever and the only feed the animals would need and  for which the manpower and the machinery needed is already in place, and throwing most of it away.

Okay, so you wouldn’t want to use herbicides and pesticides on those lawns, or only a little, but so? If you are getting a good price for your good hay, or feeding it yourself to your own livestock, who needs all those “cides”? Money in the pocket makes dandelions on the lawn almost invisible. 


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