So this past week I listened to a great podcast. It was the 6/09/08 Democracy Now broadcasting Bill Moyers keynote address at the National Conference for Media Reform. AMAZING!!! What a job we all face. If any of you have the time, it's well worth listening to. This past week I also finished a book I've been reading, Flower Confidential. It's kind of like a flower version of the omnivore's dilemma, but without as much of the ethical pathos that Pollen creates. I personally think it would have been better if she would have presented more questioning about the flower trade system as is, but it was a good read and I definitely learned quite a few things. Such as: there are flower companies in central/south america that will dip whole flowers, flower bud first, into vats of fungicides so that the flowers will pass though US customs (note to self: gross, no more rose petal baths!); flower imports make up nearly 80% of all flowers purchased nationwide (note to self: grow more flowers); California dominates the domestic market, growing 68% of the flowers in the US (California, no doubt about it); there are roses in Ecuador that grow five ft tall and have a bloom the size of a softball (note to self: DANG!); imported flowers are not tested for illegal pesticide residue (vegetables are); at the customs checkpoint for flowers and veggies in Miami, if a box of flowers fails inspection or is questionable regarding insects and fungus, sometimes the flowers will be fumigated in a special methyl bromide chamber at the airport (disgusting); Stewart writes "flowers aren't the only item subject to fumigation....all of the asparagus coming in from Peru was fumigated as a matter of course," including organic no spray asparagus (never again will we yearn for out of season asparagus); the Swiss spend over 100 dollars on flowers per capita annually, with Holland, Germany, and Great Britian all spending forty to sixty dollars per capita. The US only spends 26 dollars per capita, and most of that spending is concentrated on a relatively small number of households (fellow friends, indulge yourselves with local flowers!) That is probably enough for everyone to digest. She also takes the reader through the Aalsmeer flower auction in Holland which sounds pretty fascinating. So this beautiful creature munching on some old dill we have is a black swallowtail caterpillar, also known as a parsleyworm. I almost walked right by it as they camouflage themselves so well. I think they are so gorgeous. If only I could have such color and vibrancy and patterns of delight. And then to metamorphosize into a black swallowtail??!! I wonder what the human equivalent of metamorphasis would be. I could use a cacoon right about now. Come out on the other side capable of flying; sounds good to me. And here is another pic of an item I can't wait to eat. MELONS!!!! We have so many melons this year. We hope they're as good as last year. We get customers for life from a good melon. We're trying some new varieties this year as well. Last year our best variety was "orange coban" or something with coban in the name. It was an heirloom and I have never tasted a more delicious canteloupe.
The flowers up top and here are bouquets I made up for our special community dinner at Panciuto which was a great experience.Salpiglossis (or peruvian lily), scarlet scabiosa, black knight scabiosa (love it!), ping-pong scabiosa, and lime zinnias made for a nice dark expression of romance and intimacy. We weren't all making out or anything at the dinner, but hopefully the flowers helped to increase the convivial mood. Stuart and I had to talk for a brief while before dinner was served and of course I was nervous for hours leading up to it. It wasn't so bad. I actually rambled on and on and think I may have not let Stuart talk enough. The food was amazing as always and Panciuto is hosting more of these dinners if anyone is interested. Well worth it.