Monday, February 6, 2012

Now What? Oh, sclerotia.

So I finished 1Q84 this past week and have been in a bit of a stupor ever since. It feels as if I've spent a few intense weeks with a newfound friend and all of a sudden the friend is gone, having vanished even in the imaginary space we did share. I walk around the house scanning the books we do have on the shelves (admittedly, embarrassingly, most of our books are still in boxes from when we moved two Novembers ago. yes, i'm serious.) and nothing will do. I wasn't even that crazy about the story, but there is something so enthralling about the way Murakami writes that I am all his when I read his books. He blurs the line between different worlds so successfully you forget which one is real. A true magician with thought processes.
We've been dealing with lots of tulips around here lately. Unfortunately they aren't my best and I'm beginning to get a complex about what the hell am I doing wrong. I wish I was a soil whisperer; I would pick up a handful of soil, blow some of it in the air and right before my eyes it would form sparkling constellations telling me what I need to add to make my flowers grow to perfection. Instead, I go into the hoophouse and watch sclerotia spread like wildfire. What is sclerotia you ask? No, it's not some obscure male body part lurking in rarely visited sweaty creases. Sclerotinia Stem Rot, more commonly called 'white mold' or 'farmer's nightmare' or 'what the *#^* and I supposed to do with this'.
It is a nasty business that is wreaking havoc in our hoophouses. We have NO IDEA what we should do about it. It goes crazy during wet, wintry conditions but also rears its ugly spores anytime it wants. Can live for seven years dormant in the soil. Wonderful for us. I guess I should count our lucky stars our flowers have done as well as they have. But enough of the sadness.
I'll end this on a positive note; baby Ruth is now laughing out loud in earnest, but only when we try very very hard. She doesn't laugh at just anything, it's gotta be real cray cray to deserve her giggles. She's making me and Stuart stay on our toes I tell ya. And she is loving her toes. Cutest girl. We are so lucky.


Sarah said...

that book sits heavily next to my bed staring at me each night. haven't gotten past page 25 or so.
I just read the Marriage Plot and liked it.

Gigi Lee said...

Alice, love this blog entry, mixing in the good with the bad. Sorry to hear about the white mold affecting your tulips, but hopefully the next batch will be back to your normal, which really is extraordinary. I'm so happy to see Ruth getting bigger and she has some soul in those eyes of hers. Can't wait to see you all again! - Leia

Anonymous said...

We always have white mold issues in our hoops when the fans aren't running right or we don't roll up the sides enough to vent them. Is there anything you can do to increase air circulation on nice days? I've heard from my Dad (who is a plant pathologist) that soil solarization does a good job of reducing the spore load in the soil. If you can afford to let the hoop lie fallow long enough to solarize the soil during the summer (4 weeks-ish), it might be worth a try. White-mold is a pain, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. Good luck!