Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guilford Garden Tours

Since my daughter Megan is a junior board member of the Friends of Music at Guilford, I should probably make sure that one of their fundraisers gets mentioned here. The annual Guilford Garden Tours takes place tomorrow (June 29, 2008) and features tours of area gardens, exhibits, crafts, foods, and music. The Reformer also has details.

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Garlic scapes

I've never grown garlic until this past year, so I basically ignored the curly stalks that burst out between the leaves this past couple of weeks. That is, until a friend who also grows garlic told me that they're entirely, deliciously edible. And that they make a mean pesto. So today I snipped them all and pureed some of them with olive oil, walnuts, and parmesan cheese. It turns out to be a lighter green than traditional basil pesto, but it's very tasty. Snipping the stems also allows more of the plant's energy to go into developing the bulb underground. So in a few weeks I should have a fine harvest of hardneck garlic.

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Self-serving evolution

When a deer fly lands on me, I kill it. I'm quite sensitive to the little buggers buzzing around my head when I go get the paper or when I'm out for a hike or run. Since deer flies are quite a bit larger than mosquitoes or gnats I know exactly when and where they touch down on me. And I'm quick to end their lives. Sometimes they'll get off a quick bite, but still, they're smushed into oblivion before they can lift off again. Whatever deer flies are supposed to do to carry on their lives after they've bitten a host has been staunched under my palm for those few that dare to touch me. So I figure eventually I will eliminate all deer flies that are genetically attracted to my particular scent. I'm not sure how long "eventually" is, but if I live long enough the process of evolution should select out all those deer flies that are attracted to me. It just does not make sense from a "survival of the fittest" perspective for them to land on me. After all, given a really, really long period of time I could wipe out the entire deer fly species. So one day far into the future nature should recognize (theoretically) that I am lethal to deer flies and blacklist me from their pool of targets. Until that day, I'll be exploiting Darwin's theory one smack at a time.

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