Friday, May 14, 2010

Flame weeders and Anna Lappé

On any given day, I never really know what is going to be strapped to my back. One day its a tank containing fish emulsion (aka fish-a-ria) that I use to foliar feed our plants in the ground. The next day its a propane tank with a hose that extends into a long cilindrical nozzle that shoots out a big blue flame. What is the latter for? Flame weeding. We essentially burn the weeds with a backpack version of a blow torch. I am no pyro, but it is pretty exciting to use such a dangerous tool to exact revenge on stubborn weeds. Although on the day that I tried using it the wind was pretty breezy and I feared that it would shift the blue flame my way (and light my Crocs on fire.)

Pig Castration
We had a surprisingly slow week in the garden, because the weather was not cooperating with us half of the time, so I spent some time working with the livestock crew. I had the honor of holding four male piglets, not at the same time of course, while someone else castrated them. ( I absolutely love the piggies and castrating is not a fun job, but sometimes you just gotta suck it up buttercup!) I had to hold all four legs in my two hands while resting his back on my stomach so I could expose the testis, all while he was squirming and squealing. I think my ears were ringing a bit after wards.

Anna Lappé
I have been frantically trying to read Diet for a Hot Planet in the past week in preparation for her talk on Thursday at Glynwood (being the good pupil that I am) but only made it half way. Her talk was good and engaging and basically a summary of the main message in the book. Anna mentioned how at one of her talks her book was described as a gloom sandwich. Which part was the bread (bad news or good news) Anna wasn't sure. But her book is all about providing the facts to empower you to make a difference. I appreciate that in a book. I need the good, bad, and the ugly but I also need to feel inspired. So far, I am at the gloom sandwich part of the book, I'll let you know how the rest of it goes.

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