Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

Margaret Lauterbach (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 14:39:52 -0600

>Enter the Age of Merchandising of Diversity in Foodstuffs? Are we going to 
>see 30 years of heirloom and "new hybrid" proliferation akin to the 
>industrial "model of the year" of industrial output (and software, and 
>Will what worked for deodorant and toothpaste and tennis shows work for 
>'taters and 'maters? Should it?
harrumph!  You whippersnappers raised after the poverty of the GD (Great
Depression) and the pinching shortages of WWII were the recipients of toys.
 Toys were just not manufactured in any sort of variety for children whose
parents couldn't afford to buy food AND toys, and when WWII came along,
nobody manufactured toys.  After WWII toy counters began to grow and grow,
and now they have whole stores devoted only to toys, and toy manufacturing
is Big Business.  Aside: when I was 14 I bought myself a plastic
grasshopper with a suction cup on its stomach and spring wire for legs, and
had great fun watching when it to try to predict when it would leap into
the air.  Then the baby boomers went to plastic shoes, hula hoops and
poodle skirts, and not just one color but every color and fabric
imaginable.  Marketers competed with one another who could carry the
largest variety of crap, and the frenzy caught on in the seed business
where they bred fragrance out of flowers and toughened up the veggies so
they could be machine harvested and shipped over bumpy roads.  They already
have hybrids of the year, and some of the hybrid seed companies are
awakening to the fact that their products are....well, tasteless.  So
they're carrying some heirloom varieties.  Their customers are already
shopping in heirloom catalogs for some seeds, and they'd like to bring them
back to an all Burpees hybrid blowout.  

In short, your generation and the generations following are already dazzled
by multiple choice purchasing.  Why should veggies be any different?
Margaret, who is an old whippersnapper who remembers when knickers were
popular on golf courses (not the British definition of knickers, for sure),
not just a novelty.