Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

George Shirley (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 16:46:41

At 02:39 PM 6/25/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>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.  
Shoot, Margaret, you're not old. It's just that Ideeho is just now coming
into the Twentieth Century. When I was 13, a sophomore in high school, I
bought myself a set of plastic spacemen to play with. Besides being the
youngest sophomore in my high school I was also the only one with a car.
Being a farm kid I got an emergency license at 12 and my permanent license
at 14. Some of us old folks can remember when apples, oranges, walnuts,
Brazil nuts, etc were only seen at Christmas and it was a real treat to get
bananas. Dad would go down to the docks in Beaumont, Texas and buy a stalk
right off the banana boat. Mom would hang them in the closet to ripen
slowly and we would all live on bananas until they were gone. Ahh, to hell
with the old days, I like modern times and can grow my own flavorful food.

George, who lives through modern medicine