Re: [gardeners] Gardening NOT happening in Bastrop Co.

Allen Merten (
Sun, 30 Jan 2000 01:21:54 -0600

Hi Margaret,
    Our soil is acidic. The west Texas sands are alkaline. I use the wood
ashes as fungus/rot inhibitor on the cut potatos. We put the ashes in a bag,
drop in the cut potato pieces, shake it good, remove and let dry on
newspapers. My family has been doing this for 3-4 generations. We always
make a good potato crop. No problem with the seed pieces rotting in the
ground before the sprouts break through.
    Farm and Ranch prices are pitiful. If people actually knew what packers
and commodities whole sellers actually pay and the mark up they get, retail
prices would make people real mad.
    The only way to make any money now in produce is to be near a upscale
market, with high demand for organically grown produce or for fresh produce.
The upscale type markets here pay well for fresh produce. Organic produce
brings even higher prices. Selling direct to a restaurant that advertises
it's fare as health wise will bring good prices too. The farmer who is
selling to wholesalers for the general market is getting taken for a ride to
bankruptcy. The retailer like grocery stores aren't the ones making the
obscene profits. Its the giant wholesale companies that are. One of these
days the public is going to find that they can't find the selection of
produce, meat and dairy products at the low prices that they once did. The
people that once grew and raised such prolific amounts of food are going to
be out of business. The giant agri-business conglomerates will control how
much is produced and how much it costs.
    I'm glad that we will be self sufficient in most food items. No telling
how badly we will get gouged for milk, sugar, flour, coffee and other things
that we can't raise ourselves.
    One other thought about agri-business controlled food. The public is
going to have to eat adulterated food containing no telling what in the way
of chemicals, genetically engineered produce and meat. One example of the
power of agri-biz: contaminated products like beef are already on the market
every day. Agri-biz lobbied Congress to reduce the food safety inspection
service to the point that inspection is virtually non-existent. Our food
instead of being the safest in the world, is at about the same level of
safety as 3rd world countries. Remember the admonition in the old days about
not drinking the water or eating fresh fruits and vegetables in other
countries because of contamination sicknesses that people came down with?
Beef can now be purchased in this countries grocery stores and fast food
restaurants that is contaminated with e-coli and salmonella. E-coli is
generally found in/on meat that has been exposed to animal feces. If a beef
carcass falls to the floor during the removal of intestines, it is picked up
and placed back on a hook to continue the butchering process. Sometimes it
gets washed off with a water hose, sometimes it does not. E-coli is not
killed by rinsing with tap water. When inspectors were present in the old
days, that carcass was deemed contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
No more, it is considered fit for you and me to eat.
    Oh well, here I am on that soap box again. I'm glad that my family is
not eating that meat.
    Bastrop Co., SE Central Tx.
    Zone 8