Week 19 (Chicago Week 17)

List of this week's vegetables

  • Maxibell Green beans
  • New England Pie Pumpkin
  • Oriole Chard AND Eggplant
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots AND Gold Potatoes
  • Romaine lettuce AND Parsley
  • Peppers ( green, colored and hot)
  • Redventure celery
  • Tomatoes AND Red Russian Kale
  • Garden Extra- Artichokes, Okra, Broccoli OR Purple Peacock

Is it grandma or the wolf, opportunity or disaster? 

My daddy shined our shoes.  Sunday mornings. Home from swing shifts and overtime in a soybean processing plantthat paid for those shoes.

I watched, intrigued from behind a bowl of corn flakes. He gave the simple process a Hoosier’s flair. Darkening, spitting, polishing.

It was not unlike Tom Sawyer, making it all seem so easy, even fun, like whitewashing a fence, until I couldn’t wait to take over the chore.

Yet an early-morning radio show was doing all the talking. I could tell my father was listening, thinking hard, taking mental notes.

You could call it a “dollars out of sense” sort of program.  The host had a neighborly voice, conversational delivery, friendly tone. Tips on saving money, cutting costs, budgeting and planning.

And the program always ended segments with some sort of fatherly admonition to keep ever in mind that opportunity knocks, yet we must open the door.

That’s been the hardest thing for me to figure out in life, especially the past 30 years since my father died, so young. When is the knock at the door opportunity? When is it a pretender, courting disaster?

From national forums, to community meeting rooms, common people are struggling to discern who is presenting, who is pretending, opportunity.

Generations of farmers, working extra hours, extra jobs, like my dad, to buy things their families needed, have tried to answer that question. Town and city folk at first found opportunity in serving surrounding farms. Somewhere along the line, servers became consumer masters.

Yet now increasingly everyone struggles to answer the riddle. What is opportunity? What is exploitation? Who among us, in countryside or city, is not powerless to answer opportunity, or fend off exploitation?

Global forces, national and international powers and policies, beyond control of any one farmer or consumer here at home, increasingly seem to hold all opportunity.  With laws passed swiftly in Madison and Washington, they don’t even seem to knock at the citizen’s door.

Will only histories of ruin resulting from our generation’s bad decisions be our children’s and grandchildren’s teachers about what was really opportunity?

Maybe the answer is beside the kitchen table, in an example of caring for things, instead of buying cheap and throwing away. Maybe it’s in listening to voices of reason and good will. Maybe it’s in our own self-control, not dollars being placed above good sense.

Who’s that knocking? Are you listening? They’re trying to get us to buy something, believe in something, make decisions that affect our health as well as our pocketbooks. It’s actually affecting our entire Natural world, too.

Maybe we should go to the door, answer the door – together.

Last call for visiting the 2015 growing season

We’d like to celebrate the season’s end with you. We’d like to hear your advice in person. Come to Scotch Hill’s end-of-season potluck, this weekend, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10. Bring a dish to pass. Let us know to expect you. Share in the work of the day, or at least give us some good advice for the future. We want to hear from you, especially in-person.