The ground is frozen now. It might still be possible to get a fencepost down, but I am not sure I’ll be able to find out for sure. We performed a flurry of fencing last week and might have moved onto the next thing now. It happens: farmer attention spans are not consistently long or short. The post-hole auger is still on the tractor, however, so obviously we are unwilling to commit completely on that issue.
Be that as it may, my frozen fingers are telling me that winter is just about here. All that is missing is that big snow storm. One wonders when the first wallop of winter will hit.
Not that I have frozen fingers right now of course, ensconced as I am at my nice, warm desk where I intend to be a lot more in the coming weeks. It’s time to balance the scales a little in terms of computer usage. I have to do my part to keep the per capita screen time numbers up. In the summer, I can count on about 60 minutes per week. In the winter, I can aim for something more — 60 minutes a day, perhaps. Imagine what I could do in that amount of time. A lot, if there was no internet.
Internet there is, however, and I am a keen user. It is distracting me right this minute, as a matter of fact, as I dart off to check a website I haven’t been on for months: The Cornucopia Institute. There are a few past newsletters I would like to read, including an interesting article on the “organic is too expensive” theme. Not that there is much to be done about that issue. It’s not like we are going to charge less and then do without Christmas presents or anything.
Gone again. This time, what was supposed to be a quick foray to checks dates for the potato conference in Washington that I would like to attend is sidetracked by the national convention website, this year being held in Texas where the keynote speaker is an MLB pitcher and almost every session is sponsored by a chemical company. It also has a “women in the potato industry” reception. I imagine feeling insecure in a room full of well-dressed agricultural executives. Not keen.
I am particularly interested in the trade show portions of these events. We don’t use chemicals, and as most of the sessions are about chemical selection — alternating between “crop protection” chemical effectiveness studies and suggestions on what to do when crops, weeds and pests seem resistant to those chemicals — I instead choose to wander through acres of equipment on display.
Skipping as I am now through a few more potato organization websites leads me to the conclusion that the issues of the day facing big, conventional potato growers are chemical resistance and regulatory burdens. We have just begun to scratch the surface of selling seed potatoes, so I can confirm that there is a lot more to it than just announcing the intention.
I think I might skip conventions this year. I could save up for the 2015 9th World Potato Congress in Beijing. Or, look at this one, the International Potato Technology Expo held in Prince Edward Island. Predictably, my pulse quickens at the thought of visiting the earthly throne of the spud and I execute a quick click to see about flights, the cost for which return my flights of fancy to earth with a gentle, firm bump.
This darned Internet: it has completely hi-jacked my article this week.