Black Lake Organic Newsletter for May 2012

May Days are the fairest days of all. Certainly they are at our place, when the multitude of rhododendrons and azaleas of all colors are in full bloom. That’s how it was two years ago when my younger brother, John, now deceased and laid to rest at the cemetery that sits beside the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, came to see Suzanne and I. Those were happy times when John and daughter Michelle visited for a true reunion.

Mother’s Month – May was also the right month picked to honor mothers, and our Mother is there also. May 13th is Mother’s Day. There was wisdom too in the choice of May for Memorial Day. Holidays are not just days off, they are holy days – – – days for remembrance, and days to marvel at the beauty of creation. Pardon my (GK) purely personal preaching in this newsletter issue.

Tomato Transplants come out for sale in May. Ours are grown right here, and transplanted into our custom Mineral-Augmented Organic potting mix. We try to hold off putting them out until after the day of Average Last Frost, but this year they are so big and beautiful we have to risk the chance of a freeze and put them out for sale on Saturday, May 5th. These are truly the best you can buy. They are not your average, store-bought, spindly tomato plants, but healthy, robust, sturdy plants. They sell for $3.00, and will outpace any survivors you may have purchased elsewhere.

Tomato Varieties have been slimmed-down from the 50-some we once offered, to a favored few. Here they are:

Big Beef, Early Girl, Juliet, Large Red Cherry, Manitoba, Mortgage Lifter, Oregon Spring, Persimmon, Red Pear, Roma, Siletz, Sungold and Super Marzano

Later this month we will also have:

Early Goliath, Stupice and Super Sweet 100

Pepper and Eggplants will also be available later this month. Our two eggplant varieties are Black King and Millionaire. Our popular peppers include:

California Wonder, Early Jalapeno, Golden Star, Italian Sweet, Long Thin Cayenne, Pizza Pepper, Wonder Bell, Yum Yum Gold and Gourmet

Speaking of Gourmets – Suzanne and I had a truly memorable dinner at the shore of San Juan Island the evening of April 20th, when we travelled there to make a presentation to the San Juan County Master Gardeners meeting at Friday Harbor. Our gracious hosts were Bob and Lauren Levinson. Honored guests were Graham and Treena Kerr. Many will recall Graham as TV’s Galloping Gourmet. Every bit the charming and inspiring person off-screen as on, Graham is an unusually engaging intellect and moral positivity force. He moved me. I’ll be kinder and gentler, for a while at least. What made the evening (and our fabulous meal) truly magical was the discovery of our kinship of interest in the pursuit of healthy eating, and how to get everyone there through correct food gardening. Evidence is piling up that we are headed for a dietary and agricultural turn-around that can’t come too soon.

Speaking of Correct Diet – The best single source of nutritional information (in my considered opinion) is Nourishing Traditions, by Fallon and Enig. BLO now has copies of this book for sale at $27.00. Worth a truckload of supplements.

The Substance of my Friday Harbor speech on “The World’s Most Important Message” is the role of minerals in correct growing of plants and people. In that connection, I spoke of an ocean resource product call Sea Crop, which I recently have been taking in a daily tablespoonful. Some of the workshop attendees were predictably incredulous that seawater can be a crop fertilizer, and the consuming of sea salt a nutritional boon. The speech also went out to our 1,000 (plus or minus) readers and evoked the following comment:

“I use Sea Crop, and have been preaching this message for years. People just don’t listen. You rock. Thanks for your useful articles.” Sam De

Sam, you just have to keep beating on them. Graham Kerr calls it consistency or constancy.

Pardon My Optimism – I’m not known for my polyanna views, but I thought I could get away with expressing a little optimism about the general economy in our Mid-April newsletter. This was based on the observation that business was up at BLO, which perhaps is a barometer of the economy. I’ve heard a number of sky-is-falling predictions over the years about the economy, which never came entirely true. But I got blow-back on my timid prediction, which I hoped might have a butterfly effect globally. Here’s a response from Jordan to the newsletter item titled “Economic Turn-Around”:

“Hi Gary,
First of all, thank you for what you do and creating your organic fertilizers for us to benefit from. After reading your recent email update, I noticed something I respectfully disagree with: “I wish this were true, but the economy isn’t any better than it was a few years ago. The Fed is just good at temporarily masking the problems they’ve created. I believe more people are deciding to grow their own food because money is tight. I only say this because I’ve been researching this situation and our economy is destined for failure (dollar = 0) if we continue with ‘business as usual’. I’m very happy for you, however, that you are benefiting. Your chosen profession is a noble one, and stewarding the land is what we ALL need to do to help our Mother Earth rejuvenate herself and repay her for giving us life. Thank you again for being the strong foundation in my gardening life.” Jordan

A Second Opinion – The sharp eye of Kay Timmis, now on the BLO staff, brought in this newspaper item from the front page of the April 23rd issue of USA Today:

“Optimism Shows in Survey on Economy: Forecasters see stronger growth. The U.S. economy will grow faster than expected this year, despite the headwinds of higher gas prices and Europe’s financial crisis, according to USA Today’s quarterly review of economists. – – – The economy is strengthening enough that two-thirds expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than its 2014 target – – –

[additionally] the unemployment rate in March was 8.2% – – – [53% of] economists say the rate will fall below 7% [by 2014].”

Maybe if we wish and pretend hard enough it will happen even sooner. We need more butterflies flapping.

Errata: In a speech titled “What’s So Great About Organic Gardening?”, presented to The Firs Senior Living Community on April 27th (and sent out that day to our general readership), I made an incorrect statement suggesting that all 20 known nutrient elements of plants are minerals. Correct that. Just 16 are minerals or inorganic elements, while 4 are organic, non-minerals (namely carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen) that come originally out of the air, rather than out of the ground.

Look Around You – Take a survey. People sick and dying all around of degenerative diseases, and we mostly act resigned to it. It needn’t be that way. We can turn it around if we wake up to the fallacies of conventional dietary advice and hoaxes of conventional medical wisdom. People: Do listen up! It’s almost all about real food, nutrition and true health – – – without which there is little happiness.

Simply Put – If your ancestors ate it, it almost certainly is good for you. That was the blueprint. As I’ve been saying for years: “Convenience will be the death of us.” The time for “will be” has passed. It’s time to strike out on a new path. The Old Testament says we started out in a garden. That’s the obvious place to start anew. Join in the turn-around. Recruit your neighbors. GK


Thank you for sharing!
Black Lake Organic
4711 Black Lake Blvd. S.W.
Olympia, WA 98512