Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sacrificial Cells

Plants get sick. They develop soft rot and leaf spot and cankers of all sorts. They suffer ulcerous lesions, mildews, and various wilts and scabs.
Apple trees get fire blight, which blackens their leaves and twigs and is sometimes fatal. Potatoes are susceptible to late blight, as 19th century Ireland learned too well, and grapes are vulnerable to powdery mildew, which nearly wrecked the French wine industry.
In the U.S. alone, there are more than 25,000 known plant diseases causing crop losses of several billion dollars annually.

Figuring out how plants defend themselves against disease and bolstering those defenses has been a priority for agricultural researchers.

Continued at... Sacrificial Cells

Friday, February 8, 2013

So God Made a Farmer

by Paul Harvey.

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.

Continued at... So God Made a Farmer

Rural Delivery
Artwork: Farmer by Norman Rockwell

Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sweet Spot

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1993. All rights reserved.

I hadn't known it, but in my son's first cries I heard a sound I had been waiting all my life to hear. And everything I'd ever done, from learning to read in grade school to pruning last year's raspberry vines, seemed directed toward that moment. Whatever family my wife and I shared alone before the baby had suddenly blossomed like a flower from a bud, surprisingly brilliant and ambrosial.

Raised on a farmstead, I was no stranger to birth. I thought I could be a calm presence during the delivery. But as the hours of my wife's labors wore on and the emergence of my child grew more imminent I felt myself rising up on my toes with anticipation. I broke into a sweat. My mouth went dry. My heart throbbed intensely.

At birth, I choked up. Couldn't say nary a word. Just looked at the babe and then my wife and then back at the babe again. Inside myself, I was standing on a chair cheering and cheering

Continued at... Sweet Spot

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: Sweet Spot by Michael Hofferber