Small Streams

Non-Ironic Carhartts
March 16, 2008, 11:28 am
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Commentary on the state of farming can be found in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times. ‘Twas ever thus: The Egg and I, the farming stories of S. J. Perleman, and, of course, Green Acres. Young folks find their way back to the garden, learn about life, cold hard economics, early mornings in freezing rain, etc.

But it’s in the styles section, along with the wedding announcements and stories on relationships, probably for a good reason: this “trend” amounts to a few anecdotes and will only affect the finances of a few. In some ways it’s a typical fashion story, one that gets as irritating as all the ones I’ve read in the past forty years. There’s a new trend among the young.

“Having a cool cheese in your fridge has taken the place of knowing what the cool band is, or even of playing in that band,” she said. “Our rock stars are ricotta makers.”

Wow! As Liz says (I’m pretty sure ironically. By the way, our generation invented irony), “They’ve discovered buying groceries.” Young people live turbulent lives. They then settle down. Newspapers print up stories about it.

What is significant about this story is that there is some evidence that people’s lives are changing. Like a Michael Pollan pipedream, more people are going to the Greenmarket and more farmers are signing up to sell their food there. Maybe we might be getting closer to being locavores. (By the way, today’s Bizarro makes me think that Dan P. is losing it.)

So where do I stand? Where’s my soil? For the past number of years I’ve been a good composter. This year I want to take it to the next level. I know my efforts are a drop in the bucket, and that I’m hypocritical, and depraved, or perhaps just cranky. But if those darned kids can raise enough produce to pay the rent, then I can at least try to raise a few bags of groceries myself.

Please help me out if you can. I want to start a garden. Let me know of good sources of non-hybrid seeds for the following:

  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • marigolds
  • peppers
  • nasturtiums
  • cilantro

Just drop a line to mail at markstroup dot com.

And good luck to all those farmers from Williamsburg. If you ever come to Pittsburgh, I’ll buy you a Pabst. Send me an e-mail if you need some help harvesting.

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[…] curmudgeon I know holds forth: Commentary on the state of farming can be found in the Sunday Styles section of the […]

Pingback by On Non-Ironic Carhartts : clusterflock

Try Jung Seeds ( or Burpee ( Or just check out for useful advice.

Heck, if my peppers take off in the next week or so, I’ll have to give away a whole bunch.

Comment by Dave

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