April 12, 2010

The above is the beginning of a series that appeared a decade ago. The dialog has nothing to do with COVID-19, but I think some of what is said harmonizes with discussions we’re going to be having among ourselves, especially as the pandemic drags on. Probably, “Gen-X fad” would have been more accurate. A lot of members of the baby boomlet were attracted to an agrarian existence, and some are still at it. Their moment may have come. I, myself, gave up on gardening, because I’m so awful at it. In fact, when I think about it, this series originally coincided with the peak of my gardening phase. That said, I am going to give it another go this spring. It won’t be anything large or ambitious, but it will be something to do, and with any luck at all perhaps I’ll get a few tomato sandwiches out of it. If you do follow the link and read the entire series, which I hope you will, stick around for the Sunday. It’s cute.

33 responses to “Locovores”

  1. I gardened until about 25 years ago when the deer got so bad. Then ten years ago I built two raised beds with fencing around them, only to be defeated by juglone, the substance excreted by black walnuts, even though the walnut grove is some 60 feet away. So then I moved to a couple of tomatoes in containers, and set squirrels buried walnuts in them, which sprouted and poisoned the soil!

    • Years ago, we tried to grow tomatoes in our yard for a couple of years before an older neighbor pointed to our big walnut tree sand explained that not much will grow in the vicinity of those.

      New house, I get tomatoes when the critters leave them.

      • My married daughter is allergic to tree nuts. Perhaps she’s a bit nutty herself — they bought an older home last year with walnut trees. Her boys love eating them, so I guess it’s gonna be fine.

  2. The Sunday 4/18/12 Retro strip: It IS cute and I would LOVE to have Arlo and Janis for neighbors.
    Today’s Live strip: Where’s a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle when you need one? (BTW, If you haven’t already ordered one, you’re probably out of luck. The suppliers are waaaaay backed up.)

  3. My dad was a great gardener. He started as a teen in WWII and got a victory garden award. He gardened a little corner of his yard as long as I can remember.

    I did not get the green thumb gene but I do enjoy our little chicken flock. We started last summer and now get 3 to 5 eggs a day from 5 hens. Anybody need fertilizer?

  4. Years ago, we tried to grow tomatoes in our yard for a couple of years before an older neighbor pointed to our big walnut tree sand explained that not much will grow in the vicinity of those.

    New house, I get tomatoes when the critters leave them.

  5. An easy way for Arlo to get into the ‘local production’ thing is to take up beer brewing. It’s not rocket science and it beats tilling the ground.

  6. My wife and I manage our town’s community garden. Over the past decade, we’ve expanded from 40 to 70 plots, ranging from 300 to 600 square feet. In most years, we use social media to fill plots being vacated and cross our fingers enough people sign up. This year, we were going though the same ‘will-they-or-won’t-they-come?’ gyrations until the start of March. Now, not only is every plot filled; several gardeners have invited in neighbors, and we have a wait list with five names on it. All it takes is a pandemic to get people interested in gardening!

  7. Quite a few Chefs in MN are locally sourcing raw material from small farmers.
    Back in ’75-’78 was a comedy program “Good Neighbors” about an (English)
    couple that were trying to be self-sufficient on their suburban lot.
    Then there is “Homestead Rescue” people trying to live off the land – with as little as
    5 acres.(Sometimes in the middle of the desert where it takes several hundred acres
    to feed one cow)(Or living on 13 acres where 10 is straight up and down).
    It is not easy farming on 500 acres with modern equipment.

  8. Pity all those spouses that said they would do it when they had time.
    🙂 no excuse now.
    When I get an urge to do something I sit down till it passes.

  9. ? “At that keg party.”

    I remember the “Gen-X fad” at the time of these strips, people farming in cities even. One woman local to me, Novella Carpenter, actually tried raising pigs in Oakland, California. She wrote a book, Farm City, about her journey. (The pigs didn’t really work out, she switched to chickens and goats and is still at it a decade later.)

    One of my favorite parts of the book is when she goes to the library to find a Baby Boom-era back-to-the-land publication, the Whole Earth Catalog. It comes across as digging up ancient, arcane knowledge from a bygone era, and indeed it’s back in the library’s reference section, locked up behind glass.

  10. Jimmy, when I look at the older cartoons, I’m always struck by the low numbers of ?s registered, compared to the number generated these days. Was it just a LOT slower online than it is now, 10 years after? Or do the reactions of people who drop off the site disappear along with them? Also, it’s pretty reflexive for me to ? your strips, but are you rewarded even on the old strips if I ? them?

  11. We lost Al Kaline today. He was one of the last links to my Grandpa who died 50 years ago and my Grandpa would listen to Ernie Harwell and loved Al.

    The neat thing is that Al Kaline was nice to EVERYONE. More importantly, we knew that even before he died. The tributes are huge.

    After hitting .294 in 1971, Kaline became the first Tiger to sign a $100,000 ($631,306 in today’s dollars) contract. He had turned down a pay raise from $95,000 to $100,000 the previous year, saying he did not feel like he deserved it after hitting .278 with 21 home runs in 1970.

    When Reggie Jackson said that they would name a candy bar after him if he ever signed with the Yankees (They did), my roommate, who was a big Tiger fan “That’s nothing, EverReady named a batter after Alkaline”.

    He had a stroke at 85 and it was not COVID related.

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