Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peach Festival

Cardoon in bloom

This morning I went to the Fruit Exchange in the next town over. This would be the equivalent of a feed store in most of rural America; here in the fruit belt, though, these places also serve the purpose of processing fruit from the smaller producers. I needed to get chicken scratch and some cheap fall-harvest seeds like spinach and peas, as well as some green manure. (Green manure? It is a cover crop that you let grow in your raised beds in the fall to be turned under the dirt in the spring to add some nutrients to the soil, thus, "green" manure. It is one of those standard organic practices employed by tons of us woo-woo gardeners: one shouldn't let one's beds sit bare and exposed all winter or else the nutrients will leach out and blow away, plus the worms love the cover the stuff provides.)

The back end of the shop was hopping, as it is high peach season. This area is known for its peaches. Last weekend, in fact, was the Peach Festival in our town. We of course avoided it like the plague (as Tom said, what do eagle-printed blankets and tattoo displays have to do with a harvest festival?). So I drove back through our town on the way home and yes indeed there were peaches everywhere on the main drag: spraypainted on the street, hanging on flags from the lightposts, and painted on every storefront. I also had the fortune of driving behind a tractor, driving right down the center of main street: he was even waving to the people on the sidewalks.

We are so not in Minneapolis any more.

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