Saturday, January 24, 2009

Presidential Concerns

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ten degrees above zero here on the mountain and a growing wind blows small birds sideways as they land on the feeders. Flocks of evening grosbeaks and blue jays swap back and forth on the platform feeder, trying to maintain dominance which is short lived. Birds have a self defense mechanism that triggers when there's movement close by--all birds that is but mourning doves which seem to have steadfast courage not to fly until the last end. Last week I almost put the truck in the ditch waiting until the last minute for a small flock of sand eating doves to move out of the road. They flew and none got nailed but it was a last minute affair. I tried out a few expletives as I continued on.

Been very busy lately and can't get everything done that needs doing. My hand is coming along nicely thank you. I tried it out snow shoveling the roof yesterday. I brought that event to an incomplete conclusion when I got four feet around the edge shoveled off. My hand was hurting and I have been well advised to go slowly. I left the rest of the snow on Gail's mother's place for another day. At least now the icicles won't grow.

I don't know how many of you do your own websites but I'm sure you're tired of me mentioning ours. You'll probably enjoy it when it's done but boy does it take time. To complicate things Gail has the house laid out with IRS materials and I am about ready to start the taxes. Taxes are not my favorite sport and it's amazing to me that I have to spend so much time getting things ready to give to an accountant who charges too much to finish the deal. Where did that presidential candidate go who said he would get rid of the IRS?

Yesterday as I listened to the news, I chuckled as a new stop-the-war president approved a drone in Pakistan and got hammered for not having enough women in his cabinet. Of the two subjects, the one that made me stop for a minute involved the female critics. Not enough women in the cabinet I guess. To insure that none of you criticize the management at Vermont Flower Farm I want you all to know that this is a 50-50 management "group" and it involves Gail and me. That's one woman and one man. There may be slightly more women than men in the world but our management ratio is staying the way it is. Now the staff ratio is a different thing. In the spring there are an average of 7 women and 4 men getting us through planting time. That means 64% women and 36% men. That should satisfy folks I think. When we get into the business end when customers prevail, a typical day has Gail and some combination of Michelle, Austin and maybe one other woman. Again, this should satisfy any critics out there that we try at VFF to be gender considerate. I'm open to comments but we do try!

As snow deepens here on the mountain, give some thought to your gardens, now blanketed under tons of white stuff. Daylilies are a very good flower for the Vermont climate. Gail and I enjoy the older varieties and refuse to pay $150-$250 for some new to the market variety. Up top is one of Gail's favorites, Indian Paintbrush, named after the wildflower that predominates out west but grows here in Vermont too. Immediately below here is Island Sand Dollar and Hush Little Baby. None of these are expensive, they all preform very well and in three years from planting you'll receive compliments that will make your day. With +61,000 registered daylilies on the market now, you have plenty to choose from. Give them some thought and stop by this summer to walk the fields and see what we have.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where ice fisherman sit in shanties drinking different beverages and peering out windows waiting for small flags to pop up on their tip ups, perhaps signaling a trophy brown trout, perhaps a hungry nuisance perch.

Be well!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm: Our old but functional website that will be replaced in February

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