Category Archives: Science/Technology

Thursday, July 9, 2015: What We Are Picking Today also more on El Nino

NOTE: SOMEHOW THIS POST DIDN’T GET ON FACEBOOK THIS MORNING.  PROBABLY BECAUSE I FORGOT TO HIT THE PUBLISH BUTTON, BUT I’M NOT SURE.

Is it going to be the mildest winter on record this year for northern states?  Sure is possible IF and that’s a big IF, the developing EL NINO develops like it is now forecast.  Here is a news report from down under issued yesterday:

Changing course from what some scientists said was initially set to be a weak phenomenon, the El Nino climate pattern building in the Pacific is now seen as track to be one of the strongest on record, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, citing the Bureau of Meteorolog

If it is such a strong El Nino develops as forecast, in all likelihood the northern states will have a winter shockingly different from the last two–perhaps even warmer than the 2011/2012 winter, although that one is hard to believe.  The problem is the El Nino forecast, it is just a forecast and like all forecasts is subject to major errors even though the forecast is based on so-called solid computer models.  Here we go again talking about models.  For more on my view of the reliability of models see yesterday’s blog post.

What we are having today:

Young and tender green beans by the bag and peck. Ask about larger quantities! 231-924-2761 or 231-303-0412

Freshly pulled Crunchy Crimson red radishes that are sweet and mildly spicy.

Garlic scapes, which can be chopped up and used in any dish where you want a mild garlic flavor or roasted with just a little olive oil and salt to taste. 

Freshly dug Red Norland potatoes (red skin with white flesh), RedGold potatoes (red skin with yellow flesh) and Yukon Gold (yellow skin with golden flesh).

Freshly pulled sweet and mild Newaygo Newaygo sweet onions with tops.

Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

And you may find some broccoli and cherry tomatoes. These are coming along slowly so some days we won’t have any.

Fruit trees and shrubs, perennial and annual flowers and ornamental plants and many kinds of herbs! Plant sales include: $20 each for any fruit tree, only $6 per rhubarb plant, 3 Angel Trumpets for only $20, and purchase 4 or more of any 1-year-old blueberry bush for only $7 each or purchase 4 or more of any 2-year-old blueberry bush for only $10 each.

Also, we have lots dried gourds for crafting and making birdhouses! Browse through our pile near the side of the greenhouse!

Take note that we now accept all the following:

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Thursday, May 14, 2015: Another beautiful day today! The sun doesn’t set today until 9:00PM!

Click on photo to learn more about growing rhubarb!

Good News: No frost last night!  It didn’t even come close! 

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful–mild temperatures, bright sun and light winds!  Today is also starting out beautiful and is quickly warming up!  It looks like this weekend will feel more like the middle of July than the middle of May!  By the way, today the sun doesn’t set until 9:00PM and it will continue to set after 9PM until August 7th!

RHUBARB PLANT SALE TODAY!!

Buy 3 pots for only $20! (Originally $12 each!)

 

WHAT WE ARE SELLING TODAY:

We will be having trees, shrubs, and perennial and annual plants including:

Apple trees: Honeycrisp, Jonafree, Jonagold, Liberty, Gala, etc.

Peach trees: Early Red Haven

Blueberries: Bluecrop, Jersey, Elliot, and Aurora

Red Raspberries: Latham

Seedless Grapes: Reliance

Rhubarb: Victoria — SALE!! — 3 pots for $20 — SALE!!

Everbearing strawberries: Fresca (white flowers), Frisan (pink flowers!)

Tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, yellow and red sweet onions

Pawpaw trees

Ostrich ferns

Redbud trees

White pine trees

Lilac bushes

Beauty bushes

Hydrangea

Hollyhocks: O’Hara, Chater’s Double, and Queeny Mix

Foxglove: Excelsior

Coral Bells/Heuchera

Sedum Groundcovers

Sempervivum

Vinca Minor

Cactus (thornless houseplants)

Morning Glory

Angel Trumpets

Dianthus

AND MORE!

Sunset today May 14 is 9:00PM  Sunrise tomorrow is 6:20AM

Magicland Farms, Monday, December 22, 2014–Also, the Earth has been getting closer to the sun for over 5 months now!

Right now it is raining–that’s right RAINING–thru much of Minnesota even some northern parts of that state!  Despite this there is still a fair chance of having a white Christmas here since it looks like our rain will turn to snow late on Christmas Eve.  While we will likely then have a couple of weeks of typical cold January weather, it seems like we will have an early January thaw starting in mid-January instead of the end of January which is more typical.  Those who have been calling for a severely cold winter should think of revising their forecast soon.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, tomorrow Tuesday December 23 will be the last day we will be open all day until next spring sometime.  Right now we plan on closing things up on Wednesday unless the weather looks too bad on Wednesday and then we will likely close up for the season tomorrow!  Right now we still have a good supply of a variety of nice crisp, naturally chilled apples as well as sweet onions and red potatoes.

Oh yes, that headline teaser…while the average distance from the earth to the sun is 93.24 million miles, on January 3 this distance is only 91.65 million miles.  On July 4 the distance increases to 94.82 million miles!

Thursday, October 31, 2013: Rain today, more off than on.

Although there certainly will be some rain today, according to the radar, it looks like there will also be several long dry spells at least in Newaygo County. Though, there might not be any real dry spells to our south (southern Ottawa or Kent counties, where I know we have several readers of the blog.)  It will also be quite mild for Halloween (although we have had many relatively warm Halloweens in the past,  last year was quite chilly.)

Keep in mind that we will be closed tomorrow, November 1, for the Feast of All Saints, which is a Holy Day.

Another thing to keep in mind is that TODAY, October 31 is the last day we will accept 2013 Project Fresh(WIC) coupons and 2013 Senior/Market Fresh Coupons.  Of course we will continue to welcome the Bridge Card!

Unsettled weather isn’t limited to the earth today, the sun a few hours ago sent out an X2 flare and NOAA forecasters are expecting a G1 class magnetic storm to hit the earth shortly.  G1 storms are usually quite mild and often the only thing they usually cause is some northern lights further south than normal.  G5 storms are something to worry about since they have the potential of knocking out huge power grids across the world along with their associated transformers –they even can cause problems with long pipelines!  If you must worry about things don’t worry about asteroids hitting earth, but rather about strong magnetic storms.  Their existence is a reason to have a generator handy along with keeping paper records of your financial assets since a G5 magnetic storm will likely evaporate “The Cloud.”  The good news is that NOAA and NASA should be able to provide at least a days warning for a G5 storm since the charged particles from the sun that trigger it travel much slower than light waves, X-rays and HV radio waves.  These electromagnetic waves let solar researchers know that something really major has happened on the sun.

When we open at 10AM (hopefully without it raining) we will have:

  • Free samples of Jonathan and Red Delicious apples
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers
  • Sweet onions
  • Winter Squash: Acorn, Heart of Gold, Celebration, Butternut, Blue Hubbard
  • Freshly dug Carrots (by the pound, 1/2 peck, and 1/2 bushel)
  • Pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper)
  • Asian pears and Royal Riviera Pears
  • MANY varieties of apples including:  Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Fuji, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii, Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel.
  • pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot. Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10, whole bushel $18 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

Tuesday, October 29, 2013: “An Apple a Day May Really Keep the Doctor Away.”

Years ago I read a story on some research which showed people who ate an apple a day made significantly fewer visits to a doctor.  Recently I read an online article on  WebMd titled “An Apple a Day May Really Keep the Doctor Away. This article is full of information.  One bit of information that stood out since I have had a feeling about it all the time, can be summed up by a related quote from Shakespeare: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet (1.5.166-7).  I LOVE that quote and think of it often when I hear doubters who seem to imply that the only things that are real are what we can see, feel and measure.  For those doubters with scientific bents I must ask them this question “What about dark matter?  It can’t be seen, felt or measured, only inferred.”

Getting back to apples here is an original quote from moi (Tom Fox): “There are many more health providing compounds than Vitamin C and Fiber in apples!”  While, as you will find out if you read the article (click here to read it) Dr. Rui Hai Liu, MD, PhD says something similar: “Over the years, no single compound has been proven to have a protective effect by itself. An apple could have hundreds of phytochemicals. We think the combination is the important thing.”

An interesting personal note here.  In the spring of last year (2012) after we were sure we wouldn’t have any apples due to the strange late winter/early spring weather (March heat wave), my daughter looked rather serious and commented “we are going to be sick this winter…”  Sad to say we were.

This year we have a real nice crop of apples.  At our stand right now we have around 30 different varieties of apples.  We have very, very sweet apples such as Gala, Tolman Sweet, Splendor, RedGold, Fuji and others and we have nice tart apples like Calville Blanc d’ Hiver, Idared, Northwest Greening, Northern Spy, and others.  We also have, apples that are both sweet and tart like Jonagold, Jonagored, Crispin/Mutsu, Hawaii (some of which have a pineapple flavor) and others.  One variety, King David, has an intense flavor (intensely sweet, intensely tart) with a wine-like flavor that reminds one of the Winesap apple, which may have been one of its parents. Our exceptionally rare apples include King David, Court Pendu Platt, Senator, Kandil Sinap, Tolman Sweet, SunCrisp, Ashmead’s Kernel and Splendor.  While most of our apples are nice and crisp right now (this includes our Red Delicious and Golden Delicious), we do have a few varieties, such as Cortland, that are soft in texture.  Personally, when I eat an apple fresh I eat it with the aid of a knife.  To get the full health benefits of eating fresh apples eat the skin along with the apple’s flesh.

When we open at 10AM we will have:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • Green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers
  • Sweet onions
  • Beets without tops
  • Winter Squash: Acorn, Heart of Gold, Celebration, Butternut, Blue Hubbard
  • Freshly dug Carrots (by the pound, 1/2 peck, and 1/2 bushel)
  • Pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper)
  • Asian pears and Royal Riviera Pears
  • MANY varieties of apples including:  Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Fuji, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii, Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel.
  • LARGE selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot. Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10, whole bushel $18 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

 

Saturday, October 26, 2013: Many more huge explosions on sun–shortwave reception blacked out on earth!

It wasn’t really that long ago, say just a month or so, some solar scientists were saying they believed the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle was over and they were wondering why the sun was so inactive when, according to past cycles, it should be quite active.  What does this show?  Don’t rely on any long range (earth or solar) weather forecast!  It’s hard enough to forecast what’s coming up tomorrow!  The forecast of a month from today is nearly worthless.  Right now the sun has become so active so fast one wonders what is going on.  Solar scientists think right now huge rumblings are taking place deep, deep within the sun since huge flares have shot up from the sun in areas  100,000 of miles apart–at the same time!

Getting back to earth…we have been asked numerous times when we will be closing.  Our policy, which has been in effect for several years, is to state we are committed to being open through Halloween, October 31.  Then how long we stay open depends upon the weather.  We close any day there is enough snow to make the roads hazardous and we close any day the temperature isn’t expected to rise above 34F.  This year, no matter how nice the weather is, we will be closing for the season on November 27, which is the day before Thanksgiving.  However, we may close earlier because of weather, low supplies of produce or for any other reason we decide upon.  We plan on notifying the readers of this blog, at least the day before we close for the season.

As many of you know, while we have an excellent crop of apples this year, our winter squash crop, except for the spaghetti squash, was rather poor. (We had an exceptional spaghetti squash crop–both in quantity and quality).  Our acorn, Heart-of-Gold and our Celebration squash was less than half of last year, our butternut was poor and our buttercup was basically a crop failure–we didn’t get enough buttercup to pay for the seed! As you would expect, our supply right now, compared to other recent years, is low.  However, at present we are continuing to sell our acorn, Heart-Of-Gold and Celebration squash at the special price of $6 a half bushel. We might withdraw this special price after Halloween and only sell the squash at individual prices of (50 cents each for small, 75 cents each for medium and $1 each for large.)

While we have had a killing frost, we are still picking our cherry tomatoes that are in our high-tunnel (which is basically an unheated greenhouse with 12 foot high ceiling).  Also, we have very limited supplies of slicing tomatoes since we picked them green and are ripening them on our special ripening bench.

 

When we open at 10AM we will still have slicing and cherry tomatoes, green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, acorn squash, Heart of Gold Squash, Celebration squash (see Special 1/2 bushel price for selected squash types and green peppers below), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, blue Hubbard squash, broccoli, carrots, pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper), Asian pears, Royal Riviera Pears, and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel. Large selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot.

Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!
SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Limited Time Special — three pints of cherry tomatoes (red Jasper and/or SunSugar) for $6.

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Spaghetti Squash– half bushel $5, whole bushel $8 (that’s about 16 cents a pound!)

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash for a year by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013: Warmer weather ahead, massive explosions on the sun and more..

While it still didn’t reach 32F near Pickerel Lake, it did obviously freeze last night at Magicland Farms since it dropped to the upper 20s at the Fremont airport. While I didn’t notice any snow at Pickerel Lake, the usual suspects got some (perhaps an inch or more) such as in the Holland area. Today will likely be the coldest day for some time–perhaps even for at least 10 days! Whether it will get warm enough to call it Indian Summer is a question I do not have a definite answer for.

The big weather news right now is what is happening on the sun.  At around 8:30 last night the sun exploded with a M9 class X-ray flare.  This is just a shade short of the big ones– the X class flares.  Since the explosion happened when the sun was facing earth this means the earth might have an intense magnetic storm in a day or so which can cause real problems (on the funner side it also means we might have a fantastic display of the aurora borealis (northern lights) showing up in a day or so!)  The sun seems more active right now than it has been for quite some time and so we can expect more solar explosions to occur in the weeks, perhaps even months, ahead.

When we open at 10AM we will still have slicing tomatoes, green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, acorn squash, Heart of Gold Squash, Celebration squash (see Special 1/2 bushel price for selected squash types and green peppers below), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, blue Hubbard squash, broccoli, carrots, pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper), Asian pears, Royal Riviera Pears, and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel. Large selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot.

Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan 

Limited Time Special — three pints of cherry tomatoes (red Jasper and/or SunSugar) for $6.

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Spaghetti Squash– half bushel $5, whole bushel $8 (that’s about 16 cents a pound!)

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) — Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash for a year by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

 

 

Microclimates and Inland Lakes

I live on a 360 acre lake and there is another lake just to my west.  There are many nice things about living on a lake including the effect the lake has on the surrounding microclimate.  During the heat of the summer, there is a cooling effect and on cold, calm and clear winter nights, with the lake completely covered with ice there is also a cooling effect.  However, the autumn nights by the lake are measurable warmer than the land just a quarter mile away.  So warm in fact that frosts are uncommon before October 20, while away from the lake frost seems to hit on average around the first of October.  This allows a long season for tomato and other tender crop harvest AND it is nearly perfect for late grapes to reach their maximum sugar content.  The lake also provides warmer spring nights, but this effect isn’t as pronounced as the fall warming simply because the water is warmer in October than in April.  Despite this, the few apple trees we have at the lake made it through last years disastrous apple season.

Right now we are raising vegetable plants which we are going to transplant to our farm located to the east of Briar Hill Golf Course across Gordon Avenue.  We have around 67 acres and our roadside farm market is located in the southwest part of the farm.  Since we are raising the plants at our home on the lake, we don’t have to worry as much about our plants freezing — at least not after all the ice is gone from the lake.  Right now there is still ice on the lake and the warming effect is near zero.  Very soon, however, the ice will be gone and we then we won’t have to watch the thermometer as much!  Of course we still will keep them in our two small unheated greenhouses at least until the end of April, but we won’t have to bring the plants in to our basement nearly every night like we are doing right now.

A Bit About GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

I recently received an email from a sister-in-law who asked about my views of GMO.  This sister-in-law, who has spent many years helping out people in Africa raising food, has a doctor’s degree in agricultural economics from MSU. Her email started me thinking about my own views of GMO and I would like to share them with people who are kind enough to read my blog.

First, I want to sum up my thinking and my position on the matter.  In the Plantae Kingdom (plants) but not necessarily in the Animalia Kingdom (animals) it is appropriate to transfer genes from from one organism to another AS LONG AS THEY ARE IN THE SAME FAMILY!  For example, when it comes to Roundup Ready corn, which is resistant to the glyphosate herbicide, GMO is OK.  Here, in fact, genes were taken from the same species, which is corn, Zea Mays (Genus: Zea, Species: Mays) and transfered to the same species.  I also believe it is OK to transfer between different species and genus, as long as the are in the same family.  As an example here of the meaning of species, genus and family let’s look at the tomato and potato.  First, they both belong to the same family, which is nightshade (Solanaceae), However, the tomato belongs to the Lycopersicon genus while the potato to the Solanum genus.  However, I do believe there are reports of the two crossing naturally, although that is rare.  I do know you can graft a tomato plant on to a potato plant.  Because of this, I don’t feel there is a problem taking, say the late blight resistant gene from a potato and splicing it into a tomato variety.

Now lets still discuss the potato and what I see is bad GMO.

Potatoes have a big insect problem–the Colorado Potato Beetle.  They can devastate a crop if something isn’t done.  About 20 years ago Monsanto developed the New Leaf potato which was a GMO since they took a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, also known as Bt, and stuck it into a Russet Burbank potato.(By the way, bacteria are not only in a completely different family, they are in a completely different kingdom, the Eubacteria Kingdom!)  This gene produced a protein that worked in some insect’s gut, like the Colorado Potato Beetles, to kill it.  It did work and I even tried it out.  The problem I discovered was that my tummy didn’t feel good after eating the potatoes–they seemed to just sit there.  I wasn’t alone.  Michael Pollan who wrote a best selling book “The Botany of Desire” reported similar digestive problems.  Well, after a few years, when McDonald stopped buying Bt potatoes, the New Leaf was no longer being bred.  Obviously Michael and I weren’t the only ones who reported this.

While they gave up on Bt in potatoes, it is still going big in corn–including sweet corn.  I must tell you right off — we don’t use any GMO in any of the fruit or vegetables we grow and sell.  However, much of the sweet corn in the market, especially from down south where corn earworm is a huge problem, is Bt corn.  Also, Bt field corn is relatively common but since European countries won’t buy it, it hasn’t completely taken over the market.  One interesting note among dairy and cattle farmers.  It has been reported from some of them that if a Bt field of corn is planted next to a normal field of corn and animals are let loose in them, they won’t touch the Bt corn until all the regular corn is gone!

I know all of this makes the issue of GMO corn more complicated than ever, but if you think about it, it does make sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There will be signs in the sky this year starting real soon…

Things are really starting to hop out there in the sky—things you might not even have to wait until dark to see…

First off, you may have heard about the Great Comet ISON which, come fall, may be a startlingly bright comet that you won’t have to wait until night to see.  It is possible that it will even brighten up the sky on a bright sunny day!  At night, it just may light up the landscape so much you will think that, if you are out in the boonies on a clear night, there is an extraordinarily bright full moon out–at least until you look up at the sky and see the comet!

Also coming up in March keep a look for the Comet Pan-STARRS since it is expected to become visible to the naked eye at night.

And then right now the Green Comet, also called Comet Lemmon, is already visible in the southern hemisphere (South America, Australia, Southern Africa) and we will be able to see it here in April.  This comet appears greenish because it is full of the poison gas cyanogen, which is related to cyanide.

Now if that isn’t enough an asteroid is headed our way and although it isn’t expected to hit the surface of the earth, they are sure it will come closer than the communication satellites.  These satellites include those owned by Direct TV and Dish Network.  These satellites also include the GPS satellites and the weather satellites.  Astronomers are really excited about this as you can tell from this headline comment on the website: SpaceWeather.com

RECORD-SETTING ASTEROID FLYBY: On Feb. 15th an asteroid about half the size of a football field will fly past Earth closer than many man-made satellites. Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object so big come so close to our planet.