Harvest the ditch-plants—maybe

Roadside chicory

It’s chicory time. I don’t remember ever seeing fields of chicory (Cichorium intybus), but there’re plenty of plants out there, even during this overheated summer. I really do enjoy the particular shade of blue of the blossoms.

Dad had a favorite tale about listening to a speaker from (somewhere in the Midwest?) addressing an audience of agriculturalists from across the nation, saying in part, God bless the people of Louisiana—for giving us a market for our otherwise useless chicory (the roots are ground and added to coffee, as in the Café du Monde brand.

He told it much better than I have….

Points to me for not naming this post “Economics of chicory”….

Economics of Spencerville

M E canal at spencerville oh

That is: Spencerville Oh-Aich.

This canal, the Miami and Erie, was Spencerville’s economic lever for several decades. Today, sections of the canal sport duckweed and make “lazy river” sound like whitewater. This section has a bit more energy, but no more cargo.

Today, Spencerville was cranking up for a weekend of fried food and carnival rides, which took over the main street, but lacked attendants and patrons when we passed through before lunch-time.

We followed the canal for quite a ways, and even saw one spot where it flowed above a natural river—rather strange.

Economics two days in a row? Apologies!

Sunset over jcbs n s bridge

We saw many, many specimens of rubber meeting the road today, as in deposited there…after degrading and separating from the tire they were originally part of. And, we felt these were fresh samples, as they were still in the lanes, and not yet marginalized by repeated traffic.

Tomato Number One, 2012

Tomato number one yellow pear

For the record, Tomato Number One used to hang from that stub you can just barely see behind the tomato on the right—possibly Tomato Number Two. I ate it, wonderfully sun-warmed (and ever so slightly green), so it didn’t last until I had my camera in hand.

Ah, the season has begun.

Coffee confession

Cuppa sun stripe

We all have our little rituals. We rarely admit to most of them.

I have returned to the coffee-drinking fold (legacy of our southern Italy trip), but as a hot-milk-with-coffee sort of coffee-drinker. And this cup is a 1:44 cup, with my usual amount of milk—that is, I plug in 1 minute 44 seconds on the microwave to heat the milk.

Bonus: the turntable leaves the cup-handle at an angle that makes it easy to retrieve the warmed mug.

Flying (sorta)

Pont du Gard 3 D google earth

View to southwest.

Hey, I’ve been escaping reality by spending time with Google Earth. Check out the 3-D version of the two-tiered Pont du Garde Roman aqueduct, northeast of Nîmes.

Simple chores (accumulate)

Simplehuman logo dish drainer

I really like our simplehuman™ dish drainer.

Except. Except the fancy draining design (vaguely visible at left) accumulates…crud…and periodically needs disassembly and cleaning. Which is a pain.

I see they’ve redesigned the dish rack, but I’m guessing I’d still have the crud accumulation problem…. Maybe, just maybe, it’s mostly the water.

Squirrels are watching

Tomato squadron young flor

I am so glad I don’t have to endure this heat without AC. I admit it. Ca. 80°F at 6AM—yeesh.

The tomatoes, however, with frugal applications of dish water, seem to be thriving.

Biologico = organic

Fior di riso label

And fior di riso means fine rice.

Cute farm (that is: fattoria).

Local rainfall variability

Red truck train rain

Rain came…twice…south of the tracks. At our place, several miles north of the tracks: still powder dry. And so, tomorrow I will collect my dishwater and dump it on my ’maters.