Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

I was pushing the stroller this morning, singing the old Thanksgiving hymns (“Come Ye Thankful People,” “We Gather Together,” “We Plow the Fields and Scatter the Good Seed on the Ground”) and thinking of harvests.

So today might be a good time to blog about harvests and drought-resistant crops.

“Scientists are developing faster-maturing and drought-tolerant varieties of corn and cotton,” writes¬†Madalitso Mwando at AlertNet, “holding out the hope of much-needed relief for thousands of farmers across Zimbabwe.

“As planting season approaches amid concerns about successive poor harvests, research into drought-resistant seeds is gaining momentum …

“Zimbabwean farmers have suffered a succession of poor harvests with yields far below what the country needs, forcing the agriculture ministry repeatedly to revise its projections for harvests.

“Farmers and their unions blame the cyclical uncertainties of their sector not only on a lack of up-to-date farming technology, but also on their inability to obtain seed varieties that can survive the low rainfall caused by climatic shifts.

“The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe and Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI), has developed a drought-resistant variety of maize (corn) seed called Sirdamaize 113.

“Farmers have had to wait between 150 and 180 days before harvesting their traditional maize crop, but the center says the new seed takes only 136 days to mature.” Read more.

I hope a bountiful harvest was represented at your dinner table today.

With gratitude to blog readers for reading,
Suzanne’s Mom

Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters/File
Martha Mafa, a subsistence farmer, stacks her crop of maize (corn) in Chivi, about 378km (235 miles) southeast of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.


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Asakiyume has alerted me to a great story about an anonymous library patron in Scotland who creates sculpture from old books and deposits them in libraries by stealth. The artist makes reference in his (her?) sculptures to Scottish mystery writer Ian Rankin and dragons and all sorts of literary things. You will flip over the pictures here.

Asakiyume says she likes the quotations that the mystery artist leaves with the sculptures: “I liked ‘Libraries are expensive,’ corrected to ‘Libraries are expansive,’ and also the quote from Robert Owen … (founder of some utopian communities) … ‘No infant has the power of deciding … by what circumstances (they) shall be surrounded.’ ”

The messages remind me of the mysterious tea cups of Anne Kraus, which I described here.

Now although Asakiyume knew I would love the book art, she may not have known that I have a family reputation for stealth projects, like secretly leaving a small Zimbabwean soapstone sculpture of parents and baby in John’s house after Meran gave birth.

Recently, I was telling Erik about a few of my escapades, and he got a look on his face suggesting that he was a little worried about the family he had married into.

When I was on the publicity committee for a local theater producing a musical about George Seurat, I purchased Seurat greeting cards and left them in stores’ card racks around town. They got sold, but the sales staff would have had to wing the price as there was no price on them.

Then there was the year that I sent a series of postcards from different cities under different names to an ice cream shop and in each card suggested a type of frozen dessert the shop should carry. Every card had a different reason why customers might want that dessert.

It worked, and the shop must have made money off the dessert as they stocked it for years afterward.

Photo: ThisCentralStation.com

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