Dan Barber has been talking about growing food on a local basis with healthy soils and traditional seeds/varieties. I started my garden to try to save money and to sustainable but the best part of all of it were the super tastes and flavors. I was becoming sustainable and self-supporting and bio-diverse. I am a member of the Home Orchard Society and have been attempting to establish a diverse orchard of heirloom varieties. Many of us in the PNW have been trying to live this way -- maybe we are just old Hippies living simply and organically. AND IT IS ALL ABOUT TO COME CRASHING DOWN. Homeland Security zaps everybody with radiation to insure no-one has explosive underwear and goes through layers and layers of bureaucrazy including ignoring fundamental civil liberties. But they don't seem to care about the damage invasive pests can cause whether they be plants, insects, or viral/bacterial/fungal diseases. The PNW has for the last two years bee n invaded by the Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) that is one of two fruit flies that the female lays on ripening fruit. The maggots then feed and what these worms do not damage, can otherwise be damaged by secondary bacterial infections (brown rots in peaches for example) or secondary insect action. The results (from personal experience) are horrific. This invasive Asian fruit fly feeds on raspberries, blackberries (including the already invasive Evergreen and Himalaya types gone wild on thousands of acres), strawberries, blueberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, kiwi, fig, and very realistically pear and apple. Grapes too (both wine and table). Last year they attacked my canteloupe and if a tomato was split (as with rain), the flies attack those but causing greater damage to them with the mold they carried. In parts of Oregon, there can be 10 generations with the first (already fertile females) emerging in Februar y. One web site in California mentioned infestation rates of one-million flies per acre (24 flies per square foot). There are no known natural predators and farmers have been reporting crop losses as high as 80% with some crops being a complete loss. The current recommended control methods are highly toxic pesticides applied in blanket spraying. Because of the high reproduction rates and the high propensity for these flies to mutate (and thus become resistant to these toxic chemical) the effectiveness of these pesticides will likely be of short duration. The US Gov't is fighting two wars and has hundreds and hundreds of military basis around the world to support the exploitive practices of corporate capitalism. The US Gov't bails these sons of bitches out when the capitalist system becomes wholly bankrupt but the US Gov't cannot protect its citizens and its farmers and its ability to feed itself from invasive insects that have the potential to completely undermine and destroy a large segment of our food producing industries and devastate rural agricultural communities. The US Gov't refuses to adequately inspect and quarantine imported food shipments because corporations want unrestricted free trade and short term profits. Well Dan Barber can be all warm and fuzzy and nifty for a bit longer until the Spotted Wing Drosophila finally gets to his area (it invaded Florida in 2009 and it has already been confirmed in parts of North Carolina). On the West Coast, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and now Utah. How many other states it has already invaded is unknown because it has not been officially reported (noticed). Fruit in the future, if it is available at all, will likely be incredibly expensive and/or wholly saturated with toxic pesticides. Toxic pesticides will kill hundreds and hundreds of non-target species, expose agricultural workers to obscene dangers, and pollute streams, rivers, groundwater and ultimately our oceans. And to make things even more sickening, there are native species of plants (Bitter cherry, hawthorn, Oregon grape, salal, red-flowering current, et. al.) that can become vectors as this fly spreads out into native ecosystems -- and where no-one is even attempting to consider the damage it could cause. All because of some little fruit fly about the size of the side of a paper match-head). Go to the Home Orchard Society and read the current thread on the Spotted Wing Drosophila and you will get a better idea of the complexity of this problem. Hell, Google "Spotted Wing Drosophila" and learn what the future will be -- Cuz there ain't no stopping this terrible menace. Welcome to the Brave New World of unfettered capitalism and modern technology, and species extinctions, and starvation, and poisoned air, water and land.
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