Friday, January 4, 2013

Savings Account

50 or 60 years ago people had to deal with what was known as a "party line" on their home phones. No not that kind of party, the one that involves a gathering of people. And that's what they often were too: a gathering. Imagine picking up your home phone's receiver, (remember it's the middle of the last century now) and instead of a dial tome, you hear a voice...then two voices. That's right, you've stumbled upon someone else's conversation. The two engaged in chatting may or may not have heard the click when you first grabbed the receiver. If not, and you covered the mouthpiece, you could eavesdrop all you wanted. At your own risk of course. Most who had this experience would simply excuse themselves and hang up. They knew they shared a party line. Actually a two or three party line. That will no doubt never happen again. But I've noticed on some forms of social media there is something akin to it happening. On Facebook, for example, we can literally see the conversation that some folks have back and forth. Often heated, these exchanges resemble a huge party line from the days of Donna Reed and Lucille Ball.
On one such exchange the other day, I read about a fascinating notion beginning to take shape. Seed saving. People are beginning to save seeds as a response to companies like Monsanto and all manner of genetic engineering of food. These two future farmers I referenced were talking about saving Kale seeds and how they were easy to save and that the Kale plant produces large quantities of seeds. I did not know that. Just imagine, I reasoned, what if all the cynics and critics were right and that the only healthy food available was produced by those who had the foresight to save seeds that they knew to be healthy. A sort of Twilight Zone episode began to take shape in my mind. Let's see, we've already had Soylent Green, why not secret stashes of seeds. If not a novel, a good short story could emerge from this dim view of our world to come. Maybe it's not too late to get in on the burgeoning area of seed banks. We could begin to make deposits right now. Better start saving some land too.

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