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Volume 15, Issue 46 ~ November 15 - November 21, 2007


A Bountiful Harvest of Friends

Bay Gardener gives thanks for the harvests of life

As the harvesting of the vegetable garden comes to a close, let us give thanks for the bounty of friends that surrounds us with an essay shared by Max Coots, associate professor of social sciences at New Hampshire Technical College in Manchester, New Hampshire:

Let us give thanks for children who are our second planting, and though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.

Let us give thanks for children who are our second planting, and though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.
Let us give thanks for —
• generous friends with hearts and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
• feisty friends as tart as apples;
• continuous friends, who like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us that we’ve had them;
• crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
• handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn;
• others who are as plain as potatoes and so good for you;
• funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;
• serious friends who are as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions.
Let us give thanks for friends as —
• unpretentious as cabbages;
• subtle as summer squash;
• persistent as parsley;
• delightful as dill;
• endless as zucchini:
• and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to see you through the winter;
• old friends nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time;
• young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
• loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold us despite our blights, wilts and withering.
And finally for those friends who are now gone, like gardens past that have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter.
For all these, we give thanks.

Where Roundup Is Safe

Q My wife and I have an ongoing dispute. After reading several of your columns, my impression is that Roundup is a fairly safe weed killer. My wife says no way, and says it is highly toxic to people, pets, fish, etc.

We are going to attempt to eradicate kudzu from the bank behind our house, which leads right down to Saltworks Creek. So once and for all, do you recommend using Roundup at the base of the roots? If you know of a more environmentally friendly, natural way to keep the kudzu from returning, please publish it. 

–Mike Paredes, Annapolis

A I have conducted research with many herbicides, starting with Agent Orange back in the 1950s. I started doing research with glyphosates like Roundup on non-food crops in 1976, and I have never experienced any problems.

I do not recommend that glyphosate be used around food crops. Kudzu is not a food crop, and it is not ingested by animals.

Roundup should not be used near open water or near streams. However, when applied as a directed spray on non-food crops and only to wet the foliage, it is a very safe herbicide. When applied to kudzu now, there is little chance of residual problems. Allowing kudzu to continue will make it impossible to control in the future.

Remember that aspirin is a wonder drug, but one should not consume more than two tablets every four hours. Use glyphosate with care and as directed.

Ask Dr. Gouin your questions at frgouin@erols.com. All questions will appear in Bay Weekly. Please include your name and address.

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