Thursday, October 29, 2015


* * *

I thought it might be time for an update on my to-ings and fro-ings, which is to say what I've been doing when not launching 10 University of Manitoba Press titles (i.e. for my day-job)...

I've been doing lots of preserving and eating of the preserves intended for winter of late. The weather was so nice that my CSA, Jonathan's Farm, extended their season from 18 to 20 weeks. So: lots of fruit and veg to process into jam and soup, lots of canning paraphernalia to hoist out of and then return to the basement. All my soup pots dirty/clean/dirty.

I was especially excited, though, when I got my hands on two of the squash grown from 800-year-old seed by CMU Farms, thanks to Paul Dyck and Sally Ito.

Here's a bit of information about the origins of the squash from Owen Taylor, a Philadelphia-based seed-saver who got his hands on some of the seed: "This is the squash whose seeds were found, 800 years old, in a clay ball on the Menomonee reservation in Wisconsin during an archeological dig. Winona Laduke from the White Earth Land Recovery Project named it 'Cool Old Squash' in Anishinaabe: Gete Okosomin."

I carried these two squash home from Paul & Sally's house on my back, and they nearly squished me.

My squash came with a caveat from CMU Farms: "The squash we are selling are the extras from our seed saving project and have not been hand pollinated, so the seeds will not be genetically pure. If you save and plant these seeds, you may have some that will produce the same kind of squash but they may also have cross-pollinated with other squash in our area and the resulting squash may look very different. You are still welcome to save them if you want, but you should know that the result will not be what you expect."

According to Taylor, the squash will only cross-pollinate with other members of the Curbita maxima family, for instance Hubbard or Buttercup squash. So, hybrids or no, I kept the seeds from the one squash we've baked off/eaten/frozen and have offered them to writer/friends with gardens. I think even the hybrids will be interesting...

I've also been walking a fair bit through this long sunny fall we've been enjoying and thinking about what it means to live in a treed city. I've written or am writing two or three essays on the subject and am mostly just waiting for a period where I have more time and energy.

Like maybe tomorrow. Or this weekend.

Finally, I read at Canzine Central, which is a zine and underground art festival that happened October 24 at the Millennium Library. I was hoping to make broadsheets for the event, but the week previous was I didn't manage it. But the reading was varied and good and it was good to see what people were doing, what they were making.

No comments: