Irradiation and seeds

Leigh lh at
Tue Oct 30 09:52:21 EST 2001

>Hmmm...I think that our success follows that of our clientele.  So, 
>we have an interest in your economic I hope you do in 
>ours.  ;-)
Right.  This is an issue that we need to be together on.  I was 
extremely disappointed with the way the recent post office policy on 
mailing live chicks through the mail went.  The poultry mail order 
companies and their customers were never really organized well, and 
the airlines had the inside track with the post office.

Small growers, their customers and their suppliers are a potentially 
powerful political force. Any policy regarding our mail system should 
reflect our concerns.  But, again, we need someone with the time and 
resources to take the lead.  And I, for one, should be out in my 
fields right now pulling up that hateful plastic mulch and planting a 
cover crop (as well as cutting firewood).

And I just checked.  The irradiators are planned on packages less 
than 3 inches in thickness.  It is a dosage and configuration issue. 
To kill anthrax needs an extremely high dosage of radiation (they are 
not sure, even then, if it will work).  Additionally, the facilities 
the post office is ordering are designed to nuke hamburger paddies. 
They are designed for 1.5 inches.  So that's 1.5 inches on both sides.

On a more important subject: Zahra seemed to be a much more vital and 
prolific plant.  And subjectively (to us and a number of our long 
time customers), the taste seemed to have more pizazzzz. But then, as 
I think back, it might be environmental factors. Our summers here in 
Virginia since the time of the variety switch have been cooler. For 
the past 2-3 years we haven't had any of those delightful (for a 
southerner) 30 day stretches of over 90 degree days. Maybe the squash 
only really thrives is hot weather.
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