Gardening

Perrigo

Posted on

Approaching autumn.  I can smell it, especially at night.  Falling leaves.  Campbell’s Tomato Soup & Premium Saltine Crackers.  The garden, finally tamed.  But now?  Still a roiling cacophony of God’s goodness.  Yet among pleasures of Eve & Adam evil does exist.  In the form of a nasty rash starting on my fingers, spreading to neck and knee.

Winds of Darwin set forth upon my acreage a new weed, lively, unpretentious, with hidden secrets.  Insects quickly grasped its unpleasantness.  To me, weeks would pass before lesson was learnt.

First, home remedies.  Smeared honey had a cooling effect but clothes stuck to my skin.  Ice wrapped in a towel?  Fantastic!  But I’d tend to drip across work orders, blueprints and such.  Next the family doctor who made, even with my limited dermatological knowledge, a misdiagnosis.  Finally, a true professional, identified by her age and demeanor – past retirement and I work because I can still work.

Past diagnoses tossed aside, adjacent issues dismissed, she prods me to discovery.  Yes, it must have been the garden.  The only constant in a variable schedule, weeded casually many times a month.  Doctor MacKay quickly determines the itching is driving me crazy.  Exhibit A:  Man goes to doctor without parental bidding.

A steroidal cream prescribed, purchased, and applied, my symptoms are on the wane.  The cream?  Manufactured in the Bronx by a multi-national corporation, Perrigo (not the flooring company).  A most interesting company with its roots in simple dry and wet goods capitalism.

In 1887 Luther Perrigo, the proprietor of a general store and apple-drying business, had the idea to package and distribute patented medicines and household items for country stores. Located in Allegan, Michigan, the L. Perrigo Company enjoyed steady growth and, by the early 1920s, Perrigo was exceeding the needs of its rural store customers throughout the Midwest.

Along the way, the company began leveraging the “private label” concept as a way to enhance customer loyalty. For no additional cost, Perrigo offered to imprint the individual store’s name on the labels of epsom salts, sweet oil, bay rum and dozens of other wet and dry goods stocked in general stores.  Perrigo History 

Boyce Thompson Arboretum ◊ Arizona

Posted on Updated on

A LAST MINUTE INVITE is all the coaxing I need to escape winter’s icy lock upon the East Coast.  Within hours, I’m jetting to the land of ripe grapefruit right off the backyard 1•az•grapefruit•american toolboxtree.  America’s favorite Mexican food in abundance!  Flora and fauna, combined with excellent “winter” weather, to make this trip perfect.

Many readers followed our trek via The Other Blog while visiting Casa Denogean in Superior, AZ.  We had visited Boyce Thompson but, alas, forgot a camera.  A trip takes planning, and this time, we had everything!  Camera, water, fruit, and time.  And the right time of year it was!

Mt Lemon Marigold blooms scent the air.  Cleveland sage, jasmine & eucalyptus combine into a heady thrust.  My favorite, the creosote bush.  Something for everyone!  We’ll let the images do the talking . . . 

Green Heron Tools • HERShovel

Posted on Updated on

the-measure-of-woman

WATER SLIDES AND BUGGY RIDES are OK for some tourists.  30% milk-fat ice cream & funnel cake.  But around these parts, it’s farming.  Crops & animals.  It was no surprise recently, while visiting an exhibition at the Penn State Landisville Experimental Farm, to find myself in front of a display of shovels.  Ahh, tools!  Love every durn one of them.  And these, especially!

shovelAs it turns out, I have seen these particular shovels before, having bought one at a home show a few years ago.  My Mom loves it, and even Dad chooses it over a conventional shovel (strong enough for a man, made for a woman?).

Conceived by two Pennsylvania residents.  Made in Pennsylvania (in America).  Designed expressly for bodies which are not engineered for digging.  Fortunate to find, manning the booth, one of two woman behind the company, I was able to get a clear understanding of what went into their shovels.

Both Ann (my partner) and I have backgrounds in health — she has a master’s in nursing. Our health backgrounds played a major role in realizing the need for tools and equipment designed to work with women’s bodies. We understood the connections between tools & health/safety — and Ann, in particular, has a very good understanding of body mechanics (how to use/move your body in ways that get tasks done while preventing injuries). We do workshops for farmers and gardeners on ergonomics, body mechanics etc.
 
Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.41.48 AMAs for design of the shovel — we had a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, which enabled us to convene a design team that included, in addition to ourselves, an agricultural engineer, an industrial engineer with a specialty in ergonomics, and an occupational therapist. – Liz Brensinger , Master of Public Health
 
 
When you want a perfect gift for the active female gardener in your circle of loved ones.
 
logo-GHT_registered

Pennsylvania Blue Marble

Posted on Updated on

01neighborhood_rect540Bizarre marine arthropods of the Cambrian Explosion roamed a vast sea which covered what is now Valley Forge National Park.  Relax, we refer to events of 450 million years ago.  Under this sea there formed a weakly metamorphosed calcite marble.  FaDSCF0182st forward, to the early days of The Republic.  This Pennsylvania Blue Marble became an  important regional building stone in the first half of the nineteenth century.

One has but to tour older Philadelphia row home neighborhoods to see its extensive use as steps,  window sills, lentils, and trim.  Alas, structural decomposition, changing design tastes, and improved transportation systems increased  availability of better quality white marbles from New England and Georgia.   What becomes of the Pennsylvania marble as buildings are pulled down?

People like me collected steps and sills in nicer condition for garden use.  Wear patterns tell the story of healthy, prosperous neighborhoods.  Tool marks upon the ends aidScreen Shot 2014-06-01 at 9.58.35 AM one in establishing production date, as methods of stone dressing evolved.  The 350 pound steps were welcomed by friends and neighbors, as well.  A unique pillar for the garden bird bath or flower-pot.  And the sills make great bordering stones!  Pictured is a local effort.  These stones were pulled from houses under demolition within Philadelphia’s Fairmount section.

DSCF0190 DSCF0188 DSCF0187 DSCF0184

Craftsman All Rubber Garden Hose 5/8 In. x 50 Ft.

Posted on Updated on

When it’s time for a scrubby

WE HAD a quick nip above freezing today, up to 44˚F. Since it is headed to 8˚ tonight and firmly nestled below freezing temperatures all week, what could be more constructive this balmy afternoon than to hose off the craftsman garden hose detail
vehicles! Goodbye winter road grime, slush, & dried de-icer.

Out back, I dug my faithful Craftsman hose out of the snow. She came willingly, eager to once again bend her supple curves across the pavement. After a bit of ice pushed forth from the nickel-plated brass end coupling, I had full water flow from the generous 5/8″ inside diameter hose. Once again, the hose had performed perfectly. And well it better!

Although the cost is a bit more than most hoses, the diameter is larger, the rubber does not crush and kink as easily, and it has a lifetime warranty from a company that will probably outlast the hose’s eventual demise under a lawn-mower blade. Ever have grand landscaping plans dashed after finding your skinny green hose kinked, flattened, and beyond the best medical attention? Doesn’t happen with the premium Craftsman hose. Restless from anemic water flow from a cheap hose? You’ll get professional, problem-solving volumes of water from the Craftsman! And for play, you’ll want a second mortgage to pay your water bill if your kids get unlimited use of this hose!craftsman 50 ft all rubber garden hose

This garden hose works best with unreduced water flow. Have your plumber cut a 3/4″ tee right after the meter, pipe it to a 3/4″ full port ball shut-off valve in the basement, and through the wall to another full-port ball valve with hose adapter. You’ll be playing with the big boys, with water flow like that!

Not all Craftsman tools are made alike, a sad commentary to profit and globalization. But this hose has been made in the U.S.A. since I’ve been buying them for business and pleasure.