Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Ketchup and Kudzu

The year was 1876.

The Centennial International Exhibition, which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence and is the 1st World's Fair in the U.S., is held in Philadelphia. 10 million visitors attend, many of whom are repeats. Total number is equal to 20% of the U.S. population at the time.

Exhibits include: Alexander Graham Bell's Telephone, Remington Typographic Machine (early Typewriter), Heinz Ketchup, Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo (predecessor to the electric light), Hires Root Beer, and Kudzu (a wonder plant for erosion control). F and J Heinz launch their Tomato Ketchup, advertised as: "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!"

For 134 years, we 2 leggeds have turned away from our own Kitchens and Craftmanship to Industry for Ketchup. We 3 C's are changing a bit of that right here on this Little Farm.

For that same number of years and longer, we 2 leggeds (particularly those of with a Euro-centric background) have been tinkering with this Continent without consideration for the natural paradise which is here. Kudzu is a prime example. Fortunately, Kudzu has not made it up to this area although it is a virtual plague in the southeastern U.S. We watch it and other introduced species intently. I guess we thought we could make the place "better". Unfortunately, those introductions have not considered consequences, many of which could not be known at the time or by Human introducers who do not have the capabilities of understanding the true complexity of Nature, a force far greater than us. Kudzu originally came from Japan and currently has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually. Yikes. We 3 C's try to celebrate those species which are home here.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketchup; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Exposition; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu

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