Scotland wants to leave the UK, Catalonia wants to leave Spain, UK wants to leave the EU, Texas wants to leave the USA and the Cape should want to leave South Africa. Now Crimea will leave Ukraine with the help of Russia. No matter what one feels about secession it is the democratic right of a people to leave a nation or Union even when leaving is economically damaging to the people leaving that nation or Union. Even the USA that fought against secession in the American Civil War was born from the American revolution that lead to secession from the UK. In case of Crimea a major wine region of the world secession from Ukraine will not mean the end of the wine industry there. Vineyards and wineries will remain as they were before the Ukrainian crisis. It is extremely unlikely that the Russians will not embrace the viticultural opportunities in the region that they too have historical connection to. In fact the wine industry could even benefit since the Russians will invest into the region. Russia needs to prove to the world that Crimea made the right decision to join the Russian Federation. Sadly the wine from Crimea will probably never be European but since everyone seems to be buying wine from Crimea in the shops I doubt that Crimean wine is going to be boycotted for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. It is rather scary how a wine that was made in Crimea and labelled as a product of Ukraine is no longer associated with Ukraine even when the EU and Ukraine do not recognize the secession of Crimea. Planet Earth’s borders have always been changing. There’s nothing really new to the Ukrainian crisis when one looks at how the borders of Europe have changed in the past. Fortunately for those who want Ukraine to join the EU it would be crazy not to allow Ukraine to join the Union. When Ukraine does inevitably join the Union its other wine regions will too.
Yes Ukraine does make wine and it has a long history of viticulture with traditions far older than both the American and Australian wine industries. If one is shopping for Ukraine’s wine outside the EU or Ukraine one is unlikely to find it since most of the wine made in Ukraine is sold to the EU and of course Ukraine itself. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian wine industry but fortunately for the Russian wine industry one of Ukraine’s major wine regions Crimea is now once again under Russian administration. If Crimea does remain that way for the years to come that would be a major gain for the Russian wine industry since the wine made in Crimea would no longer be Ukrainian but would now be Russian which would give Russia another wine region to use for its growing wine industry. Crimea is not Ukraine’s only wine region there is also Balaklava, Bessarabia, Carpathian Ruthenia, Kherson Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Odessa Oblast some of these regions could too could come under Russian administration. One thing that is certain is that the Western consumer is not going to want to buy either Ukrainian or Russian wines since the reputation of the wines made in these two nations has been damaged by the conflict and the media attention to that conflict. With so much wine made in the world why buy wine made in Ukraine and Russia that has the reputation of waging wars and that continuing revolutions. On other hand the USA invaded nations in the middle east and no one in the EU ever boycotted American wine the same could happen with the Russian and Ukrainian conflict. Ukrainian wine industry will severe the most if not from losing its regions to Russia but also from the damage to its reputation when the European consumer wants to buy wine from other countries.
Martin Heade: Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds. Science is not the only way to look at plants and the Universe as a whole. There is philosophy, art, literature, music and pure practical experience that all have to be taken into account when contemplating plants for horticultural purposes. When studying plants for the pure purpose of understanding them one also needs to adapt abroad spectrum of the world that does not always involve the scientific method and experimentation that so many scientists value so much. To solve everyday problems especially when it comes to horticultural problems one has to adapt a broad spectrum of the world and this can come from many disciplines but also pure practical experience of the world that does not involve the scientific method being used for that horticultural situation. Best kind of horticulturist is one that is both a scientist and a philosopher that is open to the Universe but not blinded by human method who also has understanding that method is also extremely important to solve and understand the world from a horticultural point of view.
Unique natural disaster that does not happen everyday but actually was not so dramatic since windstorms do more damage to grapevines than this natural disaster did. Entire vineyards can have their grapevines killed off by European windstorms that are damaging not just to grapevines of course. This disaster was notable of course and dramatic which is why it was reported in the media.
Colder weather when precipitation occurs means snow that is now covering most of central Europe. Land resembles something out of the Narnia film the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Snowy weather is too late now for German ice wine but it does mean that there will be water for other spring crops that do need the water. Current snowy weather seems to be in trend with previous years. A prolonged autumn then snowy weather later on in the winter season that can be either extreme or not depending on which way the wind is blowing in from. Whether these weather patterns are a long term trend or permanent is up to debate but it is a form of climate change that impacts many different central European crops and the way that they are grown for best possible outcome when it comes to harvesting them successfully in extreme weather changes. Hate snow or love snow it is good for insulation, water and killing pests that damage both crops and native wild plants.
Americans say that the USA is Rome, Russians say that Russia is Rome, Chinese say that China is better than Rome, British say that Rome is politically incorrect while the continental Europeans say that Rome is history. Like or hate what the Romans were and did in the past the Romans embraced philosophy, law, religious tolerance, infrastructure and many areas of horticulture notably spreading viticulture across Europe while at the same time improving winemaking and grapevine cultivation after they had destroyed Carthage. Romans were not a nice people as they also destroyed the crops of the people who resisted they control and conquests but Rome was good for all of humanity even when for many people in the past the Romans were certainly not humane to. Even Rome’s insane emperors and political games were damaging to the world at their time but what the Romans achieved for all humanity certainly is something that modern powers in the 21st century should learn from and take inspiration from even when world power isn’t the pursuit of those people since the Romans in the beginning were really just farmers wanting to survive in a nasty world.
Even with the cold weather the daisies are still flowering while wanting insects to pollinate their flowers so that their seeds can form before the freezing and snow arrive. Unfortunately for these late autumn daisies the insects that would normally visit them during the summer are no longer active now because of the colder weather that will continue to get even colder until spring. Daisies with so much effort and energy put into flowering are actually wasting their time since there are no insects to visit and pollinate their flowers. If any insects do visit any daisies it would be most unusual with the current cold weather. With bees declining worldwide one can imagine what a world would look like without bees visiting and pollinating wild flowers. Like these late autumn daisies that don’t have access to bees and other pollinators the plants that need insects for pollination would be in serous trouble if they unable to move pollen from flower to flower using insects. Even if bees and other pollinators do decline to unacceptable numbers the world would not come to an end since many of the crops that we grow do not need insects for example wheat and grapevines but for many of our other crops and the wild plants that we need too the decline of bees and other pollinators would not only be catastrophic for them but would also be disaster for us too since those crops will not be able to be pollinated and so will not be able to produce the food we need. Technologists want to use robots in case of the event of bee extinction and it is good that such technology is available but one could question whether the companies that would make these robots for farmers will want to replace bees not help the bees. Luckily, this year the bees were really active visiting flowers and hopefully for my wild daisies the bees will be visiting them in the summertime for many years to come.
I am so not looking forward to snow this year but some snow would be good for insulation.
It’s that time of the year again when masses of people flood into malls searching to acquire material things to buy for Christmas. In fact, there is nothing really new to this, Christmas happens every year, making it rather boring to be honest. Christmas has been happening ever since the Romans started their Saturnalia holiday, which was later adapted and renamed to Christmas by the Christians wanting to convert pagan Europeans to Christianity. One thing the Romans obviously did not start and which does not get too boring are the Christmas trees, Christmas trees transform a boring white landscape into something a little bit more colorful. When tender plants cannot grow yet and grapevines are dormant waiting for spring to arrive there’s nothing like a good decorated conifer to brighten the landscape and in many cases the houses up into something more to do with colors than just boring snow, although this year I doubt that it is going to be a white Christmas with all these groundsels and daisies blooming like crazy. But even with the nice colors in a white landscape there are many health implications to these Christmas trees that makes Christmas trees not only damaging to one’s health but also morally wrong, which is why I avoid them. In the modern world, these trees in homes and malls are not real but synthetic made by companies that don’t give a damn about the people buying them or what happens to people making these synthetic trees. Most modern synthetic Christmas trees are made by using carcinogenic chemicals that can cause cancers. Not only are these trees carcinogenic to people looking at the trees in their homes but are also damaging to the health of the workers that don’t celebrate Christmas but have to make these synthetic trees for the Western consumer. Anyone who claims to be Green or care about reducing pollution and damage to the Earth should already know that these fake trees end up in rivers and in forests spreading these carcinogenic chemicals to rest of the environment while damaging wildlife and the planet as a whole. In fact, there’s no reason to have theses carcinogenic plastic trees since there is no archaeological evidence to prove that Jesus ever existed in the past. Obviously, followers of the Bible and the Quran would say that scripture is enough evidence to prove that Jesus existed during the Roman times but either way, if there was a Jesus during the Roman times then he certainly would have preached against materialism, if he was truly from the divine as many people say he was. Christmas trees represent materialism in the modern world. Since the Romans never had Christmas trees for their Saturnalia and nor did Jesus ever mention them, for Jesus if he existed, must have been against materialism, the whole Christmas tree thing is rather pointless, if not taking into account that these synthetic trees cause cancers to people. Some people say that the real trees are better than the fake ones since they do not contain chemicals that could cause cancers and that damage the environment. Unfortunately, for those who do not buy organically grown trees, the trees that are not organically grown contain pesticides that can damage the health too. Organically grown trees that probably do not contain pesticides are better to buy but are much harder to find and like most things organic, the trees are probably more expensive too. If one really needs to celebrate Christmas with a tree then the organically grown real trees are probably the best to buy but really there is no reason to have a Christmas tree that can cause cancers.
Many plants need stratification the process where seeds from trees and other plants need to be simulated by winter conditions before germination can occur. Many seeds from trees will not germinate until their dormancy is broken by freezing and cold. Stratification happens all time in colder climates where plants have evolved need for stratification before germination in spring so that the seeds don’t start too early where they would only to be killed off by the harsh winter weather. With the current warm weather conditions making the autumn feel more like springtime one can imagine that if there is global warming the kind of warm weather like it is now will continue well into winter both now and in the future winters to come. Warm weather will probably by long gone by the time winter weather arrives but if the temperature does not fall anytime soon then many tree seeds will not be able to experience stratification which they need to experience before spring arrives next year. If this coming winter is too mild for stratification then the tree seeds will not be able to germinate in spring 2014 and that would be catastrophic for plants that need stratification. It is interesting to note that if there is global warming then many plants that need stratification will not be able to experience stratification in their natural habitats.
Let’s face it, Halloween should be boycotted for life. It always disgusts me how millions of people that never grow pumpkins celebrate the commercialized version of Halloween without ever thinking about the pumpkins that are wasted every Halloween. Of course it is not the masses of unemployed and starving people that live on this planet that would literally kill for a pumpkin that are wasting the pumpkins but it is everyday consumer that blindly accepts anything that a supermarket tells them to buy and celebrate. Having seen how people waste pumpkins while knowing that many people never cultivate pumpkin plants for their fruit, I find modern Halloween not only completely useless celebration but also disgusting because the celebration of Halloween encourages people to waste large amounts of food that could have been used in a world where there are thousands of people going hungry. Halloween would not be so bad if the pumpkin fruit, by the way the actual pumpkin is a fruit not a vegetable, was hollowed out and the food used for cooking with the shell only being used to make a scary lantern. Sadly, the perfection and wonders of pumpkin fruit are wasted by this celebration. Halloween strangely enough actually did come from pagan harvest festivals where food was respected but today the pumpkins are totally wasted by the millions. Halloween is believed by many to be Celtic having originated from pagan harvest festivals that were later to become more Christian oriented celebration that today in has become just any other supermarket money making opportunity before it was spread to North America and then the rest of Europe. Of course today nobody even thinks where it originated from or why they are doing it in the first place but regardless of even what Halloween is was anyone that cares about food security and wants to stop food wastage should boycott Halloween for life. If people must celebrate Halloween then at least not waste the pumpkins and instead use contents of the pumpkin for what they are for which is food. I think it is appealing that such lovely pumpkins go to so much waste when those precious pumpkins could have been for so much more than being wasted by modern commercialization of pumpkins.
With the warmer weather the runner beans are now slowly growing new stems and leaves to replace the stems and leaves that were damaged by the cold. Runner beans should have been killed off by now but thanks to the warmer weather, the runner beans are returning and still developing green pods. As long as the warmer weather continues the runner beans will continue to live, until the frost returns to finally finish them off. It would be unscientific to say that this warm weather is the result of the climate change or as what the Greens call “Global Warming” but it is rather weird weather and it strangely is appearing to be getting warmer every autumn.
Apart from indoor oak trees that seem to be a bit confused about the season, the trees and grapevines have all now turned their foliage to the many autumn colors, the maple trees and birch trees looking particularly beautiful this year, thanks to the dry weather. Walnut trees are the first to lose their leaves, if one does not include cherry trees that were badly damaged by ozone pollution, but the walnut trees have only now started to drop their walnuts for harvesting. Many plants are still flowering. Sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, daises, tomatoes protected by glass, roses and the weedy groundsels are all taking advantage of the warmer autumn, that seems to benefit the them more than the normal weather pattern did to them in the past.
Thanks to the warmer weather the runner beans pods are still developing even now that it is autumn. Cold weather should have killed them by now but this year the warmer weather is helping the runner beans.