On the Road to Guadalupe

Explore the Unknown!   

For August 26, 2020       
Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors. 
Hi WN@TL Fans,
Last week Claire, Will & I reached the end of the west-bound leg of our road trip and arrived at Santa Monica Beach.  We then turned northwest and headed into a California being set alight every night by lightning and enshrouded in haze during the days.
Along California Route 1, the bucolic rolling hills, the shores and beaches, the redwood stands of Big Sur and of Crescent City, flicker the post-card views that give the drive its glamour.
But also long the road are astonishing feats of agriculture that give the drive its grit:  the pool-table-flat fields with deep furrows and raised beds covered by the acre in white plastic, the row upon row upon row of high-tunnel plastic open-air greenhouses covering fields of brambles, the tractors and trucks and speciality machinery that help fill our national cornucopia.
And on the road from Lompoc to Guadalupe, and again in the San Joaquin Valley approaching John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, just east of Eden, the kids saw something different from what they usually see in Wisconsin.  Long lines of cars and vans and pickups were parked along the end rows or fence lines, and in the fields the owners of the vehicles were working the fields, sometimes transplanting seedlings, sometimes hoeing weeds, sometimes picking produce.   While the tractors and trucks help, it is still the human hand that actually puts the lettuce and grapes and oranges into our horn of plenty.
The WN@TL missive two weeks ago was in praise of maize, and this week is a hymn to fruits & vegetables and to the people who breed them & raise them & bring them to our towns.
Today we reach Seattle.  We will turn right, head east, and ramble homeward bound.
Then comes September and school, and the road will be behind us. For a while.
I hope to see you sometime soon once we can resume Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H