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January 20th 2010    Tim Candler

    Last year a Bush Bean called 'Blue Lake' had a wonderful time in the Vegetable Garden.   Granted its growing season was well provided for by rain and respectable temperature.  But the consequence of this Bean's success has been profound on me.

    Ever the one to see salesmanship in the naming of plant varieties, I have also been prone to sneer at fashionableness and tradition amongst gardeners themselves.   "A nail is a nail!"  has been my inclination,  "and a Bush Bean is a Bush Bean!"    And this while somewhere in the back of my mind, I have understood the potency of plant variety in the real of gardening.

     I could blame time spent in perennial borders where I have waited upon poets in straw hats and ladies who do not like the color yellow in things that bloom.   I have called such eugenicists social outcast and given them relatives in regimes that practice genocide.  And I have then gone home superior with their money in my pocket.

     However, the 'Blue Lake' effect may have other and perhaps unfortunate consequences.  I can see myself moving toward commodity, creating standards based upon that part of the word productive that implies quality and quantity, and in the process getting lost in a mathematics that does not contain an algorithm for that part of the word productive that implies oneness.

    So this year, alongside 'Blue Lake' I will plant 'Triumph De Farcy'  because no vegetable garden should be without a Bush Bean with such a transparently devious name.

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