Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Beauty of Agronomy

At this time of the season, while wine lovers are getting ready for the holiday season, grapegrowers are busy tending their vineyards.
One of their major concerns is keeping diseases, like powdery and downy mildew at bay and also establishing and training new vineyards.

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"Behind the fruitfulness are men of understanding and knowledge,
and skill, men who experiment with seed, endlessly developing the
techniques for greater crops of plants whose roots will resist the
million enemies of the earth: the molds, the insects, the rusts, the
blights. These men work carefully and endlessly to perfect the seed,
the roots. And there are the men of chemistry who spray the trees
against pests, who sulphur the grapes, who cut out disease and rots,
mildews and sicknesses. Doctors of preventive medicine, men at the
borders who look for fruit flies, for Japanese beetle, men who
quarantine the sick trees and root them out and burn them, men of
knowledge. The men who graft the young trees, the little vines, are
the cleverest of all, for theirs is a surgeon's job, as tender and
delicate; and these men must have surgeons' hands and surgeons' hearts
to slit the bark, to place the grafts, to bind the wounds and cover
them from the air. These are great men."
 John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath.

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