The brilliant Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, wrote an Op Ed for NYT Sunday about the dangers of buying mass-produced, foreign seeds and starter plants from big box retailers and the like. The result has been an unusually severe outbreak of late blight, which can kill an entire tomato or potato crop in a matter of days. Barber goes on,
There’s another lesson here for the home gardener. When you start a garden, no matter how small, you become part of an agricultural network that binds you to other farmers and gardeners. Airborne late blight spores are a perfect illustration of agriculture’s web-like connections. The tomato plant on the windowsill, the backyard garden and the industrial tomato farm are, to be a bit reductive about it, one very large farm.