North & South | #21

Orchards in Norway

Vineyards in Champagne, France

I found more photos by my friend Fonolitt in my North & South archive. Aren’t they gorgeous? As you may remember from this earlier post, these were captured in late fall in the vineyards of Champagne, France and early spring in the orchards in the mountains of central Norway.

If you’d like to see more of the mountains of Norway (I’m sure you do!), Fonolitt has some beautiful shots of fall colors in Rondane on her blog.

This series is about pairing two photos with similar textures, colors and composition — one from the North, one from the South. If you’d like to share your photos?, you’re very welcome to post a link in the comments or to email me. Do feel free to interpret “North” and “South” creatively: the difference in latitudes doesn’t have to be extreme!

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North & South | #12

wineyard in Champagne, France

orchard in Norway

My friend Fonolitt sent me these beautiful views of late fall in the vineyards of Champagne, France and early spring in the orchards in the mountains of central Norway. Thanks so much, Fonolitt!

This series is about pairing two photos with similar textures, colors and composition — one from the North, one from the South. Would you like to share your photos? Great! You’re very welcome to post a link in the comments or to email me. Do feel free to interpret “North” and “South” creatively: the difference in latitudes doesn’t have to be extreme!

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On Carrots And Plastic

winter vegetables

Dear Fellow Root Vegetable Lovers, Vegan Friends and Food Science Colleagues,

A friend of mine emailed me a link to an article that had captured her attention in the Norwegian press, and whose title translates as “Stressed Carrots Taste Worse”. I’m really glad she did, because it made me aware of a terrible carrot storing habit I had to this day. I realize that it was, respectively, an offense to your delicate taste buds, a crude lack of respect for your lifestyle, and a poor recognition of your hard work. Thus to all of you, I apologize.

All these years I have thought I could teach my grandma to suck eggs – or as it happens, to store carrots – and I was so wrong. My grandma, by the way, would have stored her carrots in the root cellar in a container full of sand, but as the article points out, today, luckily, we don’t need sand anymore: we have plastic.

Plastic. That’s were the shoe pinches. I confess that I have repeatedly lost my temper in front of all this plastic. I have savagely ripped these plastics bags, furiously thrown away these plastic baskets and called them “stupidly redundant” as I emptied carrots in the vegetable compartment of my fridge. I have wished I could teleport myself to the farmer’s market Place des Lices and have a bunch of sandy carrots dropped off straight into my reusable bag.

I wonder how I can have been so arrogant as to ignore that this plastic packaging, though “perhaps not very environmentally friendly”, was carefully designed to provide me with the healthiest, tastiest carrots? Now it all becomes clear. Of course the plastic basket protected my carrots from chocks during transport. And how can I have failed to notice that the plastic bags had perfectly calibrated holes to provide my carrots with the right amount of oxygen?

Now perhaps we should all just pause for a minute and wonder what exactly was wrong with our Grandmas’ root cellars. I am absolutely sure that conducting research on vegetation stress is very interesting and fruitful from a biological point of view. But I can’t help to think that this whole carrot and plastic story has a bit of a bitter aftertaste, and that this is what happens when one demands that research imperatively yields practical applications.

As a scientist and root vegetable lover, all this makes me, in fact, a little sad.

Take care and eat well,

Marion

PS: Did you know that carrot greens make a delicious soup? Here is my recipe.


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