Wisconsin is opening up

Experts or no, ultimately the People decide

Temperatures this week in the mid-60s. The crop of daffodils is as good as we’ve seen. It is Spring in Madison WI (our shortest season) and people are emerging into the open! 

Speaking of emerging, a chubby groundhog (perhaps loaded with pups) lumbered its way through the city park out back to (let’s hope) somewhere else. Chickadees are digging a home into a dead sour gum tree here on the Blaska Experimental Work Farm (and Penal Colony). The robins and redwing blackbirds are after the suet like Drunk Uncle at the Thanksgiving liquor cabinet. Downspouts on all four corners of the Stately Manor now support nests in their crooks.

These are some of the things you can see just by looking, as Yogi Berra remarked. 

Garden 2020

“In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.” — Chauncey Gardner

Victory garden

The unlettered field hands took their pitchforks (last employed at the Reopen Wisconsin protest) to the asparagus patch. The leaf mulch might have been laid on a bit too heavy last fall. The soil underneath was cold and wet even at this late date (04-28-2020). If we mound up the mulch as the spears emerge, we’ll produce some of that spargle (fat, white spears) we enjoyed in May of last year on Ms. Vicki McKenna’s Danube river cruise!

Red Norland potatoes went right into the leaf mulch and another inch into the ground of another patch 04-27. 

Singing their simple folksongs (from the first Kraftwerk album) the oppressed field hands sowed the main fields last week 04-22 with Buttercrunch lettuce, arugula, Lucullus chard, Super Sugar Snap peas, and Red Cloud beets. In 40 years of gardening, this was our first use of seed tapes (for the beets). In the past, we had broadcast sown previous beet crops as we do the lettuce but we like the automatic spacing seed tape affords. 

The good earth must breathe

Do love digging our fingers into the soil. Remember my father on the farm literally tasting the dirt before he planted. Over the last 30 years, the field hands at the Experimental Work Farm have worked into the natural clay soil a bounty of amendments. Before the winter snows, we aerated the soil and churned into the ground the remaining vegetable stalks and spent flowers. The churned dirt was now receptive to a blanket of macerated leaves, allowing microbes extra time to do their work.

Early this spring, we dumped a winter’s worth of kitchen offal — egg shells, banana peels, and coffee grounds — into the mix. Even a few lobster shells and papier mâché egg cartons and TP rolls. The soil had already devoured much of the autumn leaf feast. All of which we mix-mastered with the Work Farm’s newly acquired easy-start Stihl rototiller. Then a second run through a week later before we can call it a seed bed.

Planting is accomplished standing atop six-foot wide cedar boards (distributes the weight) so as not to compress the soil. The soil must breathe.


People are voting with their feet

More wild life sightings: two children are swinging the swings at Orchard Ridge Park out back, despite the dire coronavirus warning signs posted by the City of Madison. Over the weekend, our neighbors entertained about a half-dozen friends. Band practice has resumed at another neighbor’s house. 

If your Squire is incubating the Wuhan Woo Woo from the 04-24 Reopen clambake at the Capitol he is also contributing to herd immunity. (Doctors Erickson and Massihi dissent. They appeared on Laura Ingraham last night.)

⇒ Our sophisticated sensing antennae confirms that ‘Quarantine Fatigue’ has more people going outside. (Story here.)

Gov. Evers is opening state parks that never should have been closed in the first place. The people are voting with their feet. Experts know a lot but they don’t know everything.

Blaska’s Bottom Line — When you think about it, what is to stop a particular town or a bunch of businesses from opening up? Some customers will patronize; others will remain sequestered. Ultimately, the people decide.

Are YOU thinking about it?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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10 Responses to Wisconsin is opening up

  1. Marge Bils says:

    Spring is happening despite COVID 19 . Enjoying the birds cavorting in our back yard and nesting. Enjoying watching the buds on trees and bushes sprout their lovely green leaves. The “wascally Wabbits ” are trying to expand their population under a bush ; sometimes feel like Elmer Fudd in my battle with the varmints. But being outside is certainly invigorating! Makes me want to burst out into song “Welcome Sweet Springtime”!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin S Wymore says:

    The state Department of Employee Trust Fund’s May 2020 newsletter includes this fact:

    “If you and/or a covered dependent are diagnosed with COVID-19, follow your provider’s instructions. Most people isolate at home during their illness, and limit contact with others.

    The current treatment protocol for the disease is the same as the flu, including rest and fluids.”

    NOTE: This message provides more evidence that the USA’s economy is staggering over what is essentially a national and global case of the flu.


  3. Ian says:

    Did Peewee just blink?


  4. Good Dog,Happy Man says:

    Governor Tony “No-No” NEvers said, he’d open up the State Parks by Friday, but the restrooms would remain closed.

    What’s with this small-minded little contol-freak spud, and what’s he got against regular, normal tax-paying Cheddarheads going to the bathroom? At the Freedom Rally, he denied porto-potties to be spotted, too.

    I’m an old Parks guy, (full disclosure, I was Director of Aesthetics, for the City of Makistan Parks for 36 years), this almost ensures that the litter lilies will be in full bloom. It’s either a deliberate, dystopian Democrat malice that’s he’s showing, or perhaps, he’s just dumber than a box of rocks. .


  5. I’m okay with the state parks opening with closed bathrooms. People can pee at home or behind a tree. This will limit the amount of time that people spend in the parks too. I guess we’ll find out if people will abuse the parks and spread their poo litter behind trees and such. There is no perfect solution here folks. While I understand that this blog tends to be critical of Evers, I think that opening up the parks under the stated rules is a good compromise. I’m happy with it. I think most people in the state will be happy with it too. At least they can go out for a hike and use boat landings along the lower Wisconsin River again. Thank goodness for that. I didn’t understand that closure at all. I did understand closing the busiest parks, like Devil’s Lake. They probably did make the mistake of making admission free, but I don’t think anyone knew how intensely the parks would be used as a result. They had to close them in order to regroup and figure out a way to safely open them. What has been proposed sounds like a reasonable compromise. I for one am grateful for the openings.


  6. AdamC says:

    No one will EVER honestly answer these questions–

    -All this time hundreds have tromped through Walmart …. but we can’t go to church for 45 minutes a week

    -Grocery stores are safe… but swingsets aren’t

    -1 million can vote at poling places nearly a month ago…. but we can’t eat at an outdoor Cafe or have a beer at a corner tavern.

    Heavy-handed shut down in place for nearly 6 weeks without any ability to adjust for reality which includes that the predictive models they used to justify a heavy handed lockdown were extremely inaccurate.

    If the State Supreme Court doesn’t, then the State Legislature needs to do everything it can to put in place major restrictions on the executive branch to prevent this kind of overreaction from ever poccurring again. They could do the same thing next time we have a bad flu season (80,000 deaths a couple years ago).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joan Downs says:

    Heck no!

    I certainly hope those kids do not get sick possibly lethally so because they ignored those warnings. Yeah, yeah, they’re just kids, but where were the responsible adults? And no, Mr. Blaska, I do not consider you to be that. The more we ignore the warnings, the longer the pandemic is going to last. Yes, some folks are going to vote with their feet, leaving those at high like myself quarantined for even longer. Gee, thanks, folks – NOT!


    • Batman says:

      “The more we ignore the warnings, the longer the pandemic is going to last.”

      Nope, just the opposite.


  8. A Party of One says:

    May Day should be Defy the Governor Day! We need to see which side the LEOs are on.
    All businesses should re-open. I would have no concern about sitting in a restaurant and having a meal.
    537,000 residents in Dane County, 424 confirmed cases, 22 deaths. Death rate of 0.00409%. I’m probably more likely to die in a car accident driving to the restaurant, for crying out loud!
    People are free to stay home and suck their thumbs if they wish.


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