welcome to FERN’s Friday stream (#FFF), where we share this week’s stories that got us thinking.
Documenting New York’s “Wild” Apples
New York magazine
“During the day Mullan works as a brand manager at small batch chocolate producer Raaka; by night, Mullan is a photographer who has been documenting New York’s apples and apple trees since 2017, ”writes Emma Orlow. “At the time, honestly, I didn’t really think that fruit could even survive in an urban setting,” he recalls. “Even though I don’t know anymore, the feeling of astonishment when I find very large trees laden with fruit in the city still remains… It’s funny to me that some of the best fruit I’ve ever tasted comes from the – places of death, he said. “Which seems like a very apt nature metaphor. “
Virginia Woolf’s Intricate Kitchen Journey
“She[…]harbored contempt for domestic work and the women who performed it, ”writes Reina Gattuso. “According to Alison Light, whose book Mrs. Woolf and the servants chronicles Virginia’s relationship with domestic work, this contradiction – between wanting to break free from gender and class hierarchies, while perpetuating them – has characterized much of Woolf’s life and work. Light says Woolf’s interest in cooking probably grew out of a desire to become independent – from patriarchy, disease, and a dependence on domestic workers. “That’s part of why I think she’s so cheerful and exuberant when learning to cook simple dishes.”
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High beef prices test Biden’s confidence-shattering rhetoric
“Market regulation went out of fashion in the 1970s, a victim of its internal contradictions,” writes David Frum. “As academic critics such as Robert Bork argued at the time: If, say, a supermarket gains market share over its mom-and-pop competitors by offering a wider selection at lower prices, you can understand why mom and dad don’t like it. . But how is it “pro-competition” if the government steps in to protect Mom and Pop from competitors who better meet customer needs? This argument has prevailed for most of the last half century. The Biden administration is looking to change course – and it’s the beef that begins. “
Living “bee fences” protect farmers from elephants, and vice versa
Aha from Lucy King! moment, when she realized that elephants were only afraid of bees when they swarmed, led the zoologist “to sketch a new concept for using living beehives as” fences “to protect crops from elephants in search of food. The aim was to reduce human-elephant conflicts, which increased dramatically in parts of Africa in the 2000s, ”writes Cari Shane. “[N]initially 10,000 beehive fences like those in King’s original sketches are now being built at sites in 20 African and Asian countries… The beehives are hung from wires suspended between wooden poles. If an elephant tries to enter a farm, it enters the wires, shaking the beehives and sparking a swarm.
Experts fear pandemic has boosted human trafficking in guest worker program
Investigate the Midwest
“The H-2A program provides a scaffolding for the farming system, allowing farms to bring in enough labor to pick the fruits and vegetables Americans rely on. But many workers have fallen victim to the deals by employers using the program, said experts and activists who fear the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed the situation to worsen, ”writes Amanda Perez Pintado.[T]he coronavirus pandemic has exposed flaws in the … program, according to Polaris, an organization that works to eradicate human trafficking. During a six-month pandemic period, according to a Polaris analysis, the number of likely survivors of labor trafficking holding H-2A visas has increased by more than 70%. “