Today we are travelling across northern Ohio. Lots of corn, soybeans, some grapes and apples, I think. There is a small farm that we have passed a couple of times and they have the oddest looking trees. These trees are not very big, maybe 15 feet tall, definitely fruit-y looking but we go past them too fast to really focus on what kind of fruit it is. They look like the kind of trees that would live in one of those scary forests in a children's story. The branches come up and then droop down heavily, like they are just too tired to hold themselves up and they look vaguely sinister.
I decided to look up these trees online so I would have some enlightening bit of trivia to tell, but apparently it's a state secret. I have looked and looked on the Google (remember when George Bush called it the Google? I'm stealing that!) under various search terms and have found out lots of things but not what this weird tree is. Ohio's state tree is the Buckeye which is a slightly poisonous nut that should not be eaten. Slightly poisonous? What does that even mean? Isn't that like slightly pregnant? But Buckeyes are way bigger than this. According the Ohio State University website fruit trees in Ohio include apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricot, plums and cherries. A quick look at those trees on the Google and still no luck with the creepy trees.
I wish that farmers would put a sign on their crops. It would be so interesting to know what that stuff growing on the side of the road is and maybe that would make regular people like us more interested in food and where it comes from. There is a section on I-90 in eastern Washington that does this and we love going by there and seeing the variety. This is the only place in the country that we have seen these signs and there is a lot of country out there believe me and a lot more than boring corn. If you know what this tree is, please tell me and I'll tell the Google!
If you want to know more about food crops and how the variety of what is grown is dwindling, check out Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle...A Year of Food Life".