Saturday, 20 June 2015

Where Have All The Olvies Gone?

The bacteria Xylella fastidiosa, or leaf scorch has been killing Oleander trees for years in Callyfornia, it's spread by insects namely the glassy-winged sharpshooter that pierces the plant and sucks all the lovely plant juices. No big deal since the Oleander is just a hedge row plant from the Mediterranean climate and parts of China whose leaves are poisonous to humans.
There is a famous story from the Myrtles plantation in Louisiana from the 1800's where a slave named Chloe baked a cake with Oleander in it and poisoned her mistress and two daughters. Chloe was then hanged by the other slaves then thrown into the Mississippi River .... None of the story is true since the Myrtles had no slaves and they lived for years until dying from Yellow fever but it gets the tourists and ghost hunters to the farm. The toxicity of the Oleander has been much typed over the years. 
All that was left was vinegar and mustard .... sorry, an old food rationing joke. If yer old like me you'll get it.

Nerium Oleander, also known as as dogbane and Indian hemp was mentioned in a book of plants from 300 BC by the Greek Theophrastus who took over from Aristotle. Yeah even though Theophrastus is considered the father of botany we only remember the ones with the easy names.

So I was in Sainbury's buying me food .... I only shoplift and shit in Tesco, I don't eat there ... gross! I noticed they weren't getting olives in. I kind of hate and love olives at the same time, it's complicated. They also weren't getting guacamole in either and I use that in me burritos.

So where do olives come from? The Mediterranean, happens that I know a little Italian. So I phoned up the little Italian and said, "Hey Alfonso, what the fuck mate?"     

Turns out that the insects from America have been spreading their Xylella fastidiosa all over the place. Last year the olive crop was down cos of shitty weather and now it's 40 - 50 % down cos of disease. The bacteria stops the flow of water causing the leaves to dry out and look scorched. It is true, when America sneezes the rest of the world does indeed catch a cold, hey I didn't bring the bugs over from Callyfornia, I was decontaminated at Heathrow before I was allowed back in. 

So what about the guacamole? Callyfornia is having a normal/not spectacular crop and a severe hailstorm has destroyed 85% of Mexico's guacamole crop.  Does anyone suffer as much as Old Knudsen? .... the answer is no cos he's more fucking sensitive than everyone else, I have to get olives in a fucking jar. Je Suis Knudsen, say it with me people.

So anyways, I'm sure you'll all join me in a big "Thanks a lot Obama!" 

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