Sunday, 4 October 2015

09:56 – The morning paper reports that more than a fifth of third-graders in our school system don’t read well enough to pass to fourth grade. That’s really saying something, considering the standards are already very low. No word on the breakdown of these students, but everyone of course assumes that they’re exclusively or nearly exclusively black and Hispanic. The school system’s solution is neither to hold them back in third grade nor to “socially” pass them into fourth grade. Instead, they’ll start next year in a “transitional” unnumbered grade between third and fourth. Presumably, the year after they’ll still be unable to meet the standards and will simply continue in limbo, warehoused until they turn 18. At which time, they probably still won’t be able to read at a fourth-grade level, and county taxpayers will have footed the bill for more than a decade of very expensive day care.

We’re getting kit stuff organized and inventoried. Yesterday, I finally found the missing 200 inoculating loops, which were in the bottom of a shipping box covered with 20 one-pound bags of rubber stoppers. Today, we’ll fill chemical bags and build another batch of biology kits.

We also received our first shipment of open-pollinated seeds, as well as a bunch of desiccant packets we need for making up the heirloom seed kits. The latest two additions are hulless oats and barley, both of which are grain crops that are much better suited to home gardens than is wheat. We’ve also added the herbs Stevia, which provides an extract that is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, and St. John’s Wort, which is a natural anti-depressant. The kit is currently up to about 4.7 pounds of 20 varieties, totaling more than 70,000 seeds. This week, we’ll begin dehydrating and then testing germination rates of the first group of seeds.

As I mentioned Thursday, our target price for this kit is $150, shipping included, although it may end up higher than that. We intend to begin shipping the first batch of these kits next month. If any of you regular readers/commenters want to order one or more of these kits, you can do so for $100 per kit if you place your order in the next few days. To do so, go to paypal.com, choose the option to send money, and transfer $100 for each kit you want to orders (at) thehomescientist (dot) com. Make sure to include your mailing address, either street address or PO box.