The Wenatchee World

Weather:

Weather

The latest extended forecast from The Weather Channel

Remove this weather forecast

Flash Flood Watch issued August 01 at 10:54AM PDT until August 01 at 11:00PM PDT by NWS

...FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE ON RECENT BURN AREAS FRIDAY... .BRIEF DOWNPOURS FROM ISOLATED TO SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS COULD PRODUCE FLASH FLOODING ACROSS AREAS THAT HAVE EXPERIENCED RECENT WILDFIRES. DEBRIS FLOWS AND RAPID RUNOFF WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT THREAT IN THIS CASE. ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING...

Tonight

Lo74° Slight Chc Showers

Saturday

Hi97° Slight Chc Thunderstorms

Saturday Night

Lo71° Slight Chc Thunderstorms

Sunday

Hi99° Hot

Sunday Night

Lo73° Partly Cloudy

Monday

Hi100° Hot

Monday Night

Lo72° Mostly Clear

Tuesday

Hi98° Hot

Tuesday Night

Lo70° Mostly Clear

Wednesday

Hi96° Hot

One potato, hold the fungicide

Send to Kindle
Print This

The plants we grow en masse to sustain humanity do not arise from some mystical “all natural” process. They are chosen, bred, altered and cultivated by human beings, for human beings, and mostly it works. But the plants of unnatural agriculture still have natural enemies. They kill our food, and often humans suffer.

One particularly vicious enemy is a microbe called Phytophthora infestans. Technically it is an oomycete, a sort of fungus or mildew that blows on the wind and clings to the mist and dearly loves the plants of its native America, and one in particular that we call potato. Phytophthora infestans, also known as late blight, followed the ancestors of the potato to the islands off northern Europe, where potatoes grow well and are a vital source of calories for millions. But Phytophthora infestans thrives in the cool, moist air, and finds a ready host in the potato fields. The pathogen from one infected plant or tuber can turn an entire year’s crop into putrid, stinking, inedible mush in a matter of days. It has happened, and in 1840s Ireland thousands starved, and thousands more migrated to lands where they might find sustenance, and chances are good one of them was your ancestor.

View my optionsorSign in