Actually, I haven't gone anywhere. I just got busy. Or lazy. No, busy. Busy definitely sounds better.
Now I'm half a year plus into my new job, settling in and enjoying California. I've always been pleased with the pomological offerings of everywhere I've lived, from New York, to Arkansas, to Florida, but it's hard to imagine a better place for temperate fruits than the Central Coast of California.
Anyway, I was guilted (not intentionally, I don't think) into returning by Luigi, over at the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog, an interesting site I really should keep up with more often. In addition to his recent post citing my post (which I will refrain from linking to for fear that we all would be caught up in a horrifying infinite loop), a few stories back is a link to a baffling an upsetting and baffling story from India:
Indian Genebank Doomed(?)
Apparently the local government is going to bulldoze the thousands of genotypes of litchis and mangoes to build bungalows for MPs.
This kind of short-sighted idiocy is nothing new, although this instance is particularly brazen. Fruit cultivars, once gone, are gone forever. Practically speaking, there is no way to recreate a fruit cultivar. You might come close, but generally it'd take a lot of breeding and expense, and you'll never be able to recreate any unique alleles that died with the original. Biotech can do many impressive things, but we are a long, long, long way from "building" a particular cultivar.
Anyway, I'm sure it's utterly futile, but for all my many readers with connections among the Indian powers that be, please lean on these people and make them realize just how horrible an idea this is.