Every week I get a beautiful box of fresh vegetables delivered to my doorstep. It’s local, seasonal and most importantly to me, it’s organic. Grown with out pesticides. It’s a funny topic with people who argue with you that “organic” farmers still use pesticides.
“Really, are you sure? ” I reply. Nobody’s ever quite sure if they do use pesticides but still call themselves organic or not. Yes, confusing…just as the Syngenta, Monstanto, and government’s who are deep in bed with these firms would like you to believe. Confusion is their strongest marketing tool, and believe me, they use it well.
We did have first hand experience with organic farming. For almost 18 years, we lived every day, side-by-side on our farm in California with an organic farmer. He was a wonderful symbol of supporting the local, organic farmer. Our farmer was a California native who had descended from a short line of farmers. He had an extensive California history, farming experience and most of all, dedication to the cause-keeping our planet healthy and without chemicals. At least he tried to do what he could with his little piece of California. His specialty was growing heirloom-really before they made their re-debut in the 2000’s. He grew the most amazing assortment of tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, lettuce, broccoli’s, and the list goes on and on.
Never once, did our organic farmer use a single pesticide to farm. His yields were strong, and his crops were full of flavor. His fields were in balance. Where most commercial farmers clear the land of all growth, our farmer kept the volunteer Elderberry trees that we had peppered all over the back fields. He loved having his natural pest controllers near at hand…the birds. They alone could keep a field free of pests which threaten any farmer’s crop. Most commercial farmers come in with over-sized equipment and take over the land, whatever the cost. Our farmer worked hand and hand with the land’s natural predators. We were able to enjoy wild-life from our kitchen window while he farmed our fields. He recognized the benefits of the gopher snakes, even though his Mexican workers would much rather slice and dice the specie, he urged them to keep them and allow them to help with rodent control. Andy kept life in balance on the farm, and he ran his entire crew that way. To this day, he runs a moderately successful farming practice, serving most of the acclaimed kitchens in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz region. He has a great reputation amongst the foodies, and is asked to be a guest at every farm dinner in the area. He was a pleasure to have on our land, and I will remember this experience forever.
Organic farming is possible. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. We don’t need chemicals to farm healthy. We only need willing participants to believe in the cause-the cause to a better world, free of pesticides and herbicides and any other ‘cide” from our ground and water -both which feed and nourish all of us. After all, we are in this thing (world, life) together!