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This Organic Life

May 24, 2010

A recently released study seems to show a link between high levels of residual pesticides in children and an increased risk of ADHD (Pesticides in Kids Linked to ADHD).  I try to buy organic when I can, and this news certainly supports my belief that it’s the right thing to do for many reasons.  I have to say though, I prefer my organic experience to be in the grocery store.

You see, I’ve done the organic thing.  Or perhaps I should say, my husband has done the organic thing.  I was just elected to harvest the fields.  My husband is a frustrated farmer, so despite the fact that we lived at the time in suburban Seattle he was determined to work the land in an epic way, and in true epic form he had a grand plan:

  • Step one – buy a tractor (not a prissy little sissified city version that’s actually a glorified riding mower; we’re talking a full-size 1950 Ford 8N because, and this is a direct quote, “I can do a lot with a tractor.”)
  • Step two – proceed to do a lot with the tractor in order to justify the purchase (this includes tearing out and relocating several giant rhododendrons and tilling large amounts of bagged animal doo-doo into the dirt)
  • Step three – build half a dozen HUGE raised beds and several even larger terraces
  • Step four – spend several weeks poring over seed catalogs as if they were Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions
  • Step five – plant everything and then sit back and wait to reap the tasty rewards
  • Step six – enlist some unpaid slave labor to do all of the actual harvesting and food prep (that would be me)

Now I have to say, my husband did a fantastic job.  He tended the garden faithfully and without the use of chemicals or pesticides.  Soon we had loads of asparagus, green beans, onions, lettuce, elephant garlic, tomatoes, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and more.  And herein lied the rub:  I couldn’t keep up with it.  We literally had produce coming out of our ears.  It was all delicious, and it really is true that fruits and veggies taste infinitely better when they’re straight from your garden.  But we just couldn’t eat it all. 

I took to inviting just about anyone I came across to waltz into our backyard with a grocery bag or two and take as much food as they could carry.  And still a lot of it went to waste.  I felt guilty about that, but not quite guilty enough to take up home canning.

Our home now has a backyard the size of a postage-stamp, and much of that is taken up by the patio.  There certainly isn’t enough room to have a garden.  However, my husband did manage to grow some pretty fabulous tomatoes in large containers.  They’re delicious right off the vine.  And the best part is, there’s only two plants so I don’t even have to think about canning. 

Now that’s my idea of organic living. 

Top 12 Foods You Should Eat Organic

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 8:55 pm

    I hear you, Sister, especially about the tractor: “I can do a lot with a tractor” is almost exactly what my husband said when he bought his. We didn’t get raised beds, though he’s moved a lot of earth with it. On the topic of organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s an imperfect world. I buy organic when I can, especially those fruits and veggies that seem to require more pesticides than other foods, and I do gravitate toward the organic or “natural” meats. But, Lordy, who can afford it all? I’ve chosen not to devote my life to the production of organic foods. My in-laws lived for nearly 70 years downwind of the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington state. They ate grocery store fruits and veggies and store-bought beef. They’re among the healthiest people I’ve ever known. So I keep my fingers crossed and toss a little salt over my shoulder for good luck (sea salt, that is).

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