Hello once again, in this – my 4th article in this series about organic gardening.
In the first article, I spelled out WHAT “organic” means according to the Wikipedia definition. Now I would like to cover WHY plant, nurture, grow and/or consume organic fruits and vegetables.
‘Why organic’? The main reason is that chemical fertilizers, insecticides, weed killers etc., are neither friendly nor useful to our physical bodies. They are usually man-made or man-assembled chemicals that have harmful effects in varying degrees, some of which are long term. These harmful effects are exactly why these products are also able to kill insects and weeds. The idea is that after having killed off competing insects and weeds, the plants we want to consume, can flourish and get harvested. Such chemical products can be applied to plants for mass consumption or just individual and family consumption.
Examples of damage resulting from such products abound in nearly all the media that I have seen. I hardly need to move an inch in the chair in front of my computer, or barely move my fingers to type in just a few words in searches, to see some of them.
For example, there is a recent documentary film called “A Chemical Reaction” from PFZmedia. It was produced by Paul Tukey and Brett Plymale. (Paul Tukey was in the gardening business himself earlier on, and got very ill. This was traced to chemical fertilizers that he applied to people’s lawns.) The film’s story concerns a town called Hudson Ontario in Canada, which ended up banning the use of lawn and garden pesticides. The one-woman pioneer who accomplished this in about 10 years time, was a doctor named June Irwin, who traced illnesses among the town’s children and other inhabitants to such chemicals. Then other towns followed suit in banning these products as well.
We have also been witness to Monsanto and other giant corporations dictating the rules of how to grow produce, which are not all in our best interests as consumers. See the film “Food Inc.” for more information. Controversial as this film is, it does point to a central message that big corporations are all too likely to be interested in their profits more than in our health.
But then consider you and me, with our own organic vegetable garden on our own land – anywhere from a 4 acre sustainable agriculture farm to an 8 ft. by 8 ft. garden plot. This gives us a self-sufficiency in allowing us to plant with variety. And it also removes us from even potential dangers that go along with chemically assisted mass production.
And of course, the foods we harvest are some of the most nutritious foods to eat, in their fresh state – and without transportation costs! These are foods that we have had control over since before the seedling stage (by controlling the health of the earth, via compost etc.). These methods are sustainable, not just for ourselves, but as a planet-wide way of planting and harvesting fruits and veggies we can be proud of. And it gets better: we can also give them, exchange them or sell them for other things we need.
Then it gets better than best: OUR HEALTH. The one commodity that we hardly pay attention to, until our bodies nudge us in one way or another, to pay attention. As much as we would like to have the confidence that we know what vitamins and minerals and other substances our bodies need for their nutrition, our bodies ultimately are better chemists than we are-even the experts among us. This is really WHY we garden organically, to exchange the best in this circle of life we call our own, on planet earth.