Sunday, July 29, 2007

Speaking of Organic

…is this not one of the prettiest works of nature that you have ever seen? Wow! How can you look at that color, a bounty of the finest, and not be overwhelmed and thankful? Freshly picked today, our small vegetable garden is offering this kind of reward on nearly a daily basis. Whole Foods or Wild Oats has nothing on us! You want organic? This is organic.

According to, “organic” is “…of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin: organic vegetables; an organic farm”.

I am very much in favor of things being natural, grown in a safe environment. We were raised on a small farm with my grandparents, and although we were not aware of the terminology, by golly, they were original organic farmers! Manure was spread and worked into the soil in order to fertilize the vegetable garden. Any foliage or vegetable trimmings went into a mulch pile which would then be turned back into the soil. Milk came from the goats that grazed in the fields. There were no fertilizers or pesticides other than what Mother Nature provided.

After I married and as my children were being born, we moved to a farm. My mother and her friend would visit and helped me put in such a large garden that only on a very limited basis did I frequent a grocery store. Tomatoes, beans, corn, potatoes, cabbage, onions… were grown and harvested, and hundreds of quarts of vegetables were either canned or frozen each year. We knew organic.

Terms such as that of organic tend at some point to get a little out of hand. It’s like any new buzz word that becomes known and is then taken a bit too far. (Did anyone else ever become nauseous after hearing the word paradigm 100,000 times?) We have not gone beyond the laughing mode as yet when we walk up and down the aisles of a grocery store, as it appears that now nearly everything is being labeled “organic”: cereal, milk, butter, peanut butter, coffee, oil, sugar… you name it, it is organic! Just today we heard 'organic furniture'. I’m waiting for the first Organic Internet or maybe the next time we drive up to a gasoline pump, would we be surprise to see it labeled organic?

And today, well actually yesterday, my husband and I prepared fresh beets, grilled squash, zucchini, and eggplant, a few tomatoes and a small amount of cottage cheese, organic of course, a nice Pinot Noir, organic, and that my friends was a fine dinner. Once a farmer... guess it remains in one's soul.