Chatting in the garden one afternoon with a friend I asked her “What do you think organic means?” She thought for a second and said, ” I think organic means you’re a hippy.” Ummm… no.
Here is a dictionary definition:
- Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin: organic vegetables; an organic farm.
- Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals: organic chicken; organic cattle farming.
- Serving organic food: an organic restaurant.
- Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle.
See? No mention of hippies! To live and garden organically means to work with nature. Sounds easy enough, right? Except our lives have moved far from that simple idea. Far enough that anything grown without drugs, hormones or chemicals gets a special label and section of the grocery store.
Living organically is not “new thinking”, it’s an old way of life. Your pioneer ancestors lived it on the frontier, many of you have grandparents (and parents) who grew gardens, saved seeds and “put away” home-grown food… Simple and healthful is a lifestyle. It’s not about learning something new, it’s about returning to something old. So how can you make the change?
Start small. You already recycle, why not start composting? Use natural cleaning products or make your own. (See recipes here.) Begin making small changes when you shop at the grocery store. Skip sodas and cut down on foods with “high fructose corn syrup”. Purchase only sustainably grown produce at local organic markets and CSA’s. Better yet, plant a garden! Educating yourself is the best way to begin making healthy changes so read, talk to people and ask lots of questions!
Mother Earth News (motherearthnews.com)
Organic Gardening (organicgardening.com)
Organic Consumers Association (organicconsumers.org)
*more information is available through the sites listed on the seed sources page