Friday, November 5, 2010

Reflections - Why We Garden


Farmers spraying strawberry fields in the middle of the day...  Let's hope none of our bees are out there.
 We live in America's winter strawberry capital.  On one side of our property, we have one of the many strawberry fields in the county.   We have watched season after season as the farmer fumigates his  crops repeatedly at all hours of the day and night.  The other thing I've observed is that the soil is never replenished with anything remotely resembling something living.  The rows on this particular field have been covered with the same black plastic for three years.

There are only two or three farmers in the area attempting to grow organic strawberries.  It's an uphill battle for them because the non-organic farmers can sell their berries for a small fraction of the price.  We talked to one of them last year, a retired couple, who said that they were barely breaking even near the end of the season due to low demand and the high cost of farming organically.  The strawberries we picked from their field were delicious.

The ominous sign bellow is there every year on our neighbor's field, just by our driveway...  I have seen strawberries listed at several sites as one of the top 10 or 12 foods to always buy organic, no wonder.


One more reason to grow our own organic fruits and vegetables.  I'll be looking for bareroot strawberries to plant this weekend.

I'm linking with Weekend Reflections.

12 comments:

Amy said...

Your post makes a very good point, indeed!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Thank you the information. I guess its always best to buy organic.

Robin said...

It's amazing how many chemicals are used to grow fruits and vegetables in this country. Most people don't give it a second thought when they purchase produce in the grocery store and then they wonder why so many people have cancer.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Although the county we live in produces more than 50% of the Nation's strawberries, we prefer to grow our own, or only buy from organic producers. Personally, I prefer my strawberries without methyl bromide. You're right, that sign says it all really.

The Whimsical Gardener said...

Gosh, that sign really does say it all. Can you imagine if they put that sign on all the produce that wasn't grown organically? They really should.

Verde Farm said...

Mary, how sad. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would buy anything from a farm with this sign...it might as well say--eat our food-get cancer. Perhaps a sign like that would make people buy from your neighbors trying to do the right thing with their organic crop. Sure hope they stay with it.
Thanks for sharing, Amy

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Oh, doesn't it just make you sick at heart? I have watched the farmers spray all sorts of nasty next to us and our bees were my first concern too. Not to mentions our ground water/well. Can we ever really escape it? And so many just don't even know or think about it.

That sign! Can you believe it??? Disgusting! Makes me so mad...

Thank you for sharing. I hope you get all the good little berries your heart desires!

'Tsuki said...

Nice slice of rural life... Thznks for the lovely sharing.

Carol said...

Great post! It is outrageous that farmers can use such toxins on a berry that absorbs the poisons. Strawberries are the most dangerous fruit to eat if they are not organic. It is heartbreaking to see the sprayer and knowing what a death mist it is to every living thing in the area. Humans too only it takes longer for the cancer to show. Children especially are most vulnerable. It truly should be illegal. The FDA does not protect us. When more folks speak out . . . by calling and writing to their reps. we might see a change. ;>)

Mary said...

Thanks you all for posting. It is really heartbreaking to see what is happening to our food. Really, they should be compeled to have that sign over all the non-organic produce that's sold in stores. It would help the organic farmers that are struggling to do what is right.

I didn't even say anything about the disaster we had in our town last year due to a couple of hard freezes... The farmers watered through the night to save their strawberries by covering them with a layer of ice. In the process, they depleted the water table and we had hundreds of sink holes, causing millions of dollars in damages to homes, schools, roads, etc. Add to that the dozens or hundreds of wells that went dry! :( We see rivers of water running by the sides of the roads every day, as most of the water they spray goes to waste. And what did the state do about all of this? After they used our tax money to fix the roads, schools, etc? They told the farmers they must put retention ponds in their fields to catch the water by 2015!!! It's a joke.

Gine said...

On croit passer au travers ... Plus qu'un reflet !

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Blech - it hurts my eyes just to look at those pictures!
What is very interesting to me is that organic is so under-appreciated where you are. It is HUGE here in Oregon...Enormous! People pay top dollar for everything organic...(fruit, of course, meat, eggs, beer and wine (yup) - I've even seen organic pet food!)
But, on the other side, I have also seen men walking rows in what appear to be haz-mat suits and backpack sprayers, spraying god-knows-what over everything.

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