Organic has been a buzzword for the past decade. Yet more and more people are still just learning about it.
Organic growing is growing without man-made chemicals (synthetics). Like everything else there are different levels within the same word. There are some folks like me that go all out and choose to use absolutely nothing synthetic on their plantings. Then there are the people that are concerned enough to want to give it a try and pick and choose what supplements and additives to use.
And lastly there are some folks that start with organic soil and then lose patience and add Miracle Gro to move things along.
It’s all in personal preference. And I, like everyone else, cannot look at what you are doing differently and judge you. I mean, you could go out and douse your tomatoes in liquid nitrogen weekly and I’m not going to track you down and tell you that you may be contaminating not only your food but also the surrounding areas. In reality though, I am definitely not going to eat your tomatoes. But that’s me.
Organic growing is tricky, and it’s not for everyone. I have farmer friends who grow hundreds of acres of crops. I am well aware that an operation of that magnitude would be near impossible to grow organically. And there is no way that I am going to go and tell a row crop farmer that they are going about it all wrong. Because if they were to grow organically, the yield that is needed to feed the world would never happen.
I’ve heard it for years from conventional farmers: Organic farming cannot feed the masses. Which, I agree, is most likely not possible. So I would rather consumers be more conscientious of their food choices.
If you have pesticide allergies then I would venture to say that you would be wise to look into organics. If you are trying to feed a family of 10, trying to afford organic food may be completely out of the question. Try and buy what you can afford. Or, better yet, plan on growing your own next spring.
With proper planning and care you can easily grow plenty of food to supply your family throughout the season. You may even have enough extra to can or freeze to supplement you in the winter.
The absolute best type of growing that you can do is the type that you feel comfortable with doing. Sometimes people are just tying to figure it all out on their own and don’t have the time to research out the multitude of different. If you are a newbie gardener, how the heck do you figure it all out? I truly don’t know.
I have been doing this practically my entire life. I have been growing things since I have was knee high to a grasshopper.
So, of course, like darn near everything I encounter, I have a solution to figuring this all out. You may have not heard but the lovely city of La Porte will be putting in place a community garden. Within this garden anyone whom is interested will be able to come in and get their hands dirty.
The entire idea is for our community to support each other. We could all help each other to well as “grow” a little bit our own selves. I will be offering free gardening classes next spring within the community garden. Completely free for you to come attend and leave with a wealth of knowledge.
The basics of gardening will be covered, along with any other gardening type topic people would be interested in. And, best of all, I will cover both organic and conventional growing methods.
Because it’s only wrong if you are not out there growing something. Start getting excited now and I will keep you up to date on the happenings of this project so that each and everyone of you can become involved as well. There are some great people I have been working alongside with on this that have an amazing amount of energy to see our city move forward and shine like the gem that she is.
Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics micro-farm in Pinola. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.