Tag Archives: techniques

To be “Organic” or enjoy a “Good Harvest”?

        I was browsing the Freshly Pressed venues just before getting ready to post a blurb about one of my tomato plants that seems to be struggling with leaf curl ( although not usually a deadly condition ) when I stumbled on a post that completely describes my frustration when it comes to explaining my choices in following the practices of maintaining an “organic” garden as opposed to the “chemical / synthetic” practices of our modern farming techniques !    The truth is that there are insidious as well as manifested problems that come with engaging in any of the known  techniques of gardening  in my experience ( as little as I have).   Although I’m currently an advocate of “organic” gardening, there are some veggies that I have held off planting due to their likeliness of getting unfortunate traumatic diseases and it would be too devastating for me to have wrapped my hopes around a beautiful potential bounty only to have to rip it out or discover upon harvesting that there is little or nothing to harvest!
leaf curl on my tomato
leaf curl on my tomato

      So………do I spend most of my gardening time hovering over each and every plant searching for infestation or some cosmically altered reason why my tomato plant just took a dive and the one right next to it is thriving?  Not anymore!  My usual response to this phenomenon is, what the @%&$*#(@ is wrong now?   Although there are many guesses as to why leaf curl occurs,  no one expert knows exactly why except that, in a word, each plant is it’s own just as we humans are.  Its my deduction anyway.   So in my garden the action I take is either “yank it” or “monitor it” depending on how far into the season the problem plant is and whether it is life threatening to it’s neighbors.

     You see, I already spend a considerable amount of time planning and securing the best probable techniques and placements when planting my garden.  My goals are usually lofty (organic) but I expect that there will be issues along the way.  For example:  I’ve contemplated often about whether its profitable to try and grow only heirloom tomatoes as opposed to tomatoes that are already modified and conditioned to be disease resistant!   Quite frankly, sometimes it’s hard to decide as the taste AND texture of any homegrown tomato far exceeds that of the too-soon-picked,  thick waxy skinned,  tasteless tomato at the grocery store!   And heirloom tomatoes are more vulnerable to diseases and don’t usually provide a huge harvest, per plant anyway.  As of now, I continue to plant both and enjoy both.

     So as to not go on any further explaining the joys or not of trying to grow an “organic” only garden,  I defer to this guest post; “Why I’m Through with Organic Farmingauthored by Mike Bendzela.  Reading this really set the tone for me when it comes to the convoluted and complicated explanations I come up with when describing my practices of “organic” gardening vs. not organic?   Its a long piece as the blog site author describes, but it says it like I mean it!    One example, and I quote;  ” Organic farmers use pesticides and they have to follow the same laws as non-organic farmers.  No amount of special pleading (“But they’re natural!”) negates this fact”.   How ’bout them apples?   Another humorous statement to contemplate and I also quote;  “As one of the partners of Dow Farm daily injects himself with insulin that is produced through recombinant DNA technology,  does this mean he can never consider himself an “organic” farmer?  Good one!

      Please indulge me, for this is truly a well written piece!

     At the end of the day,  I have concluded that “organic” vs. “modified” or”chemical” seems to be even more convoluted, thanks to the intelligent teeter tottering of our agricultural rulers, attorneys and their uncompromising  laws!   As a gardener consuming what I grow,  all I desire is that the foods I ingest have a fairly strong chance of rendering  their vitamin and enzyme content in the most practical and wholesome way in order to keep me and the ones I love strong and healthy.