Organic Farming: It Ain't Always Easy

It's summertime, and the nectarines, tomatoes, and cherries on offer at Farmer's markets are sweeter then ever. While it's easy to enjoy foods that are good for humans and the environment, it's also easy to forget that growing produce in conjunction with mother nature is not always the harmonious, pastoral image that one might imagine. Today on Grist, the organic farmer and sustainable agriculture activist Steph Larsen speaks rather frankly about the difficulties of organic farming and the nagging temptation that she often feels to take the easy way out.

For years, the signature for my email has been a quote from the agtivist-scientist Vandana Shiva, "Sustainability begins with peace with the Earth." Contrary to current U.S. foreign policy, one cannot be forever at war. Balance is the basis of sustainability in the environment, and anyone who says differently is selling something.

I believe this fully, and you'd have a hard time finding a more staunch supporter of organic and sustainable agriculture than me. It's my chosen profession after all, and the way I live my life. But even I have my weak moments. When months of hard work and care are being undone by hungry little worms, it's hard to embrace the rhetoric of balance and harmony. I'm furious, and I want to take it out on the cause of my plants' distress. Poison seems as good a method of revenge as any.


Read the full post here, and then go thank your local farmer.

Image courtesy of Steph Larsen via Grist.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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