Please don’t call me an organic gardener. My methods may not fit with what people refer to as organic. You see our fruits and vegetables are grown without any pesticides. No sprays. No dusts. No chemical application be it insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or miticide. Yep we don’t use any of it, ever.
We also don’t buy fertilizer. We compost all our yard waste and kitchen scraps (with the exception of poison ivy and really thorny things; hey I never claimed to be perfect). At any given time we may have 6 compost piles going all in various stages of decay. Everything we grow gets a healthy dose of compost.
Are there times of the year when our tomatoes look a little ragged. Yep. Do some of the beans have a bite taken out of them? Again yes. Our kale may have a hole or two. But we get plenty. Plenty to eat fresh and even more to preserve for another day.
Don’t you ever get tired of labels. Organic, cage free, local. What do they really mean? Usually not what you think. Once a government agency gets involved and begins defining what something is or isn’t the thing that so many people valued is often lost. How many of you think that if something is labeled ” USDA Organic” it’s grown without the use of pesticides. Well guess what; people who grow “USDA Organic” crops can and often do use pesticides. They just happen to be on a list that the USDA says is ok for use on Organic Crops. Many are extremely toxic.
When we shop for groceries, whenever possible we will buy “USDA Organic”. Despite the the use of pesticides it’s still better than the alternative. But when it comes to our land we prefer not using any pesticides. And every year the red clay soils we started with get just a little better. Every year the land gives us just a little more.
So please don’t label me. Don’t try to put my way of gardening into any particular box. I’m just someone who likes getting their hands dirty and finds solace in the garden.
“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
― Toni Morrison,