I picked up the latest copy of Organic Gardening magazine the other day, a special edition that gives the history of the founder, J.I. Rodale. He, in turn, was inspired by Sir Albert Howard (1873-1947) often considered the father of organic farming though he did not use that term per se. J. I. Rodale began by using the terms, concepts even ” organic farming, organic gardening, organic living.” Today we take these terms for granted. And we expect these terms to carry a responsibility, a meaning, a guarantee that our food when grown is produced in an organic way meaning it is chemical, pesticide and GMO free.
It amazes me and frustrates me that we have to fight for a way of agriculture that renews soil, water and air quality. This particular edition shows how one person who followed his passion changed something in our world in a positive way. Remember, in the 1940’s, chemicals became the darlings of post war boom. Unfortunately, we showed no foresight or understanding of the concept “what we do affects the next 7 generations.” When I wrote my paper for my Masters degree in the field of nutrition, my research led me to study after study that showed blatant destruction of vegetation, wildlife and human life when these chemicals were used on test animals and then applied in our landscapes. Today,the use of pesticides has a growing body of research to support the idea that they cause harm. Today, companies are using stronger and stronger poisons to produce our crops. Poisons that other countries have banned.
When one visits organic farms, demonstration gardens where organic soil exists it is magical. And while that may seem like whimsy, it is not. Crops are tasty, produce abundantly, plants are more resistant to disease.
Buy organic. Grow organic. Support organic growers in your area. State University Agricultural Extension Services have great resources and lists of organic farms. Check them out. From container gardens to fields we all have somewhere to plant.
Winter is a good time to catch up on reading, especially for those of us who want to get outside, get our hands in the soil and plant. Rodale’s organic farming has many great resources and short video’s on a variety of tips for gardening.
The above video begins a journey of one individual carrying facts and figures to congress. His journey continues on youtube.com. Great winter inspiration..
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, Holistic Health Consultant and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener.