Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Love Letter

Actually, letter might be a misnomer, but I think of it this way, as an abridgment of sorts. My husband and I agree on many things, even on farm issues, but we differ on one. Organic. He argues that the organic does not mean not sprayed. Rather, it means sprayed, and often with something deadlier than the non-organic cousins. Or, if truly not sprayed, you get a product that resembles our very organic apple. This apple comes from a tree that has NEVER been sprayed. The tree itself is approximately 50 years old, still a high producer. My husband's point: when cut open, worms and all, would you really want to eat it. Or even around it.

Feeling like I am riding the horns of a dilemma, I know there is no perfect answer. Here's what I have tried. We sprayed gently this year, only 4 times, instead of every two or three weeks, and used our llama leavings for fertilizer. We had a bumper crop of apples, pears, and cherries in our stamp orchard, but not without an occasional worm or two with the pear harvest. Apples were fine with limited spraying, and all the fruit seemed to survive the summer deluge, although there is no fall foilage worth viewing.

We will never resolve the differences in our approach to how to farm, but each year we make inroads to a greener, more eco-friendly farm, and that is enough for now.

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