Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 14: Gardens, farms, and golf courses, and knowing the difference

My garden gets bigger every year.  It's how I deal with stress.

I'm finally at a point where it can't get any bigger.  I just don't have the time. 

That's because I'm pretty much an organic gardener.  I have a compost pile I turn a couple times a year, then screen and spread the organic matter in the fall.  Some years, I spade it up in the spring rather than using the rototiller.  I mulch.  I weed by hand.  I rarely use pesticides to kill weeds or insects.

It's not because I have anything against pesticides.  It's because I love the process and I need time by myself to reflect.  My kids miraculously disappear when I head out to the garden.  

It's also because I'm a bit lazy.  I grew up eating out of the garden.  I want to be able to grab a bean, pea, cucumber, pepper, or tomato and take a bite.  Without having to washing it.  I want my kids to be able to do it, too.

This labor intensive system works for my garden, not so much for our farm. 

In order to be organic, we would need access to organic fertilizer (i.e. manure).   We would need to do more intensive tillage (i.e. more trips across the field with equipment by more people using more fuel in small window of time).  We would need to produce a portion of our crop that couldn't be sold as organic to provide a buffer against neighboring non-organic pollen.  (i.e. lower commodity prices with higher organic costs of production).  We would increase our exposure to insects, weeds, and disease (i.e. fewer tools to manage that risk).  We would have trouble finding a market for organic commodity corn. (i.e. no one to buy it). 

It would also assume we have a problem with commercial fertilizer, biotechnology or pesticide use in commodity crops.  We don't.

Tomorrow I get to spend the day at a farm.  Well, maybe once upon a time it was farm.  Now it's a Golf Digest top rated golf course. 

I'm glad I know the difference.

Gardens, farms, and golf courses, and knowing the difference - One of the 30 reasons why I love being my farmer's wife.

Stay tuned for the 16 other things I love about my life on the farm and 16 more things that converted this Sycamore girl into a small town girl:).

And, check out my friend Holly's blog and the list of the other 30 day bloggers at 30 Days on a Prairie Farm.

Day One: Grandma Millie
Day Two: My clean car
Day 6: Farmer humor
Day 7: The first weekend in December - friends, food, & Farm Bureau
Day 8: His fourth grade girlfriend
Day 12: He's a trend setter
Day 13: Our neighbor BFFs

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