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Friday, February 1, 2013

Growing Fruits, Vegetables, and Eating Stickers

Spring means planting my garden.  I am ready even if the weather isn't.  The challenge is my tiny backyard.  In my heart, I am a big time farmer.  I believe I had a past life traveling west in a wagon, with my family. I grew food, and herbs and medicines to sustain the community.  As you see, I have an active imagination.

Restrictive as my postage stamp size property is, I manage topsy turvy tomatoes, great sunflowers, a fig tree, with delicious figs, a thirty five year old grapefruit tree, and avocado trees.  Sometimes I do lettuce and pumpkins, too.

It keeps me busy, planting, and watering and fussing from May to October.  The joys of planting! I have recently taken an interest in organic, and genetically modified gardening. ( I admit it is because of baby P).  I have grown weary of biting into those tiny paper stickers.  I did some research and here is what I found.  The little labels on fruits and vegetables provide the grocer and consumer with lots of information.  If your fruit is numbered 4----,  it means it was grown conventionally.  If it is numbered 9----,  it is organic. If your fruit has an 8----,  watch out, it was genetically modified.  What was it supposed to be?  What did it start out as?

The little stickers are edible paper.  This is for those who bite first and look later.  The glue in NOT edible.  The paper will not get you sick, but the glue might.  You are instructed to remove the label, and wash well.  Try telling a child, or husband that.  If this seems like hocus pocus to you, me too.

Buying quality produce should be easy and relatively inexpensive because it is good for you.  Potato chips, soda and burgers are easily available, well advertised, and inexpensive.  Let's put some warning stickers on french fries, potato chips and soda.  Maybe fruits and vegetables will seem more appealing?. Let's offer fruits and vegetables at drive through windows, at menu special prices?

I came across a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, an unlikely gardener, that I thought sums up how I feel about gardening and food in general.  " If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" Garden hang on,  I am coming, soon.

1 comment:

  1. Great, as always, Farmer Judy. Carrots and beans could fit in your limited space too, IF those two appeal to you.

    You don't even mention the issues with store-bought produce whereby consumers don't know how long the fruit and vegetables have been in storage and how cool or hot that storage and transport were, how clean those areas were (pest free as well as normal dirt), or whether at some point the product had been frozen and then defrosted (without any declarations to state that such treatment was done).

    The pre-peeled, baby carrots seen in every supermarket, packaged by several companies, all have an unusual amount of moisture in the bag and on each carrot. This had not always been the case but has been true for at least one or two years. I suppose that the explanation MIGHT be that the carrots are washed as they are peeled and that some of the moisture follows them into the bags.

    But they seem too wet, as if they had been frozen and then defrosted. The result is that they don't last as long once you bring them home. The unpeeled carrots, however, look very tired in many cases, as if they had been in storage for MONTHS.

    My dad used to grow carrots. I know what carrots should look like, and I remember when the store-bought carrots looked more like the ones that came from our garden....Something has changed!