No argument on community gardens being organic. . .
- Subject: [cg] No argument on community gardens being organic. . .
- From: Alliums firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 17:05:56 -0400
John Richmond wrote:
Part of the project is to make the argument that a community garden must
be completely organic.
I'm not so sure that there is an argument that community gardens shouldn't
be organic. Most folks in the US who have to go elsewhere to have land to
grow food for themselves WANT that food to be safe and are willing to go to
great lengths to make sure it is grown in ways that gives them peace of
mind as well as vegetables. If they didn't care about their food supply,
they'd just buy food from the supermarket -- or McDonald's! ;-)
Heh, heh, heh -- only someone who hasn't spent time in agriculture could
make a statement like this. I think this is a "straw person" argument on
the part of your instructors. When you tussle with Nature (and agriculture
is *always* a imposition of one's will on Nature), Nature is going to bite
back. Limits are part of the deal -- even the conventional farmers will
agree with *that*. The key is stretch the "damage" out to as long as
possible (yes, I'm still depressed from Dr. Ray Weil's PASA soil science
talk telling me that even when I'm doing everything right, my soil will not
be happy 500 years from now!)-- which is why "sustainable methods" are the
only hope of anyone who wants to be able to feed a family over their lifetime.
People can't just do what they want with their plots beyond limits.
They shouldn't be able to use chemical fertilizer (except possibly as a
one-time addition to get the garden going),
Chemical fertilizers are *never* necessary -- and as someone who moved her
community garden to an acre of subsoil 7 years ago and still managed to
fill her freezer the first year. The key is to scrounge as much organic
matter (and manure) as you can get your hands on.
New gardens get a free pass from Nature the first year or so because the
bugs haven't found your veggies yet. The key is to build soil so that the
plants are strong and to avail oneself of the "sustainable methods"
knowledge that is so readily available on the Web and elsewhere. This
isn't the 70s any more when "organic" agriculture was a new idea -- there
is some time and testing behind it now, so using pesticides as crutch just
isn't necessary anymore.
they shouldn't be able to use pesticides or Roundup to kill stuff, etc.
Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden
A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
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