Organic Insurance

 

It’s only the first day of summer and already the tomato plants have out grown me!

Do you see all of the green fruit?

The day-lilies, asiatic lilies, echinacea, and dill are all in full bloom.

The bush beans have flowered and will soon produce one of my favorite vegetables!

Bell peppers abound!

And cucumbers creep.

See the little baby yellow squash? It will be ready for the grill in no time!

Chiogga beets and watermelon radishes fresh from the earth.

Gardening is creative.  And cathartic.  And educational.  And a money saver.  And yummy.  But do you know what’s best about growing your own food?  You know what’s in it and on it!

I am a serious sucker for a bargain and I am, obviously, a big fruit and vegetable eater.  In the past I have written off the importance of buying and eating organic, thinking that the produce I was eating was still supplying me with lots of good nutrients.  I don’t necessarily believe that anymore.  Certain crops are so heavily sprayed with chemicals and/or genetically modified that consuming them actually cancels out the nutrients and does your body more harm than good.

It’s been challenging to pass up on $1.25 cartons of strawberries (the worst crop in terms of pesticide levels) but the way I see it is that if I am willing to shell out $175 a month for health insurance than I can pay a few dollars more for strawberries that will help keep me healthier.

I believe in putting my money where my mouth is and thus committing to buy organic or local confirmed low-spray for the dirty dozen and garden organically.

Check out this video on the serious issues in the U.S. food supply system.

 

22 Comments

  1. Beautiful garden — what perfect way to celebrate the Summer Solstice. 🙂 Your little squash blossoms look so pretty; maybe you should stuff a couple with one of your homemade cheeses…

  2. those beets are beautiful! everything is starting to come up in my garden (i’m up in NY) and its so exciting. i love eating fresh veggies from the garden without pesticides and chemicals…nothing like picking a bowl full of organic raspberries knowing there’s not a drop of chemical! flowers are so beautiful now too.. just love this time of year!

  3. Yesterday I was looking at the latest issue of Bon Appetit and there’s a slaw recipe using your stripey beets. Hope I can find some locally. It sounded good. Also, I’d like to spend a weekend in your yard watching your veggies grow. Mine will look like that someday – just growing herbs this year.

  4. “But do you know what’s best about growing your own food? You know what’s in it and on it!”

    Yup. I know what’s on my lettuce. I found in inch worm in my salad the other day!

  5. Great points, Faith! I still have trouble passing up on cheap non-organic produce…and I sometimes don’t, but you’ve reminded me that it’s worth the extra $$. Hopefully my garden at home will start spitting out squash and tomatoes so I can eat some FREE organic produce 🙂

    • I know, it’s really hard to pass up a delicious bargain for me too. I still only buy organic for the highest pesticide ridden fruit and veg, not everything. Eating seasonally certainly helps cut down on expense too.

  6. I don’t know…that video is pretty frightening, but so is this one:

    I guess growing one’s own is the only way to get the goods without “gettin’ real…”

  7. Jodi

    Your garden looks great! I also have my first organic garden this year. I was wondering if you have had any problems with bugs/pests yet, or if you put anything on your garden to help with this? I haven’t had a problem yet but I want to be prepared! Thanks!!

    • Our only problem so far is the damn groundhog that lives in our yard. Luckily he seems to only have a taste for squash leaves so far. We haven’t used anything, not even organic fertilizer, on the garden yet.

  8. My biggest problem in the grocery is passing up $2/pound boneless skinless chicken breasts. (I know, not a vegetable, but still …) I just bought five free-range chickens ($3/pound) from a nearby Amish family and, frankly, it tasted awful! I thought the best use (they’re kind of scrawny) would be for soup, but the flavor will definitely take some getting used to.

    Your garden is lovely. My tomatoes (and almost everything else, except peas) didn’t go into the ground until late May, so they’re not too tall, but they’re full of fruit. I think this year will be a late harvest. I love Chiogga beets, they’re so pretty and unexpected!

  9. It’s not always easy passing on the cheaper vegetables, fruits and meats and purchasing the more local, organic, etc. option. It can be downright challenging.

    I’ve been incorporating one new organic item into my weekly routine, so that it can be a slow process forward. I started with potatoes since we eat a lot of them (especially the peel!) which are high on the pesticide list. Now I’m moving to apples and strawberries.

    I also think it’s helpful to know that some foods don’t necessarily NEED to be purchased organic (avocado, broccoli, etc.) because their pesticide levels are much lower than the others.

    GREAT post! And gorgeous tomato plants! Mine are still in the 1-2 ft. range…haha. 😀

    • Thanks Sarah. I totally agree, it’s very important to choose wisely when buying organic (unless you have some crazy unlimited grocery budget!) and decide for yourself what is most important. I am super strict about celery, strawberries, milk, and lettice and am working towards following the whole dirty dozen list. For me this sometimes means foregoing something that I want because it feels cost prohibitive but I can usually justify a little extra expense by telling myself “I go out and spend $7 on a glass of wine once or twice a month and don’t think twice about it, I can afford a few extra bucks for the organic ____”.
      Enjoy your tomatoes, they will be filling your plate in no time!

  10. I love that you grow your own veggies! Growing up my dad always had 2 vegetable gardens and when it wasn’t summer, veggies just never tasted the same. I’m so excited to be moving to an apartment soon with space to have a garden so I can now grow my own!!

  11. My tomatoes have outgrown me, too! Every year I say I’m going to be better about pinching them off so they will bush out more, and every year they get taller than me before I can get around to it!

    My garden is doing great, but sadly last night I pulled my zucchini out… the squash bugs were unrelenting, AND it had frass! Damn. My yellow squash will probably meet the same fate in a few weeks. I didn’t have any trouble last year, so I’m disappointed. However, I probably have a hundred green tomatoes, so that is exciting!

    ~

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