The reason I started wanting to learn so much about organic for the sake of my health. Why put chemicals into my body when I don’t need to? Why not continually try to find ways to improve my health through food?
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The more I am learning about organic food, the more I am realizing how self-centric and small this viewpoint is. We become interested in things that relate to us, as they relate to us. It makes complete sense for my path into organic to be as a result of health, as a result of how we lead a healthier lifestyle. However, the more time I spend with organic and talking to people passion about organic, a striking penchant toward organic emerges—organic is not about one of us individually, it’s about us being connected to each other, to the Earth, and to the future. It’s about us being a responsible steward of natural systems and supporting organic farmers and educators who are leaving the Earth a better place than they found it.
After spending time at Cascadian Farm with Farmer Jim, my perspective has started to become larger and more long-term. I wanted to share with all of you what organic means to him and why he feels organic is so important. Organic is not about me. It’s about all of us.
Q: What does organic mean to you?
A: “As a farmer, it has multiple definitions. Technically, it means I am following rules established by the US Department of Agriculture.
Personally, it means that we are farming in way that’s working in harmony with nature. As I farm, I am trying to understand the natural systems, the processes behind the scenes so that I can partner with the natural world—the beneficial insects, the soil microorganisms. How do I work with them to get the best in terms of crop yields, production, and sustainability?”
Q: Why is organic important?
A: “Because I have grandkids. To work in harmony with the natural system means that it can continue on. If I need work or live in a way that forces me to eliminate or cut out part of the natural world in order to exist, none of this is going to last very long. I need to be able to live and work and breathe in the context of the whole…I feel like I’m part of the solution and that helps me sleep at night.”