Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day, and a brief philippic

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty
of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
~ Aldo Leopold

I hope everyone has a good Earth Day. If you do one positive thing, for the planet, go over here and please, please, sign this petition.

As you may know, the White House now has an 1,100-square-foot organic garden. Apparently, the planting of such a prominent organic garden has made the agricultural chemical industry a little nervous. They have written a letter to Mrs. Obama, reminding her of the many benefits of conventionally grown (read: not organic) food. In essence:

Dear Mrs. Obama,
It appears to us that you're planning on growing an organic garden. In order to make it weed, insect, and maintenance-free, may we recommend poisons.

Does that irk you the same way it irks me? Beware, I think I'm about to climb up on my soapbox.

My objection to the letter isn't so much its recommendation of non-organic growing practices. I buy plenty of non-organic produce. I'm not crazy; I understand the need for everyone to be able to afford their groceries, and the grim reality of organic grocery-store produce is, it's usually more expensive than conventional. I would never admonish someone for buying a non-organic grape in my life. Promise.

What gets me is this advisement, this haughty presumption. You are but a lowly landowner, they have said, and we have Almighty Science behind us. We know what is best for you and your land.

Knowing what is best for a piece of land is a downright complicated thing. After four years of college (and more classes with Environmental in the title than you'd scare believe existed) I've heard tons of advice on growing practices, forest management, and land stewardship. And my conclusion? Well, my conclusion is that good old Aldo was right. It all comes down to the holy trinity: integrity, beauty, and stability.

Is there anything beautiful, integral, or stable about chemicals? I thought not.

And at that, I will thank you for humoring me on a brief tirade about modern agriculture. Tomorrow, back to our regularly scheduled program.


Eva said...

signed it! yeehaw, also glad to say i recently switched to credo mobile (working assets) :) oh, and I love your blog
~ Eva

Kristina said...

Thanks Eva! SO glad you're finding some delight here.

Melissa said...

Well said, friend. Care to send a little lecture to my husband about his precious roses and their precious chemicals?

Kristina said...

Melissa-- tell your husband there are plenty of cultivars of rose that don't require an arsenal of chemicals to grow. It's the hybrids of delicate constitution that need 'em; the antique roses are strong enough to go it alone.

ChristyACB said...

Your rant is well received here!

You really hit the nail on the head there...every piece of land is different and what makes it functional is entirely and unto itself, unique. Organic in home gardens or small gardens like the WH are not only easier but cheaper to maintain in the long run.

I'm signing!

Kami said...

Hey K*Tina :)

I know I posted a link last week, but I just wanted to say that I think you would really enjoy a blog I have been reading.
She lives near Owego, and loves to bake and garden and stuff like that.

Ok, that's all for now.
Love you! See you Saturday? (At Rose's?)

Donalyn said...

Hi Kristina - nice to meet another area blogger! And tirades are totally allowed on one's own space, right? I will have to go give Kami a big hug for sending you to see me! I'll be back ;)

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