Jul 13

Farmers Market

I was at the farmer’s market Saturday and ran into a ‘farmer’ who ‘knew it all’.  Herbicides are killing everyone, weeds in food are good for you, no one is really allergic to whole foods!  I’m afraid the only thing going through my mind was all the facts I actually know:

1. Growing up as a child walking beans to take weeds out of the fields was hard work.  Roundup Ready beans to be was a godsend.

2. Those weeds in the food make it inedible to me because I’m allergic to ragweed and all those other weeds that these new fad farmers leave in.  I have to live on benadryl and it’s not pretty.

3. Seriously people can be allergic to anything.  I’d like to know where his medical degree came from.

4. Corn itself is a GMO.  I hate to break this to everyone, but corn is not the same as it started as.  Nature itself has been creating GMOs for centuries, so what, we use a test tube now.  I’m sorry you are afraid of technology, and yes sometimes things go wrong – but generally nature will find a way.  (Anyone seen Jurassic Park – or in real life dealt with cockroaches?)

5. This ‘farmer’ actually used the excuse about topsoil erosion!  Really my father has farmed my whole life (and his fathers before that)  For as long as I know they have known how to protect the top soil, and also the nutrients.  No one that farms for an income wants to spend extra on nutrients for their fields.  Their goal is to reduce cost and increase yield (aka income).  My father would wait to till until the spring right before planting to minimize soil loss and then rotate crops (and those are just the top things he did that I remember most).

Personally I’ve had my allergies since I was younger than 2 years old – I was an example case for doctors in training because I was so allergic to goldenrod and ragweed.  Growing up on farm was not easy with allergies (my parents installed central air conditioning because of me).  All that said I am proud to be a farmer’s daughter and I really wish that the part time wannabe’s at the farmer’s market that think they know what they are talking about would go spend a season a real farm. I’m sorry but a garden patch does not a farmer make.  Do you even own a 4 by 4 tractor?  Do you have an opinion on IH or John Deere that isn’t just based on interior design? And most important what’s your primary source of income?  Are you relying on your farm or are you a weekend wanna be?

I could at least ask that if you strongly believe in not using herbicides then at least remove the weeds from your field?????  Why isn’t a label required saying the estimated percentage weeds included?  (Or a limit on how many weeds the FDA will allow – like cockroach parts in a can of tuna – and yes that’s a real thing!) People are pushing for the labeling of GMOs why not foreign parts like weeds?

The biggest issue being that what he was pushing as fact isn’t sustainable for the amount of population on the earth.  Most actual farmer’s are doing their best to be good stewards of the earth they farm because their goal is to pass that land on to their children and their children’s children and they want to make sure it is able to provide them with an income and FOOD to support themselves.  Every farmer I know cares deeply for their family and their neighbors, where else would you see everyone come together to do someone else’s work just to get their harvest in – not for pay, but because it was the right thing to do.   I’ve seen it happen several times.