We often debate this question around the dinner table (seriously....it has been a debate many times)!!! So when I came across a simple attempt to answer this question I thought I would give you the response from a factsheet I found.....Here it is.....
Q: Which is better: local or organic?
A. It depends – on the season of year, what the product is, how the local item was produced, where the organic item came from and how it was transported -- and so on. Of course, most of this information is not yet available on food labels, so consumers are left to guess. Buying at places like farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs helps you know more about the source of your food.
Tradeoffs between organic and local include:
* how it got there (for example, long-distance boats and trains may generally be more efficient than trucks)
* seasonality (locally grown greenhouse vegetables can take more energy than long-distance foods that are grown in season for their locations);
* production methods (local does not equal sustainable; less sustainably produced local foods may or may not be better than more sustainably produced items from afar. )
The ideal food from a greenhouse gas emissions standpoint would be local AND organic AND produced in season. It would be minimally processed, unpackaged, not produced with chemicals, have a long shelf-life, and require minimal refrigeration and cooking. And, this food would be so delicious that there would be no waste. It is rare to find all these qualities in any one food, but the more of them you can include, the better for climate – and, in general, for your own health.
I thought this was a very insightful response........happy choosing!! The best option.....Local and certified naturally grown!!! 47 Daisies!!! :)
Each year about this time we ask ourselves the question......when should we pull the plug and be done for the season. But this year is very different from the last!! We now have the added bonus of the high tunnel. This is a game-changer!! If you peruse back through our older posts you will find that we shut the farm down in early January last season due to the second ice storm of the season. That was without the high tunnel. This year we will again be performing our "12 month growing experiment".............Can we do it???? We are confident we can.....but only time will tell.
Our no commitment CSA program will run for the indefinite future. We now have a select few crops sowed in the high tunnel and plants started in the seed room which will be transplanted out into the high tunnel (celery, celeriac, tomatoes, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, red onions, etc.). Crops will start coming out of the beds outside in late march or early April so we have another 4.5 months of fall/winter to play our dormant season games!!!
It is so much fun to experiment with growing........we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!
And to top it all off we are scheduled to get some rain tonight!!
Things are looking up!!
Not all of 47 Daisies is veggies. You have probably read some of our other posts about our goat herd. We have 5 goats currently with one of our does bred and scheduled to give birth mid-February.
With animals comes the need for hay. We do not have the ability to make our own hay and thus are reliant on others who do have that capability. As if the drought has not hit home hard enough here is another example of the hardships caused by this history making drought we have experienced this past season or two.
A square bale of hay usually sells for around $5 a bale. This is a reasonable price. At this time, good quality square bales are selling for $16 a bale.....and that's if you can find it!!! NO ONE has hay for sale and those who do are either shipping it to Texas or selling here in NE Louisiana for an arm and a leg!!!
Our grass on our farm hasn't grown all season. The excessive heat along with the parched soil took its toll and we are now wondering if our pastures will even recover in years to come.
These hardships are exactly what put farmers out of business. Farmers typically only make enough money to barely stay afloat. When these types of natural disasters happen.....it spells doomsday.
47 Daisies is surviving, but we have not been unscathed and it continues to be a hard, hard year!!!! For those of you that know a farmer or two......send them a kind word of encouragement, because where would we be without farmers. Think about that the next time you peruse the grocery store or shop at the market for milk, eggs, cheese, or meat.........all of these require hay!!!!
Lets all hope that the climatologists are wrong and we don't see a 2011 repeat in 2012.......!!!!
Dylan came across a very interesting/disturbing/helpful website today. It's www.whatsonmyfood.org. This website makes me want to ban EVERYTHING that is not organic in our family. Although this is very difficult, if not impossible, at least it will show you why it is very important to buy organic as often as possible. The best way to do this is to slowly commit to certain items...like produce one month...then possibly incorporate milk the next month, etc. I have known for a long time that non-organic is loaded with all kinds of nasty things, but I was shocked to see just how much is in things such as cucumbers!! And butter! And apple juice!!
We are fortunate here because we grow a large majority of our own food, and after looking at this website, I am very thankful for that. The contaminates listed on this site are things that you can't wash off, it is IN the food you eat..therefore it is in your body if you eat them.
Our kids are typical farm kids. This is to be expected, I guess. It is a very normal occurance to see them pick a snack out of the garden or chase a barn cat around the farm.
It is when they go above and beyond what I would consider normal farm kid behavior that they really just impress me (more than usual!).
Eilah knows the location of every plant in the garden, just from being out there so much. This is amazing, especially this time of year, because nearly everything is green and looks very similar to untrained eyes. Pretty good for a 2 year old!!
Kade should recieve the Farm Kid Medal (if ever there was such a thing) for helping save the day 2 days ago. He was out back with Eilah and the dogs and noticed that one of our goats was not in the right pasture. The goat had somehow gotten into a pasture that is not complete....and neither is the fence. The goat didn't seem to notice that the fence had gaps in it, he was happily eating "green" grass and not caring yet about where he was. Kade notified me about Praline (the escape goat), tied the dog to the hammock, told his sister to stay put and raced down the hill to the barn. By the time I could get Basil in the stroller and get out back, he had the goat in the barn and everything under control...and was cool as a cucumber the whole time.
It is no surprise that kids pick up on every little thing...but it is amazing what they take and do with that knowledge. I am happy to know that my kids are learning some really great skills every single day...just by living on a farm.
Dylan and Harmony.....whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )