Hello Bhumi Farm CSA Members,
Its 8:30pm on Thursday and I’m just getting home from the field. Working at dusk has a very special feeling to it and it’s nice to tuck all the little guys & girls to bed.
I was harvesting some mustards just now for your weekly share, and I was lamenting over the little holes the flea beetles make in the leaves. I stress about this often because we’ve been trained to judge vegetables by their appearance. This evening I got to asking…”What is true beauty?”.
Below are two pictures, a shiny red apple and a mustard leaf that looks like it was the victim of a Dick Cheney hunting trip. The apple looks more appealing for sure, but what if I told you that to be wormless and dentless, an apple is sprayed an average of 27 times. 27 passes of chemicals that are not at all nutritious covered that apple. The soil, most likely, is devoid of any life, and in turn, the apple potentially could be lacking nutritional value. You are basically eating a mirage.
On the other hand, the asian greens and mustards at an organic farm like Bhumi Farm are grown in a life nurturing soil. The soil is alive and dynamic, and some of the participants in this ecosystem have a craving for Asian greens. I can’t say I blame them, asian greens are mighty tasty. To spray the plants and get rid of the flea beetles in a “conventional” way would be a death knell for the entire body of life that surround these plants. This not only goes against everything I believe in but it clearly makes no sense to throw the baby out with the bath water.
My hope is that we can look past the holes and enjoy the nutrition that is coming to you in the form of organic crops. (I’m currently trying a lightweight row cover, but this method isn’t 100% effective because when I lift the row cover to tend to the vegetables, the beetles rush in like it was black Friday at Wal-Mart. All the arugula will be covered though, so here’s to hoping!) The holes aren’t without utility, by the way, the flavor sticks to them better.
My conclusion; Life is beauty….beetles and all.
Farmer Frank and Bhumi Farm