Friday, July 14, 2006


This is a newsletter entry from Monte Skarsgard, our CSA farmer. I really enjoyed this entry and asked his permission to post it here on my blog to share with those who dont get the benefit of his weekly musings. Enjoy!!

A tragic thing happened to a close friend of ours recently. He and his wife were just relaxing outside and taking in the beautiful summer morning. The next thing you know, they were flying down the road to get their puppy to the vet. The puppy was struggling after having a seizure.Luckily, they got her to the vet on time and she was already coming out of her scary seizure when they arrived. The vet said that she would be fine, but wanted to keep her to run some tests to try and determine the cause of this episode.Later that afternoon, the vet called with the news. “All of her blood looks to be fine. She has no genetic problem. No sign of chronic seizures. But there was one thing in the tests that alarmed me. She has a high level of toxicity in her liver. Is she around a lot of fertilizers?” Gulp.It seems that in an effort to have the prettiest yard on the block, the dog inadvertently got sick from the use of a popular fertilizer, Miracle Gro. You know which one I am referring to...that fertilizer that looks like Kool Aid. Yes, that one.So why bring this up? Why highlight a family’s tragedy? Well, I truly think that we need to examine this and look at the implications that it has for all of us. And for our animals and children.Enter my low profile soap box. The Mini Cooper of soap boxes, if you will.To begin with, I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to sell Organic cut flowers and people routinely say, “who cares if they are Organic? It is not like you eat them??” That is usually accompanied with a weird look, by the way.The truth is, though, that we should all care about every aspect of our lifestyles being free from harmful chemicals, and not just remain vigilant about those that we eat. A toxin is a toxin whether we get it from our oranges, or from our bare feet as we run around in the grass. Our bodies do not differentiate. Never have and never will. And make no mistakes about it, we are under attack. There are chemicals all around us. Your neighbor has Chem(ical) Lawn come and blanket their yard. City employees stroll the medians with backpacks spraying Round-Up to kill weeds. And dryer pad companies use cute stuffed animals to mask the fact that you are coating your clothes with chemicals. It is a flat out assault.And so because of that, we must take control of what we can control. Gawd knows that there is enough out there that we cannot control.So here is what I am getting to. We are living in a great time in history. The same science that brought us the chemical revolution, the “Green Revolution,” has caught up with itself and is now questioning its efficacy. With that, Organic systems are starting to match the production levels of those (un)conventional growers. Furthermore, the veil of ignorance has been lifted on the harmful effects caused by these chemicals that were once thought to be benign. We as a nation know too much to sit idly back and claim that the intelligence was not available. Ignorance may at times be blissful, but it does not mean that we will never have to suffer the consequences of our actions. Or inactions as it may be.So here is my hope on this Independence Weekend. My hope is that we all may find the path to living a healthy lifestyle. Because in the end, a healthy community is just the mere sum of the health of its inhabitants. No special equations, just grade school arithmetic. Sum of the parts.Lastly, the great part is that as we construct a healthy community, more people will join us in the effort. Almost like the snowball being rolled from a hillside gathers momentum and mass. So keeping with that analogy, we will pretty soon become an unstoppable Organic snow man or snow woman. And that will be awesome!

Happy 4th fellow Patriots, Farmer Monte


stephanie said...

Thanks for posting this!!! More people need to have this brought to their attention. We have no idea how bad for us these chems are!! Thanks again for your blog!! Great information!

APKimberMama said...

This just illustrates so many of my frustrations with how and where we live. I also hate the fact that we can't live clean lives: no matter what we do, we cause pollution and death just by being alive.

My newest obsession is sunscreen, and how the chemicals in it can actually cause cancer and how the use of anti-burning chemicals increase our overall exposure (because we feel "safe") and this increase our risk of melanoma. Still, to get what I have found to be the safest sunscreen I can find I will have to order it, which means fossil fuels will be used to transport it, petrochemicals will be used to make the plastic bottle, the big rig or UPS truck that delivers it uses antifreeze, and so on and so on and so on.

Blissfulbee said...

Yeah, I hear what you are saying! It is almost harder to go back to simplicity when the infrastructure of our world is set up to work against us.

We dont use sunblock. I know that sounds nuts, but only if we go to the beach or something (which is never). We dress for the sun as best we can and wear really big hats. LOL I just have such a distrust of all things that are supposed to alter nature, especially that you put directly on your body. We never used baby wipes either, too many chemicals. Also with the early onset of exzema for GM we figured out early on that putting stuff on him that wasnt pure would really not work well for him. This then trickled to our other kids. GM is dark skinned so he has never had a sunburn of any sort. ME had a slight one one time, but it was tan the next morning. I know it is important and if we were out in the sun all day, or swimming in Tucson, we use it, but I am very reluctant for the same reasons you stated.