CSA pick up August 20
Hello everyone! The rain that we got last night was most welcome as the gardens are all dry dry dry. Many of our growers were not as lucky as we city folk and they are still patiently waiting for the rain to fall. Because of the dry conditions, we are currently seeing shortages of some produce. Lucky for you that we work with 12 different producers to make your CSA bags happen!!! Full Shares to contain a minimum of 7 of the following items Strawberries, spray free Kale, spray free Patty pan squash, spray free Zucchini, spray free Sugar snap peas, organic eggplant, organic CORN ON THE COB!!!, organic Pink potatoes, organic Don't know what to do with Eggplant? Click here and Deb will show you the way!!!! mmmm, eggplant bruschetta..... Half shares to contain a minimum of 5 of the following items Strawberries, spray free Kale, spray free Patty pan, spray free Zucchini, spray free Corn, organic Carrots, organic Warning. The following is an Erin rant! Though it has been dry, this heat has finally brought along the organic corn. Many people who have our CSA shares do so because we ensure that no GMO foods go into your shares. Corn (feed corn specifically, but sweet corn too), is high on the list of GMO crops. I like this simple explanation of Genetically engineered foods from the University of Maryland. "Genetically engineered foods have had foreign genes (genes from other plants or animals) inserted into their genetic codes. Genetic engineering can be done with plants, animals, or microorganisms. Historically, farmers bred plants and animals for thousands of years to produce the desired traits. For example, they produced dogs ranging from poodles to Great Danes, and roses from sweet-smelling miniatures to today's long-lasting, but scent-free reds. Selective breeding over time created these wide variations, but the process depended on nature to produce the desired gene. Humans then chose to mate individual animals or plants that carried the particular gene in order to make the desired characteristics more common or more pronounced. Genetic engineering allows scientists to speed this process up by moving desired genes from one plant into another -- or even from an animal to a plant or vice versa." And that's the key of how today's Genetic engineering differs from that of yesteryear. Farmers used to hybridize foods by cross pollinating two species of flowers to make a new variety. Or in the animal world, you take a donkey mom, and a horse dad and you get a baby Mule! The Mule is a hybrid animal, naturally genetically engineered. Today, scientists are taking fish genes and putting them into tomatoes. Something that would have never been possible in nature. Many items are being Gentically Modified so as to be resistant to the herbicide roundup. Farmers can then plant GMO corn, and spray the whole field with roundup to kill all of the weeds and leave the corn undamaged. So are GMOs dangerous? That's a big question. I believe that in North America, industry has been too reliant on GMO technology. Farmers purchase patented seed from Monsanto, purchase the Monsanto brand chemical designed to go with that seed, and don't really think about much else. It doesn't even increase yields by much according to Laura Rance. This has lead to huge areas of farm land growing one vast monoculture. And with roundup herbicide being used indiscriminately on these crops, in means that those buffer zones of milkweed that used to feed the migration of Monarch butterflies is now gone. Those early dandelions that used to be a food source for our pollinators (bees and other good bugs) are now gone. And weeds are now becoming resistant to roundup, meaning areas of heavy GMO production are now having to deal with giant ragweed and other noxious weeds. The over dependance on GMO systems means lack of genetic diversity in agriculture, with only a few large companies controlling what genetic stock is left. And for me the biggest argument against GMO crops is, we can't undo it. It's done, the genie is out of the bottle, you can't control where pollen goes. And all of these concerns are BEFORE we start to talk about if GMO crops can harm human health. If we kill off all of our pollinators and selectively breed indestructible noxious weeds, we'll have a lot more serious things to worry about than 'do GMOs cause cancer". We'll have to figure out how to pollinate the crops that are left between the 12 foot high ragweed. Does this all sound a little overly dramatic, like Erin's gone off the deep end? Nope. In china's main fruit growing regions, pesticides have killed off a majority of their natural pollinators. This leaves a human work force to hand pollinate their pear and apple trees. It's true. Here are some photos of the work that must be done. http://thebeephotographer.photoshelter.com/gallery/Hand-Pollination-in-China/G0000M46TBQX4Odc/ So what can we all do? You're already doing it! You are supporting Organic and Spray free food production in Manitoba. Way to go! You are part of the solution! Even if you shift 10% of your food budget to organic and GMO free foods, you are giving our planet a fighting chance to bounce back from GMO cropping.