Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fall on its way...

This morning there was a chill wind in the air, and I noticed the big cottonwood tree at the edge of the field is starting to turn yellow. It feels like we barely began summer-- sweet corn & melons just beginning. But sure enough, I smelled fall in the air all day.

It's my favorite season. It's what I got nostalgic for on the west coast: the trees, the blue October skies, the pumpkins & apples. I can't wait. Things are feeling different on the farm too, not much more planting (2 more beds maybe), and just harvest, harvest, harvest. Green peppers are turning red. Fall greens are up-- radishes, salad turnips, arugula, mizuna, tat soi, the same as the spring.

On a different note, I read an alarming article in the NY Times which I occasionally check out online. It concerns our drinking water, herbicides, & cancer. Atrazine is a commonly used weed killer (used primarily for corn growing & golf courses)-- in fact, I saw some in my neighbor's barn. The article reports on various studies done, and debates whether or not levels of this chemical in our drinking water are "safe" or not. The European Union has banned the use of Atrazine as a precaution.

I think it's pretty incredible that Americans could accept any level of potentially harmful chemical in their drinking water, especially one which could cause birth defects or cancer. Is this the sacrifice we make in order to eat lots of processed junk food made from corn products and enjoy a weed-free golf course? I am not ready to make that sacrifice. Unfortunately I feel pretty powerless, and I think that policymakers in the EPA have much more control over these issues, even as personal an issue to me as the water I gulp down every day. I guess I will try to find out chemical levels in our water here in Rochester, and maybe invest in a good filtration system. If you have some time, check out this article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/us/23water.html


1 comment:

Paticia said...

What wonders you are posting--what a commitment! Just saw you tonight for the first time, hope you continue. Best of me to you. Patricia--New Orleans