Letter from The Publisher

Tracy Patterson

The articles in Natural Awakenings always seem to bring me back to days gone by, and this month’s feature on organic farmers (see page 20) is no exception.

It never occurred to me back in the day when we used to rid our broccoli and cauliflower of worms by soaking them in salt water, that a time would come when I would actually wish for this problem again. I don’t think there’s ever any fear of a worm within a mile of cruciferous vegetables these days, thanks to the multitude of pesticides that are liberally applied. Same goes for black spots on tomatoes and peppers—they may look beautiful, but looks are deceiving (and the taste leaves much to be desired too!).

My husband and I usually eat organic now, but often the produce is from a hothouse (so still no worms!). Hothouse organics may have the health benefit of no pesticides, but it seems that they aren’t often teeming with flavor. There is nothing like nutrient-rich, pesticide-free soil in the great outdoors to bring out the best in veggies.

One funny story about the uptake of nutrients. Many years ago, in the late ‘70s, my mother and I each had a few tomato plants in the backyard. Neither of us told the other what we were doing with our plants because we were having a little competition to see who would end up with better tomatoes. So, the time came when they were ripe and ready for the taste test. I took a nice big bite of one of my mother’s tomatoes—yuck! It tasted like fish! She got a strange look on her face, then admitted she used fish fertilizer. Since that kind of fertilizer was relatively common, it was clear that she had taken a wrong turn with the instructions. Needless to say, I won that round. The moral of the story is that whatever you put in or on the soil will end up “in” the produce—it isn’t something you can just wash off.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings. As always, please feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or questions. I would love tips on growing the best tomatoes! This is your magazine—enjoy!



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