Organic Versus Conventional Farming

Some of our best friends are organic local farmers, and some are conventional local farmers. Some things are really hard to grow organically, or just aren’t available at the scale that will allow very many of us to get those products, and some are cost prohibitive. The conventional farmers that we know are responsible, thoughtful people who make careful, reasoned decisions about what they do. One of them isn’t organic because he’s afraid of e. coli from manures. (We rarely use manure and when we do we wait a long time before we grow crops there.) We use organic practices because I’m afraid of pesticides. (They wait the required time before harvest, trusting the recommendations.) We both made our decisions based on our fears of very real problems, it depends on what we were more afraid of.

All farmers worry about the weather, the costs of production, the availability of labor, the opportunities for sales, all the same stuff. All family owned farms preserve open space and pay taxes. All in all, we all have a lot more in common than we have differences.