Those of you old enough to remember the television show Green Acres may be able to appreciate my journey to becoming a sustainable farmer. In the series, Eddie Albert played an attorney who had traded in his New York City digs for the life a gentleman farmer, dragging his ditzy, bejeweled Hungarian wife (Eva Gabor) with him. Although I’m neither blonde nor dripping in diamonds, I’m a born and bred New Yorker who, at 50-something, is no longer content to merely pick up my organic groceries at Whole Foods. I’ve recently developed a deep-felt desire to produce my own food.
Growing up, my summers were spent on Long Island where my dad grew vegetables in a 20’x20’ plot. Each Memorial Day I assisted him in putting the tomato plants in the ground. He did the weeding and harvesting, and treated the veggies with a generous dose of Miracle-Gro and Snarol. We happily ate the bounty, oblivious to any potential health ramifications from these two potent chemical compounds.
Years later, after the birth of my fourth child, I turned to yoga as a remedy to my chronic fatigue and thyroid problems. In addition to learning breath work and asanas, my teacher taught me how eating certain foods could affect my health. I switched to organic milk, and then joined a CSA that provided organic produce, eggs and meat for my family. My kids started calling me a “yoga organic freakazoid,” but I felt healthier and stronger, and hoped I could educate them as well.