There is the USDA definition of organic, which you can try to decipher and understand because it’s as useful as the last Juvenile album.
I do know what organic, living organically and gardening organically mean to me.
To me there are many things that factor into being organic. Some we have more control and access to than others.
We can’t really decide that we don’t like breathing the air around us and stop. Well we can, but would wind up dead pretty quickly. We can control the water though by filtering. See what I mean?
Neither you nor I can control all of these factors. To me it’s about doing the best that I can given the circumstances that I’m facing.
Yes, I am gardening organically, but the containers that I’m using are made from plastic. So there is the potential threat of toxins (BPAs) leaching into the soil. The water I use is filtered, but I put it into a plastic container to pour.
Let’s not even talk about the environment and air that I’m in. I live in LA, which is one of the most polluted cities in the world. I decided against living in a hamster bubble and dealing with it.
Since I’m growing in containers, I bought organic soil. How about people that grow the traditional way in the ground?
Even if they aren’t using sprays and pesticides, how organic is their soil?
From the water and environment, there are likely some toxins in the soil. For $30, you can send your soil to the Environmental Sciences Analytics Center at Brooklyn College to get your soil tested for lead and other crap.
Yes that might all sound daunting and disempowering, but it shouldn’t be. You have the power to control certain apsects. You don’t have to use toxic chemicals to spray. You don’t have to use toxic fertilizers. Worry about what you can control.
That’s what organic and organic gardening is to me. It’s anything that I am actually doing and have control over. I can’t control the air around me (yet).
What does organic mean to you?