Fresh Facts Week 11:
Thank God for the Rain!

By November 9, 2014Fresh Facts, Newsletter

RAIN! Thank you God!

Over an inch at our house and more importantly, snow in the mountains. It’s not so much the inch, but the psychological impact of a real nice rain, the smell of clean instead of dust.

When I was little, we had plenty of Dust Bowl surviving Okies hereabouts. Today, their descendants wear that once derisive title proudly as a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps descriptor; their Okie twang as deeply embedded in our culture (think Buck Owens) as it is the Texas Panhandle and Great Plains country they had to leave. One ole boy told me with a twinkle that “The Okies conquered California in 90 days without firing a shot and raised the IQ of both states 10 points.”

Another told me with a tear of his beautiful farm “back home” that “just dried up.” The psychological trauma of a fiercely independent man watching the crops wither, the cattle die, and unable to pay the mortgage, loading his family and everything he could on their Model T and heading to California had to be awful.

We have 12 field pumps on our little farms; 5 “sucked air” this year but the pumps could be boosted and lowered because there was still some well left, one was abandoned, and we’re scheduled to drill 2 new ones this winter.

No, an inch doesn’t do much but it sure feels good and smells good and puts a spring back in your step and gratitude in your heart. For all our technology, we’re not in control. Thank you all for praying for rain. Funny how we do that last isn’t it?

A reporter asked me this week what the greatest benefit of organic farming was from a consumer’s standpoint.

Short term is the lack of synthetic fungicides and that brought a quizzical look. Most people think of pesticides or fertilizer or herbicides or antibiotics, but no one thinks of fungicides or the chemicals on fruit post-harvest that kill decay organisms.

Depending on who you talk to, about 85 percent of our immune system comes from our gut. We have 10 times more microbial cells in and on our bodies than our own cells. These little guys are busy breaking down your food and making its nutrients available. They’re also continually fighting off infection and disease organisms. Anything that disrupts this decay process on your food will do the same in our bodies.

What we want is food that breaks down quickly, but this is counterintuitive. If your bread sits at room temperature for a week and isn’t moldy, there should be sirens going off in your head. If you look at the label, there will be big words Grandma wouldn’t recognize used as preservatives. If your strawberries or peaches sit on the counter and don’t decay, there should be a “what’s up with this?”

But that’s un-American Uncle Vern, we should be able to just let stuff sit out. Nope, not gonna do it. I love you too much to send family that stuff.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying preservatives and fungicides will make you sick, I’m just saying they won’t make you healthy, and life’s too short to be unhealthy don’t you think? Your family’s health is our job one.

The second greatest benefit comes from biological fertility but I’ve gotta have something to talk about next week. Thank God for rain!

 

Author Uncle Vern

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