Local, organic agriculture. Environmental education.

There is risk in crossing the street.

Mark spring greensIt can be dangerous driving a vehicle while looking at one’s phone for the time, directions or the latest text message regarding something essential. The sun, full of vitamin D, must be soaked up in careful moderation so as not to have to deal with ramifications later in life. And in an effort to grow healthy food, the farmer needs to place that seed in the soil, while hoping that mice do not nibble the seed, too much rain does not dampen their germination and that all the variables work in concert for productive, bountiful tomatoes, pumpkins, snap dragons and celeriac.

We all measure and weigh the risks that we confront in life when, every time we undertake a task, step outside, cook a meal and seek to make our life a little richer and more enjoyable. What are the short term and long term risks for our and others’ happiness? What is needed to gain a meaningful result for us, our family, our friends, our neighbors and our community?

These general questions are in part, too vague and I am not a philosopher. Each person is certainly capable of making his or her own decisions and consequences.  As a teacher and organic farmer, I know I can try to provide fun, engaging, learning opportunities for kids and adults who are wishing to learn about making nutrient rich compost and how to grow food from saved seed to kale chips. I can also share my mission to teach and act responsibly when it comes to respecting the environment and acting as a responsible steward for the land.

baseballThere is risk in applying a product such as Roundup Ready on one’s lawn for the goal of getting rid of dandelions for a completely green lawn. (Dear Sox grounds keepers, would Yaz have played less well chasing down a pop fly at Fenway while running with little yellow flowers underfoot?) The risk of such an application is the rise in synthetic fertilizers in our water system. There is risk in relying on companies that promote an effort to gro a miracle or hire a company for a tru green result.

To each their own when it comes to personal decisions. Consuming food is the right of each person, who is able to do so, and may stem from a connection in the past. Any person can make their own vote, attend their own place of worship and grow their own food. One needs, space, air, soil, sun and water for the seed. There is risk in that simple act and we all take that risk, as we too seek space, air, food, sun and water.

Let’s be thankful for these basic elements, let’s pet our cat a little longer, let’s not stare into or at the sun and let’s make sure flowers can grow right amidst the green, green grass of spring and summer, while weighing the risks and joys. However, I may look twice before crossing the street.

© 2016, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm

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