5/14/13 Dirty Foods

Gardeners,
We’re getting down to the wire…..June 12th will be the last day to clean your row.  There are 4 weeks left to harvest (that’s just 28 days to grow.) You could still plant radishes…and get some baby lettuce. Some of you are wondering what to do with eggplant and peppers and tomatoes that are still growing and producing.  Get some buckets and try to transport them to your patios.  They might be okay [Note from the web lady: We potted a pepper plant from the garden and it produced for two years! It was the Carmen variety.] Either way its worth a try.  Those of you that have strawberry plants or herbs growing, definitely try to pot and relocate.
 sunflowers
I’ll make up some more Neem oil/organicide spray today for the backpack sprayer, feel free to use it.  The sunflowers are up and the bug populations seem to be down.  They are a good crop to have for organic pesticide attracting parasitic wasps which feed on our plant’s predators.
I’m glad most of you have had a chance to see both growing seasons and get a feel for the strengths of each one.  Again, please know that no one has all the answers on how to garden organically.  You all have learned valuable gardening lessons. You are wiser for it and probably feel confident to grow in your backyards now.   If not, we’d love to have you for another year.  The website is updated and we’re starting the application process for the fall which begins in September.
On JUNE 8th, we’ll have a produce exchange….if you have a lot of one kind of produce and not enough of another, you can barter and trade with another grower.  We’ll discuss more about this later.
Please PICK.  I see lots of tomatoes going to waste, eggplants on the vine, beans not picked.  You’ve put so much work into your row, now is the time to benefit from it!!
Below is valuable information about which vegetables to buy organically and which is safe to buy conventionally.  Enjoy:
With food prices rising, many are looking for ways to buy the healthiest foods possible at the lowest cost.
One such way would be to focus on purchasing certain organic items, while “settling” for others that are conventionally-grown. To do this, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the Environmental Working Group’s (E.W.G.’s) annual Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the E.W.G. for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:

Apples

Celery

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Grapes

Hot Peppers

Nectarines (imported)

Peaches

Potatoes

Spinach

Strawberries

Sweet Bell Peppers

Kale

Collard Greens

Summer Squash

In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:

Asparagus

Avocado

Cabbage

Cantaloupe

Sweet corn (non-GMO)

Eggplant

Grapefruit

Kiwi

Mango

Mushrooms

Onions

Papayas (non-GMO*)

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