On the way to the ice cream parlor/ nursery I passed a local, family owned greenhouse. A fan of local, family owned businesses, I stopped and quickly filled a wagon with beautiful flowers and herbs. As I was looking around, I spotted an enormous patch of one of my favorite herbs, growing wild behind one of the greenhouses. I asked the owner if she was growing this herb on purpose, she was not. She offered me a pair of scissors and a bag to cut as much as I wanted. Good riddance she told me. I cut and filled an entire shopping bag, and didn’t even put a hole in the herb patch. SCORE! I was gloating!
As I was cashing out with the younger owner, thanking her profusely for my bag of gold, she told me how funny it all was. She had missed this area the last time she had sprayed “Round Up”, and would definitely get it this week, when she sprayed again. My timing, she told me was impeccable. She probably said a lot more as she helped me put the plants in my trunk. ROUND UP? They routinely sprayed Round Up?
Round Up isn’t something people use “around here”…dirt roads, woods, and lakes in Southern Maine. Round Up is used far away, in those monocrop fields that are planted with GMO seed. Our local farms are smaller and smarter; our farmers know the neighbors that they are feeding, they use sustainable growing practices that protect the environment, public health, humans and all species of life. Many of our farmers are not certified organic…but they are intelligent farmers who build up and protect ecosystems. Farmers in Maine not only get the connection between the food we eat and our health, they are thoughtfully protecting their sacred farming space to pass down to their children.
Toys are not made at the North Pole by whistling elves. Peter Cotton Tail does not hop down the Bunny Trail. There are farmers in Maine that use Round Up. Reality can be tough.
I thought long and hard about whether to used my overflowing bag of cut herb. Clearly it was flourishing there behind the greenhouse, so it hadn’t met Round Up yet. Yet “this we know. All things are connected” (Chief Seattle) so Round Up anywhere there, was Round Up everywhere there. I sadly let my bag of cut herb go as well as my hope of supporting this local, family owned business.