CoolMoms: Why Does Buying Organic Matter So Much?
This holiday season, we're giving thanks to climate action heroes, like organic farmer Jim Baird, for helping to solve the climate change puzzle.
Suffering succotash! Here we come, two Seattleites in an SUV, rolling across the arid, wide-open expanses of the Columbia River Plateau, way out in the middle of Washington State. The sun is shining and we are having a ball, poking our heads out the windows to moo at grazing cows along the way.
We turn into the gate at Cloudview Farm, and find a man there, munching an heirloom apple. He tosses a couple our way, and gestures for us to follow.
Soon, we’re jogging just to keep up. He strides through field after field, pointing out dozens of ways he’s trying to adapt his 1,000 acre organic farm to the giant curve balls climate change is hurling out here in Grant County: severe wind and weather.
He wades into an acre of waist high mustard to school us in chemistry, as Julie juggles the camera and Robbie fumbles to take notes. Acre after acre, he delivers crash courses in geology, nitrogen-fixing nodules, and water law. We zip thru his insectary zone (think pollinators) as terms like carbon sequestration and vetch tumble off his tongue.
Compared to him, we sound like breathless kindergartners. In reality, we’re summoning all our cardio training and college science just to stay apace. It's humbling, since we've always considered ourselves so enlightened. We've fed our kids every vegetable, from arugula to zucchini. But this man is knocking us off our pedestals.
His name is Jim Baird. The Washington Sustainable Food and Farm Network recently named him Farmer of the Year. According to Jim, “adapting to climate change is not easy, but it is doable.”
Having lost precious topsoil to ferocious winds in recent years, more and more Grant County farmers are flocking to Jim’s crash courses in sustainable agriculture. It is becoming increasingly clear that organic farming will play a central role in solving the puzzle of climate change.
Grant County is a breadbasket to the world and the leading agricultural county in the state. Whether we’ve been there or not, all of us have eaten food grown in this region. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we call on clueless city slickers like us to buy organic food and give thanks to the smart farmers like Jim Baird who nourish our families.