Paper or plastic? A question that I found mildly irritating when clerks and baggers started asking it in maybe the mid-eighties. In those days, I was certain that of course I wanted paper; I wasn't about to fuel unnecessary petrochemical use with those increasinly ubiquitous plastic bags. But then plastic bags started being made out of HDPE #2 and #4 plastic, a material that can be recycled. So it got a little stickier at the checkout counter. Do I choose paper and make a small contribution toward lessening the pollution from petrochemical refining, or do I choose plastic and save a tree --or at least a twig? Of course the best answer is neither, and bring your own reusable bags. I always opted for paper, even when the plastic bags could be recycled, since we could always reuse the paper bags at the market stall anad give that tree a little more go-round. Yep, in those days at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market, paper was the bag of choice. The helpful market manager even kept a sm
Showing posts from September, 2006
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Well, it's Fall and farmers are tired. In conversations with several of our organic farmer friends, the talk is of sore backs or scaling back. Three out of the five Frog Holler family members are nursing sore spots, although one can possibly attribute his to a nine-inning, full-tilt game of whiffleball! No doubt about it, organic farming is physically challenging and the reaction to the work in body, mind and spirit, builds up over the season. Now we can feel those big melon patches that needed to be hoed, and then hoed again, and then hoed again before we ever tasted a melon. Or we can look back on the tomato patch that we planted with high hopes and realize that, although we waded through those tangled rows of vines and weeds over and over, we didn't really get a crop. Or how about all of the broccoli those cutworms ate in the early spring? Or the mysterious disease that took out all the cucumber vines in Southeast Michigan, from what I hear and have observed in our field.