A Crock?

The farmer who lives nearest to us is a friend and a very good neighbor.  Our families have been neighbors and friends for generations.  He’s shared wisdom with me over the years and helped me out of several jams.

A couple of weeks ago we were commiserating, like farmers do.  I remarked that I was having trouble controlling the grass and weeds in my eggplant, due to all the rain.  He said I should get myself a backpack sprayer and some kind of herbicide (he mentioned it by name but I can’t recall it).  Because we grow organically, I replied, I can’t do that.

His next words:

“Organic is a crock.  If it worked then people wouldn’t have stopped doing it.”

I swallowed hard, suppressing a powerful urge to tell him everything that is wrong with that statement.  But instead I thought of all the times he’s been a good neighbor to me and just let it slide.

John Maynard Keynes once said, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

Even systems that behave rationally over a long timeline can (and do) behave mighty irrationally for shorter periods.

Humanity has a few thousand years of agricultural experience under its belt now,  the last 60 or so years of which have been dominated by extensive use of chemicals and fossil fuels.  I’m pretty confident that we’ll all look back someday, when the oil is no longer abundant and cheap and the chemicals and poisons have taken a great toll on us,  and wonder why we behaved so irrationally. Hopefully the irrationality won’t outlast our solvency.

14 comments on “A Crock?

  1. Jeff says:

    You might be interested in this


  2. Bob Braxton says:

    new to me: combination of country and rock music.
    Crock bands include: Rascal Flatts, Kid Rock


    • Bill says:

      Country rock has been around a long time. But as for putting Rascal Flatts and Kid Rock into the crock category, you’d find plenty of folks agreeing with you on that.


  3. Farmgirl says:

    Hey, I am going to go see Rascal Flatts this week in Cheyenne! Bill, I know we are doing the right thing organically growing food for people to fuel their bodies with. Eaten leaves, too much crabgrass, and all. Keep up the good fight!


    • Bill says:

      Rascal Flatts must put on a great show. I saw recently that they are on the top grossing touring bands in the world. Have a great time!
      And yeah, we’ll keep fighting and doing the right thing. 🙂


  4. shoreacres says:

    Your neighbor’s comment reminded me of my mother. When I began my blog, I had about three years’ worth of listening her say, “I don’t know why you insist on spending so much time playing with that computer.”

    She thought my blog was a crock, too. I suppose it’s a pretty common response. If a person doesn’t understand something or – more likely – doesn’t want to put forth the effort to accomplish the same things, the easiest way to dismiss it is to denigrate it.


  5. El Guapo says:

    The short-sightedness of humanity is legendary.
    As long as they can milk another nickel out of it for this quarter’s profits, they’ll keep spraying the chemicals.


    • Bill says:


      But to be fair, I spend a lot of today in the blazing sun pulling weeds and eliminating pests. Had I sprayed some chemicals in the gardens neither would have been necessary. I can understand how folks might succumb to the pressure to spray some poison on the food to improve the chances of getting it to harvest.

      It takes some awareness that not all profits and losses are realized immediately.


  6. Pam says:

    My thanks for growing organically without the uses of chemicals. You are doing the right thing for future generations. Bless you.


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