Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Harm minimisation

Yesterday's strawberry picking seemed like a great way to entertain the children at the same time as harvesting some of the Tamar Valley's fine produce.

After walking up and down the aisles of raspberry canes and strawberry plants filling a tub or two to the brim, my eldest daughter (Miss E) quizzed me thus:
Miss E: Mummy, are these strawberries organic?
Me: Ummm....no, I dont think so, but the orchard owner says they are 'minimum spray'.
Miss E: Whats minimum spray?
Me: 'Well, they usually will only spray once, at the time that the pests that eat the strawberries are there'.
Miss E: So they have been sprayed by pesticides, then. Yuck! I'm not eating them.

Cant argue with that! I realised I'd been kidding myself thinking that minimum spray was OK, but really the stuff is in the plant and the soil. Miss E had caught me in the hypocritical act of extolling the virtues of home grown organic produce, and promoting less than perfect fare as OK.

We went home to carefully tend our own strawberry plants, so that we can eat our own produce with confidence. Fortunately my husband and I have no such qualms about freshly picked 'minimum spray' strawberries, and have polishing them off with icecream :)


  1. I think we need the next generation to have the organic attitude! The strawberries look yum!

  2. ohh rasberries, rasberries..yum..yup, my body has been so ladened with stuff that half kilo of berries wouldnt hurt, surely....

  3. so tempting...mum's tip is that if bugs really like eating the produce (like strawberries) and the going price is high, it's worth the grower's while to spend money on pesticide inputs...fortunately, as petrochemicals get more expensive, growers will hopefully find cheaper ways to produce their product, increasingly, I hope, without expensive chemicals....