Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Monday, October 06, 2008

Kiss Me, I’m Pathogen Free

I’m becoming fairly well updated on some rules to be imposed upon us by the unfeeling bureaucracy that we call government.
And that suggests an alternative though less fun title for this post: The USDA is Obsessed With Poop. Because it’s out there, everywhere, apparently, just waiting to infect the nation’s food supply. Its in the water, its in the air, its on leaves and in the dirt and can even be sucked through the skin of a cantaloupe. It’s traveling down stream at an alarming rate. It comes out of cows and pigs, out of deer, out of birds when they fly over your fields, and don’t think you don’t have any, either. And this poop would like nothing more than to infect the tomatoes you’re about to sell to someone who is going to back it in little Timmy’s lunch, who is going to share it with the whole class on the third grade field trip, and there, in one fell swoop, some poop wipes out fifty youngsters.

Co-operative Extension filled us in today on the steps vegetable growers will have to take to become compliant with some impending legislation. Hygiene standards are going to be set for the produce industry. GAP! is the Saturday morning buzzword they’ve chosen for these practices, in the manner that the US government mass communicates. Good Agricultural Practices. And, as noted, it all comes down to dealing with poop.
Not poop, obviously, but the salmonella and the e. coli and the etc. that so merrily resides and propagates in our intestines and in our poop. We’ll all be required to do things that we really should be doing anyway. Eliminating poop. Testing water. Streamlining harvest facilities.I’m up for the task. I’m going to catch all the stray chickens and keep them out of the fields. I’m going to find out exactly what kinds of coliform lurk in the pond. I’m going to reduce splashback onto leafy greens. I’m going to sanitize the packing area. I’m going to monitor the temperature in the cooler. Daunting tasks, maybe, but we’re up for it. We are, after all, professionals.

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