More Turnips

Dec. 31, 2010

Turnips ringing in an organic ‘foodies’ New Year! A trend?

By Jim PathFinder Ewing

Last week, I wrote about humming Christmas tunes and wondering if the turnips I was pulling out of the ground would look good hanging from the tree.

I rejected the idea as too outlandish.

But this week, I’m laughing in delight. Reader Christie Veach of Florence wrote to say “our family has made an event of Christmas turnips each year.” Including photos, she wrote, “below are a few ways we have used the purple tops for a little Christmas fun.”

Thank you, Christie! You and your wonderful family have emboldened me! Next year, I’ll be able to surprise wife Annette with her own Christmas turnips!

Happy New Year to you, Christie, Donna Veach, Janell Veach and Pagie Walden!

May all your holiday foods be so much fun (and healthful)!

Postmodern growing!

Organic growing is not some backwards way of farming, or “going back” to primitive means of providing food. It’s actually going forward, past the industrial farm era to a postmodern system of food production.

While organic farming has its roots, so to speak, in “old ways,” as we’ve explored in this column, including Founding Father Thomas Jefferson’s way of growing, it actually leapfrogs to a new way of doing things.

Back in Jefferson’s day, the best farmers rotated crops, focused on providing nutrient-rich soils and used genetically sound seeds culled from their own crops to produce the most abundant and nutritious foods possible. What they were lacking is the “why.” They didn’t know “why” these practices worked, but they knew to follow them for good results.

When easy, cheap chemicals became the preferred method of farming, conservation became not a necessity, but a choice.

Nowdays, we have the opportunity to choose how to grow. We know a lot of the “whys” for healthier soils and, hence, food.

With your 4-x8-foot “Jim’s plot” for personal food production, you can grow organic, healthful food for your own consumption and to share with friends and family without pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or any artificial chemicals, additives or supplements.

You are investing in your own health and that of your loved ones with something that is truly a gift of intimacy: the food you put in your body.

If everyone had their own small plot or container garden (using 5-gallon buckets, pots or old wheelbarrows), they could not only stretch their food dollars but do so in a healthful, sustainable way.

This is a back-to-the-future approach to farming: the personal food and herb garden, using all the knowledge of science but in a safe way.

Something I really enjoy about writing this column is interacting with young people. Some of them seem to really care more about what goes into their bodies than older generations.

As Margaret Hartley at recently wrote:

“Eating healthy, locally-grown and sustainable food is no longer relegated to the fringes of foodie society. There are TV shows about sustainable food, chefs who create their menus around food grown in their own kitchen gardens and blogs that offer recipes and information not only on eating more locally, but how to bring back traditional ways of cooking.”

Members of the Slow Food movement gathered in Italy recently – more than 5,000 people, as the group states, “united to promote sustainable local food production in harmony with the environment while respecting knowledge handed down over the generations.”

For more info, see:

And, who is leading the way for these “foodies?”

Young people!

That’s great!

Happy New Year, everyone!

And a child shall lead them!

Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit


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