GardenDishes

dishin' the DIRT on hit and myth landscaping

Always Best to Buy (or GROW) Organic Produce?

Lately, I’m getting more requests from my landscaping clients who’ve never considered themselves gardeners to grow their own food.

And they want to do it organically.

Horror stories of tainted greens drive many to question what else they might be buying in that bag of lettuce or spinach. Restaurants, bars, and even airlines blame skyrocketing prices for dropping lime and avocado from their menus. It might tempt some folks to just grow their own food. While citrus and other heat loving plants thrive in my part of the world, what about you who don’t have the weather – or space – to grow your own? Should you move? Well, maybe.

At my house, produce may be found throughout the landscape. If I cannot grow enough, the rest is bought from local farmers whenever possible. I believe in permaculture, which is simply good stewardship of the land. But, as I said before, my options for growing food are vast because of where I live.  And I enjoy gardening.

Should you buy or try? Check this chart to see what produce you should ALWAYS buy organic.

Check this chart to see what produce you should ALWAYS buy organic. Green means little pesticides, red shows what has the most pesticides in traditionally grown produce.

If you’re confused about buying organic produce, check out this chart I made for a lecture I gave. It shows which traditionally grown produce items have the highest pesticide levels. Scary? That’s not the purpose of my talk or why I’m sharing this information. I simply want to give you guidelines on which items deserve the extra bucks to buy organic, or extra time and space to grow in your yard, if your climate allows. Although this won’t necessarily make you a better organic gardener, it could make you a better shopper when it comes to organic produce.

NOTE: if you want an easy-to-reproduce copy of this chart, just let me know. I’m happy to send you a larger JPEG or PDF of it.

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4 thoughts on “Always Best to Buy (or GROW) Organic Produce?

  1. Katie Kowalski on said:

    Hi there Cherie – could you post a key to the chart with the names of the fruits and vegetables? I can recognize most of them, but some have me a little confused.

    This is so helpful – thank you!

  2. Kerry on said:

    I would love a printable copy Cherie!! What have I had luck growing? Birds ate my nice tomato crop!! Lol. I need some tips and practice I guess 🙂 Kerry

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Kerry, happy to get that to you. But don’t give up on growing tomatoes just yet. Buy some netting to put over your tomato plants before the birds make them lunch. (I also use netting over my strawberries for the same reason.) If you love having birds in your garden, too, plant a little extra so everyone can share the harvest. cc:

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