September is Organic Harvest Month. Designated each September by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Organic Harvest Month is designed to encourage people to buy and/or consume more certified organic products.
As the group says on its website “the objective of Organic Harvest Month is to highlight organic agriculture and the growing organic products industry. September is also an ideal time for consumers and retailers to celebrate the bounty of the organic harvest.”
As OTA points out, organic farming is all about agriculture that builds healthy soils and protects the environment.
As I’ve written about before on Care2, there are an increasing number of organic products available including organic flowers, chocolate, and wine.
Don’t just think organic for your produce, but for other things like beverages, dairy products, and dessert. You can even find organic cotton in many everyday products such as table linens, t-shirts, sheets, bathrobes, and slippers.
There are some simple ways to go organic to celebrate the month and to gradually shift over to the organic lifestyle. Here are a few to get you started.
First, make the shift to organic gradually so it fits easily into both your lifestyle and your budget. If you are worried about the cost of organic products, then be selective in which products you buy. To start with, focus on organic produce, and choose those foods that make the most impact when they are grown organically. You can find these on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list. These are high pesticide laden produce like strawberries, apples, celery, and spinach.
Next, shop at a local farmers’ market. There are more organic vendors in one location, so you get the biggest selection and the freshest produce. Price is often negotiable, and although many farmers might not be “certified” organic, they do grow organically, ask them about their growing methods, and see if they do grow organically.
Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you buy shares at a local farm. These have become more flexible and often include other items aside from fresh produce including meat, eggs, cheese, flowers, and baked goods. They also have become more flexible with pricing and payment plans. You can find a CSA near you at Local Harvest or the Eat Well Guide.