Present Tense

Certified Organic Human

I just spent 45 minutes picking wild black-raspberries behind our house.  Not thinking, just picking.  Wild raspberries require long pants, long sleeves and patience.  The bushes are nestled into the other brush and the thorns are not helpful.  Nature doesn’t plunk our food into nice, little, easy-to-grab containers.  Nature asks for a commitment.

There are tons of berries left to be harvested over the next couple of weeks and that’s fine with me.  Picking berries is my zen task for now.  I’m up for it.  We are finally settled at our farm, learning so much so quickly about some of the new things in our life.

We have an orchard with about 40 apple trees.  In the past, they’ve been cared for with pesticides and insecticides, but we are going to grow our apples via organic means.  Seems simple and well, organic, right?  It’s not.  We’re learning that it’s quite complicated to grow decent fruit, minus the toxic pest control.  But, we only need enough for us and the friends who’d like to share our apples, so we’ll sacrifice bounty for quality.

Organic farming is a long-term commitment.  It’s an entire eco-system that must be nurtured and developed; a 5 to 10 year plan.  Something we just don’t have time for in the modern world of instant gratification, where bigger and more is better.

Pastured chickens and lambs fertilize the crops.  Flowers are planted to bring in bees and useful insects.  The animals and crops are rotated to allow the land to replenish.  It’s a lot of work and planning and for the first few years, there is very little return on this investment.  A commitment.

So, how does this apply to all of us?  It’s worth pondering what commitment you’re making to your health and happiness.  We live in a culture of quick, fast, simple, no effort and we all know in our hearts and minds that there really is no quick fix for anything that’s important.

We are organic.  We require time and effort and patience and diligence to fully flower; nurturing our health, wellness, happiness and growth is a commitment.  Every day.  Stop with the excuses.  “I’ll lose weight when…I’ll save money when…I’ll look for a new job when…I’ll stop drinking when…I’ll take care of myself when…I’ll be nicer to people when…”

You don’t really know when ‘when’ is, do you?  I’ll tell you. It’s now.  Start.  Make a commitment and take pleasure in the nuturing; in the process.  In all honesty, there is never an end.  Forget goals, think now.  Start the process and let it unfold.

Follow nature.

July 20, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Very good advice. No more drive-through. I have a group of young men that may be able to help you in the harvesting process if needed. Always looking for community service projects and we would love to do it up in Pure Michigan.

    Comment by Tim | July 20, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Tim!
      We can discuss in August. See you soon!

      Comment by janelondon | July 20, 2013 | Reply

  2. Thank you Jane – you said it beautifully & I appreciate the important reminder!

    Comment by Karen | July 20, 2013 | Reply

    • Karen,
      Thanks for the note. Happy to help:)

      Comment by janelondon | July 20, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hey Jane, I finally got on FB this year and just signed up to receive your blog.
    We are taking a few days off to celebrate our 25th. I packed my Kindle, a couple of hard-bound books, a notebook and my iPad. When I received my first Present Tense blog, I found myself gently pushing aside my other readings and am in the process of leisurely winding my way through your archived writings. I find them inspiring, revealing, humorous, heartfelt and always authentically down to earth. Thank you for sharing so much. All the best in your new home, new orchard, new life.

    Comment by Erica | July 20, 2013 | Reply

    • Erica,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. It means the world to me. I know you have plenty of reading material at all times and I’m flattered that you would put anything aside to read the blog.
      Happy Anniversary.

      Comment by janelondon | July 20, 2013 | Reply

  4. Jane, sounds like you’re in “hippie heaven” these days. I hope you’re feeling less restless, as well. My best friend from childhood and her husband run a large farm (by San Luis Valley standards) and are planning to turn a portion of it organic. It is a long process, but they say there is a very high demand for organic and they’ve already got contracts in place through Whole Foods (or Natural Grocers?). Maybe if more and more people make the move we can get our organic and healthy selves back. I just hope Big Pharma/Farma doesn’t get in the way.


    Comment by Jewel | July 21, 2013 | Reply

    • Jewel,
      Thanks! I am in hippie heaven:) Sadly, Big Farm and Big Food are buying up organic brands very quickly, which means that the government will be quickly dropping standards for true organic foods and they’ll be a junky as the current ones:) Finding a local supplier or growing our own is really the only way to ensure quality. Bummer….

      Comment by janelondon | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  5. Jane:

    You found your paradise! So very happy for you…. I am just starting to ‘design’ mine, and it’s the most exciting thing I have done for myself since I had a child! Like you, I am very tired of doing everything in a hurry, never enjoying the process or stopping to smell the roses along the way. I’m next!

    Mary Ann

    Comment by Mary Ann | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  6. I am feeling this one. It is the best you have written from my perspective.

    Comment by Keri | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  7. Jane. I’m sad that you aren’t living in Denver but happy that you can be close to your folks. I have spent many enjoyable years, listening to you and Dom, while driving my kids to school. You and I are the same age and reading your blog inspires me. Thank you. I am envious of your farm. I would love that but I know that there are other things that I can do. Congratulations for living your dream.

    Comment by Jen Rahn | July 22, 2013 | Reply

  8. Great post. Lately I’ve been asking myself what I SAY I am committed to and what I REALLY am committed to. Sometimes they are very different things. Thanks for the reminder.

    Comment by Diane | July 22, 2013 | Reply

  9. […] Certified Organic Human – Present Tense – … which means that the government will be quickly dropping standards for true organic foods and they’ll be a junky as … Getting older has it’s benefits. I would love it if you’d sign up below for e mail alerts, pass along my blog to your friends and please comment … […]

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