Insight from Florida

I was in Bonita Springs. Florida for two weeks in March. What a delight to find oranges in the backyard!

Strawberries were in season but we could not find organic ones. Why not? A guided tour at Rookery Bay in Naples provided some insight: We had stopped at an old cistern, remnant of a farm that had been there in the late 1930s. A family had moved there and planted citrus trees after the Cold Wave of 1936 killed their crop farther north. They were unsuccessful in their new home. The soil was sandy and needed lots of water, the summers were dreadfully hot, and they had lost the battle with bugs; insects and diseases were rampant year round. It gave me a different perspective on our northern winter: The cold wipes out many viruses and pests that would otherwise build up year after year. I have always thought we who garden/farm in the northeast were at a disadvantage, but am now realizing that organic gardening may actually be more feasible here because of Jack Frost. Who knew?!

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