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Hydraulic Fracturing and Organic Farming

Written By Culinary Pen on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 | 4:16:00 PM

I’ve lived in Pennsylvania for over 10 years now. I was born here, but moved to Upstate New York when I was two. But I’ve always loved Pennsylvania, which my family would return to often on vacations and trips. I could always tell when we hit the deep woods of PA, as a heavy, damp, piney aroma would fill the car. In 2002 I moved down here and never left. Now, I still relish that deep, mountainous smell of pine and moss. It triggers deep-embedded memories in me just as strong as the smell of my mom sautéing garlic in butter for topping noodles.

Ten years later, I can even tell the difference in that woodsy smell as the year progresses. Spring has the most intense aroma, as everything defrosts, and the damp, dead plants of last year slowly rot into the topsoil and feed the year’s coming growth. Summer is sharper, with a deep resinous aroma of pine and the slight tingling ozone from the storms of early summer. Autumn brings its own unique presence of hay to the air, as grass dries, leaves wither, and the wind begins to whip a bit of frost into the mix.

So I find the below article particularly troubling, as more and more often I’m hearing about the troubles of natural gas fracking on the waters around me. Right now I mostly hear the bad news from farmers. On the news and in the radio it’s nothing but good news about cheap gas and new jobs. But farmers are one of the few facets of our society left who have an intense and daily bond with the land. 

Organic Gardening: Caught in the Drill Zone

What’s stirred the most questions in me is that this is in a small organic farming publication. These are people who look to natural, alternative, and sustainable way to cultivate the land. But we all rely on the same water. What does it matter if I buy organic tomatoes, source non-GMO non-Monsanto soy beans, and order pasture-raised pork that’s not filled with phytoestrogens? What does it matter when it’s all fed with the same water? When our food is filled with water that’s full of chemicals, heavy metals, and ethylene glycol, who cares if your food was sprayed with organic or industrial pesticides?

I think my ultimate question is this: how can I call a place home when I can’t drink the water?
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