Monday Musings…. The Hazards of Going Organic

Worms, glorious worms! These interesting invertebrates seem to pop up anywhere, and often when you least expect them! They’re good for the garden, they say. They aerate the soil, others profess. But they scare the bejeebers out of me when I find them on my plate!

We’ve recently been enjoying a harvest of the cool weather vegetables: spinach, arugula, radishes, and onions. The snow peas will be ready fairly soon. It brings a grin to my face as I saunter out to the back yard, and gather just what I need for a fresh healthy lunch. My smile broadens as I contemplate the financial gain from not having to purchase produce at the grocery store, or using the gasoline in my car. I am content!

And so, it’s become my routine, during this lockdown, to gather my ingredients and make a scrumptious salad at noon. I don’t read the news on my phone, or even read another chapter in a book I’ve been going through. It’s a serene time, where I process and think; where I’m mindful of the here and now and what I’m truly grateful for. It’s a chance to recharge and reset for the work that the afternoon will bring.

Well, apparently, I was not being too mindful this week, as I chose my vegetables, particularly the spinach. Our vegetables are grown in raised beds, and so when I cut off the leafy green above the root, I don't think there's a need to wash it. I live in a small town, far enough away from the chemical plants and the pot plant, so I thought I was safe from contaminants. Well… that may or may not be true. But, for sure what I didn’t count on were worms!

As I was three-quarters of the way through my scrumptious salad, my mind began to reflect on the organization I’ve been doing lately. It was garbage day, one of my favourite days, and I was thinking about how grateful I am to have that essential service. Well, for some bizarre reason my mind then pulled up a visual of a garbage bag crawling with maggots. Yes, that's the truth. My mind can be weird like that. Now I know you’ve all seen one of these bags - when the weather gets warm and what you've put in there six days ago, suddenly comes alive! Why my brain transitioned to that specific image I don’t know, but just then as I put my fork on to my plate to scoop up another bite – there it was! A perfectly camouflaged green worm making his way over to the pool of salad dressing. Perhaps he wanted to cool off. Or maybe he was thirsty? I don't know, but I snapped out of my serenity and made haste to the compost pile! At least I was staying true to being organic!

When I told my husband about the ordeal, and that I possibly had consumed something from the phylum, Annelida, his reply was a simple one: more protein. Hmmm. He later told me that I’d never eat fruit again if I knew what microscopic creatures reside in these plants: “like the strawberry…” I googled it and apparently there is a viral video showing what happens when you plunge strawberries into salt water…

Ok, I’ve grossed you out enough or created a phobia of fruits and vegetables. Either one is not good.

But my pesky predicament did not end there. Oh no! The next day, I ventured back into the garden, prepared, focused, no mind wandering to make sure I did not transport any worms back into my kitchen. I even washed everything to be extra safe. As I went to transfer the greenery onto my plate, lo and behold, a spider speedily scurried across it! No catch and release for that critter! No vermin is going to get past me now!

I never knew that eating salad was this dangerous. I think I’ve burned more calories from the nervous energy of trying to keep myself safe from unseen predators, and once discovered, running at break neck speed to the backyard composter. Who needs a gym membership when you’re eating organic?

I guess this goes to show how good intentions don’t always end up in the result you’re looking for. In life, as in salad, there’s often something unexpected that you have to navigate. You really do need to keep your eyes open for things you may miss, and shouldn’t. That,my friends, is a better plan for true health and contentment!

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