My Organic Story- with Jacqueline

Everybody who chooses to eat organic has a story about why. For some people it was a big event that shifted their thinking, for others it may have been a slow change over time. Whether your story is big or small, it is always significant. We love hearing our customers stories; the reasons why they choose to eat organic. The stories are always different….and interesting. The ‘My Organic Story’ series is about opening up this space to our customers to share their stories. Tonight we meet Jacqueline and she shares her story with us. Jacqueline is a teacher on maternity leave after having her first baby. She lives with her daughter, partner, Staffy, and numerous plants that currently need her attention, as well as an ever-expanding stash of cloth nappies. She’s also a very talented writer and has a personal blog called P.S. Don’t Tell Mum

Take it away Jacque!

“You know Jacq, living on a main road like you do, you are breathing in the fumes of all those cars every day…” This is one of my mum’s favourite warnings that usually precedes a not so subtle dose of reasons why my family should be moving out of our Northern suburbs’ rental and joining her out West. There’s not much that can be done to quell such a mum attack. But at least after we started getting our Organic Place vegies I had something new in my arsenal: “You know Mum…we only eat organic vegies now. Your granddaughter does not consume any pesticides or chemicals…How good is that?”

Before we got our veg delivered, we hated that our money went to the supermarket duopoly and regretted how much food we were wasting. What’s more, the vegetables we were buying were overpriced and their quality did not match. My sister started eating organic and has long maintained that it wasn’t just the taste that she noticed – she also felt better eating organic. So my partner and I jumped on board and every week look forward to our small vegetable bag and our sourdough bread. We signed up at the beginning of the year, coinciding with us dealing with a newborn. Convenience wise, I suddenly didn’t have to trek to the supermarket for much at all. Whatever arrived, I pledged to cook and eat it. No waste. Even though we eat a tonne of veg with most meals, sometimes we struggle to get through the whole bag in the week! I’ll never forget our first meal, when we both tried our stir fried vegetables. Everything. Tasted. Amazing. My husband didn’t stop talking about the taste of the broccoli for days. Surprisingly, my hatred for red capsicum disappeared.

Consuming food and products that have been grown and produced organically used to be such a pipe dream – and an expensive one – but now you can see the word commonly at any supermarket, and more importantly see the Certified Organic logo. I don’t always aim to pick up products labelled ‘organic’ but it is a definite factor in weighing up what I buy. A lot of my staples are organic: shampoo, deodorant, tea, coffee, lots of the gluten free stuff I eat, and things like grains and nuts. We all know that being an ethical consumer can be exhausting! Once you weigh up the country of origin, cruelty aspects, the packaging, rights of workers and so on and so on your head is spinning and you question whether you’ve made the right decision in the end. We try to reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle. We are great at recycling, refusing and reusing, but we could definitely reduce our use of packaged products. Whilst I dream of being one of those people who holds up a tiny jar showing the waste they have created over the year, I am realistic, and try to aim for achievable goals. My current addiction is modern cloth nappies. Having used them for about 5 months, the fact that we have saved almost a thousand nappies from going into landfill, and the disposable wipes that go with them, makes me happy and proud. It also has freed up the money we would have spent on disposables (for me to spend on more cloth nappies!).

My other passion is my garden. If I could grow all my own vegetables… I would. But at the moment I am missing not only the land and the time, but the talent! I am getting better though. Planting, nurturing and harvesting fruit and vege is one of my great loves. In 2012 fate led me to undertake a Permaculture Design Course in Nepal, which has changed my understanding and attitude towards sustainable and organic gardening forever. We learnt about soil types, weather systems, optimising natural resources, companion planting and so on, but also how to use livestock waste and pungent herbs and plants to make a natural fertiliser and pesticide, how to make a no dig garden to constantly release organic matter into your soil, which insects are friendly and which are destructive, even how human waste is being in used in gardening around the world. Permaculture is about the connection between community and home, waste and growth, and how diversity brings out the best in your gardening and food production. When I consume my home grown tomatoes, I know exactly what has been fed to them, and likewise eating my vegetables from The Organic Place, and trusting that they are certified organic, allows me to have no question marks hanging over the food I consume and spoon into my baby’s mouth. They are also seasonal and varied, I feel healthy just looking at my bag each week!

Stay tuned because Jacque will be back on Wednesday night to share her favourite winter warming recipes with us!

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