It rained on Saturday, October 23, 2010—both in Chicago at the garden and in Wisconsin where I was on vacation. Dave was also out of town, and Annie was out sick; so no one was around to use a bike trailer to transport the day’s harvest to the Vital Bridges pantry. Susan delivered the garden’s produce in her car.
The following weekend, Susan broke the news to me that we broke the streak of delivering by bike that we had maintained since the beginning of the growing season.
“At least it was with a Prius”, Sue said.
In retrospect, I think that it was for the best that we made at least one delivery by car. A perfect streak of bike delivery would only have provided fodder for a sanctimony that we strive to avoid.
One thing that I enjoy about working at Ginkgo is that we try to follow our principles without being needlessly doctrinaire. We believe in organic agriculture, and we use organic methods as much as is practicable—but we don’t interrogate every orange peel and lettuce core that might make its way into one of our compost bins. We save our own seeds and purchase heirloom varieties whenever possible—but we will also pick up a few conventional eggplant starts if they go on sale at Gethsemane. We keep our carbon costs down by using bike trailers for deliveries—but we delivered by car for years, and will again when necessary. We try not to let the ideal get in the way of the good.
In 2010 Ginkgo Organic Gardens delivered over 1200 pounds of fruits and vegetables, of which all but around 50 pounds was delivered by human power. We’re all pretty happy about that.