So, You Don’t Like Plastic Bags, Right?

Let me show you the problem with that. Here’s the hill.P1000621

Nice, huh. Voles till it. Gophers. Weasels from time to time. Coyotes. Yes, Coyotes. Rototillers of the West! Nothing to complain about. Keep those plastic bags away, right?


You bet! Then comes the next step. Fence.


If you wonder where the rain forests went, those are the ancient red cedars rich there. But the story of the plastic bag doesn’t stop there, no no. Then there’s tilling, aka “breaking ground.” See?


You could plant some tomatoes there, right? Wrong!  The following image shows where you plant tomatoes:


I mean, what’s the use of tomatoes ripening in September? People want them in July! In August! Yah! So, plastic heats up the soil and speeds that up, and the fertilizer gets spread through that water tube you see there. Very nice. And at the end of the season? Off to the dump with this stuff. You see, there’s no way around the plastic bag. Even if you put on your grandmother’s apron and cradle the tomatoes in that on the way home, the plastic has already been used, and it’s soon to be in the landfill, too. Late in the year? Well, as you can see, once the U-Pick, save the world from plastic home canners are gone, the farmer has his own rituals…

A couple weeks after pulling out all the plants and discarding the tomatoes, things are almost back to normal.

It’s not, you see, about a plastic bag. Meanwhile, on the edge of the farm, amidst the discarded plastic irrigation hoses of past years, life carries on …


The lambs quarter weeds there (not the feathery cheatgrass in back or the forgetmenots up front) make better eating than spinach, but does anyone here? No. No plastic needed. Early season. Crop off long before the water dries up. Across the road, where the apple trees are torn out because the money is not in them? Same thing!


Down the road a kilometre-and-a-half, where a replanting scheme (see yesterday and the day before) has gone all wrong, well, what do you know…


No plastic bag. See that? That’s the way. But tomatoes in the Okanagan? I hardly think so. This is one of the prices we pay for the myth that it is hot here. Canada needs this myth. We need to stop talking about plastic bags.

5 replies »

  1. On point again Harold. It’s ubiquitous. This story reminds me of when I went shopping at Mountain Equipment Co-op a few years ago. Unbeknownst to me they had just implemented a no plastic bag policy. I was travelling and went in and bought a few things. When I checked out and asked for a bag to hold the number of small articles I had bought, I was informed of this policy; they had nothing to give me to contain my purchase.

    So I responded that almost everything they had for sale in their store was fabricated out of said petrochemical polymers and that the disposable waste from those articles was exponentially larger than from plastic bags. I said maybe they should look into not selling said articles if they were so inclined to free the world from plastic waste. All I received in response was a shrug and an apology.

    We can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. We’re all guilty of it to greater and lesser degrees and we’re all in it together. Having said that, some awareness and small gestures are much better than none at all. It’s hopefully a step in the direction to collective awakening.

    Keep up the good work! People are listening and you never know how or when your stories will touch another person and affect change. You’ve had a positive effect on me.


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