Do You Grow Ignore-ganic Produce?

Toddler-Made Apple Pie

Toddler "App Pie" copyright The Spinning Cook

Ignore-ganic Produce: Fruits and vegetables which are chemical-free simply as a result of you doing nothing. They’re my personal specialty. Case in point: this lovely bowl of undersized, pockmarked, misshapen apples from our yard that my toddler decided to make into “App Pie” one morning in a brief moment unsupervised. At 20 months he’s got the general idea, but these are seriously ugly apples.

Apples and the Dirty Dozen

Apples are the new king of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. If you haven’t seen this resource, it’s perfect fridge-front material, telling what things you should buy organic since they are so pesticide-laden, and where you shouldn’t waste your money (the “Clean Fifteen”). So if there’s one thing to buy organic it’s apples. Maybe I should put our uglies up for sale?

Keepers of the Perfect Fruit

I must say I have a lot of respect for people who keep up a yearly schedule with sprays, many of which are quite harmless. My father-in-law marks the months by suiting up like a jetpacked warrior, defending his trees against pests and disease with all the strategy and vigor of Bill Murray after gophers. And the results are impressive. Our own apples get no such love. Yet they come back year after year as if it never hurts their feelings. If they were a variety we liked, we’d pay more attention, which is why we’re phasing out McIntoshes (with apologies to Apple Inc)¬†for Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious. In the meantime we let the pockmarks come, and in the end there’s something beautiful about getting something for nothing: no watering, spraying, pruning…just some creative carving to get around the bad parts.

Wild blackberries are the same way around here – open for the picking (and pricking) around any public park or school, but seedy as anything so only good for jelly the wife says. Don’t tell that to my six-year-old who wants to put them in everything, or my toddler who’s ready to make more “pie.”

Your part, please don’t ignore

What grows near you without any help at all? Do you wish you gave it more love? Have you ever passed someone’s yard, fully-loaded with ignore-ganic fruit raining to the ground, and wanted to knock on the door to see if they’d let you clean the tree? Next time I’d say do it – knock and see if you can get something for (almost) nothing.

Posted in Food Articles, Philosophies, Raw Food
2 comments on “Do You Grow Ignore-ganic Produce?
  1. Mary Miele says:

    I get ‘volunteer’ tomatoes after putting compost in the raised bed. A LOT of them. A few radishes too. It’s more than compost, it’s recycling! Of course I didn’t add the compost early enough this year (not that we had a summer to speak of) so I only got a few green cherry tomatoes and one small yet tasty radish. They came up all on their own. I totally ignored them!
    Also snagged (with permission) a few figs from my neighbor’s tree. They just let the squirrels eat them. I got a few good ones and didn’t have to pay $5 a pint for them!

    Nice job on the blog!

    • Avatar photo Ryan says:

      Nice ignoring Mary! Volunteer tomatoes are another great example. We typically get some too, though my 6 year old watches them very carefully and gives a daily report! She just can’t wait until they turn the slightest bit orange/red. Thanks for the kinds words and the email sign-up. Cheers,



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