James Pinsky: Peanut butter and conservation sandwiches

James Pinsky

For years my lunch consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

It didn’t matter if it was raining, snowing or sunny. It didn’t matter if my wallet was full of dollar bills or cobwebs. It didn’t matter if I was in a good mood, bad mood or completely pensive. The sandwich, sometimes two, always got made. You know the old saying; a PB&J in the hand is worth two in the refrigerator. 

It’s true! 

After all, a PB&J on hand enabled quite a few things in life. Because I always had a PB&J ready, it didn’t matter if I was hungry right at noon or a little earlier. Whenever I was hungry, whenever I needed that creamy peanut-buttery goodness, that sandwich was ready. Why? It’s quite simple. I made the act of creating the sandwich a habit and practiced that habit every day. Doing so made the times I needed a sandwich far less stressful and other times, simply more enjoyable.

Conservation best management practices work the same way. We have to put in the work well before we get environmentally hungry to be able to taste the success of a well-made conservation sandwich. If we wait until we are starving,ecologically speaking, the resources we need like technical skills, time, money and organic materials will likely be difficult, if not impossible to find. Imagine making a 10-mile hike with your buddies, working up an appetite and finding no PB&J in your backpack; unless your friends planned for your mistakes, the only sandwich you’ll be eating will have a whole lot of want-to and wishes spread between two slices of too-late. 

You see, whether it’s an agriculture, wildlife or simple conservation best management practice, the only way we can reap the benefits best management practices is to do them; every single day. We have to do them when it’s raining or snowing, or during a heat wave. We have to practice them when we’re tired, or when we fight with our spouses, after our favorite sports team loses, while we’re single, married or relationship-confused. We have to practice sound agriculture and water quality management practices every day, regardless of life, because like that rich, creamy, peanut butter and raspberry-dripping jelly sandwich cures what ails our aching stomachs, good conservation practices should keep our environment well fed; which works out well for us because if Mother Nature’s stomach growls, we all go hungry.

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A friendly reminder that we have three public meetings left as part of our four-year strategic planning review. We encourage everyone to participate. A schedule of the public meetings with the location, date and time is available on our website along with a link to this survey: www.lfswcd.org.

Clarke County meeting:  7 p.m. Feb. 15,  Boyce Volunteer Fire Company,  7 South Greenway Ave., Boyce

Frederick County/City of Winchester: 7 p.m. Feb 21, Frederick County Board of Supervisors, 107 N. Kent St., Winchester

Wrap-Up Session:  7 p.m. March 7,  Strasburg Community Center, 726 E. Queen St., Strasburg.

James Pinsky is the Education and Information Coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District.  Contact him at 540.465.2424, ext. 104, or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org.