Life is full of choices. Paper or plastic, whole or skim, baked or fried, tap or bottled, walk or drive, digital or print, Apple or Microsoft. The options are endless.

I’m a very indecisive person. Even simple choices can throw me for a loop. I’ve stood paralyzed for longer than I care to admit before the vast array of paper towels in the grocery store, fretting over absorbency and price. When my personal chef asks me what I want for dinner, my response is usually a blank stare. (This is partly because the answer that most frequently springs to mind is “pancakes,” and apparently this is not a suitable dinner menu item for grown-up people.) The dentist knows not to ask me what color toothbrush I want. If I ever win a free trip to anywhere of my choosing, my head will probably implode.

Some choices are more consequential than which brand of orange juice to buy. Like many people, I had a hard time picking a major in college. I was an English major. Then a psychology major. Then a French major. Then back to English. I kept asking myself which one would ultimately benefit me the most in my future life, which one would be most relevant for a career path that would really suit me. It turns out I may have had my reasoning all wrong anyway, based on the question I inevitably get when someone finds out I have an English degree: “Are you a teacher?” Either I’m in the wrong profession or I chose the wrong degree!

Since I graduated from college an undisclosed number of years ago, I’ve been tempted by the idea of furthering my education. I’ve hunted online for master’s degree programs and daydreamed about making people call me Dr. Peake, Ph.D. (yes, I know that’s redundant and incorrect). These daydreams always come back to the same questions: “What will the future benefit be? What will the return on my investment be?” Much as I think I would enjoy being back in an academic environment, I have yet to find good, practical justifications for pursuing more advanced degrees. Also, I would make a terrible teacher, and that is clearly the only career option for someone with a doctorate in English.

Practicality and return on investment are also important considerations when it comes to deciding whether or not to obtain organic certification for your growing operation. Making the transition is not easy or cost-free, so it’s something you need to think about carefully to figure out whether it’s a viable option. More and more growers are becoming certified, but that alone is not a good reason to jump on the bandwagon. It’s wise to do your homework and examine the question from every angle to determine whether transitioning and certification are right for you. Turn to page 6 to read more about the various elements of the decision to go organic. Or you could start with a different article. It’s your choice.

Stephanie Peake