Gardening and pesticides

This is my first spring in a house for quite some years, so I was very excited about starting a proper garden. I have have several planters in past years where my attempts to grow squash and tomatoes turned out laughable products, but now I can give my plants all the room they need. With more plants, however, seems to come more pests. Whenever I go anywhere, whether it be to Lowe’s or the internet, chemical pesticides are touted as the obvious and easy choice for ‘pests’. My problem with most pesticides are that:

-Most are broad spectrum and can kill both the ‘bad’ guys and the good guys. I would like to keep my lady bugs and earthworms alive please!

-They are chemicals. So that means I am basically spraying chemicals designed to kill living things all over my garden with plans to eat this food later. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a solid idea.

I have done quite a bit of research to find alternatives to my neighbor’s suggestion of soaking the ground in diesel fuel and it turns out that there are a number of options that I quite like.

1) Handpicking- this obviously wouldn’t work for larger gardens, but from what I read it is pretty unbeatable!

2) Barriers and Traps- there are a number of options within this one, some that can even be made at home.

3) Companion planting- some plants naturally repel insects and can be planted among other crops. One such option is garlic… I do love me some garlic.

4) Crop Rotation- rotating where you plant certain types of crops from year to year will help reduce the chance of infestation.

5) Plant sacrifice- essentially you place plants near your crop that certain pests will find tastier than the plant you are trying to protect. For example, maggots prefer radishes over tomatoes. Plant some radishes among your tomatoes and if maggots infest your garden they will go for the radish, which you can then remove and dispose of along with your unwanted guests.

6) Diversity- planting crops throughout the garden instead of in a straight line can help reduce plant loss if infestation occurs. Not having all of the same plants clumped together makes it harder for pests to move from plant to plant.

Happy gardening!

Study shows precedent for fast Antarctica meltdown

Summit County Citizens Voice

The water in the Antarctic Sound can be smooth as glass, and sometimes look thick and oily, probably because it's so cold. Click on the photo to learn about some of the environmental issues in Antarctica. The water in the Antarctic Sound can be smooth as glass, and sometimes look thick and oily, probably because it’s so cold. Click on the photo to learn about some of the environmental issues in Antarctica.

“During that time, the sea level on a global basis rose about 50 feet in just 350 years…”

FRISCO — There’s precedent for  rapid meltdown of the Antarctic ice sheets, scientists said this week announcing findings from a new study that tracked the history of the ice sheets back to the last ice age.

The scientists said the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age — and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.

Results of this latest study are being published this week in the journal Nature. It was conducted…

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Why we need federal oversight

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With all this Cliven Bundy and Federal Overreach talk going on I felt the need to write a post about it. Now, I must admit that the whole Bundy thing really pissed me off. How in the hell could anyone support him? He was grazing his cows on federally owned and maintained land and hadn’t paid his grazing fees in 20 years despite numerous attempts on the part of the BLM. It is the equivalent of me driving on the public roads and assuming that my government will protect me from threats both domestic and foreign, but deciding that I do not have to pay the taxes that pay for all of that to be possible. This leads me to my point: we need federal oversight. Why? Because left on their own, the general population and corporations at large will do what is best for them, not what is best for us all.

It was clearly better business for Mr. Bundy to NOT pay the grazing fees, but it was worse for everyone else because he was getting this service for free and not paying this fees that go to help maintain all public land. It makes sense, to be fair to Mr. Bundy. When it comes right down to it that is what all of us would do if we needed to. I have the luxury of having a stable home and income with no fear of where my next meal is coming from. Therefore, I can afford to compost and go out of my way to recycle and buy the more expensive but biodegradable soap. If I didn’t have all this stability, I would do what was best for me and my family. I would buy what was cheapest, I would send my energy on my safety and the procurement of food, not worry about if my plastic flossing tool is recyclable.

On the subject of corporations, they must also do what is best for them. They are (usually) responsible to their shareholders to make money, not worry about saving the world. I get it, I really do, but it is because I understand all this that I know how invaluable EPA and Government Oversight is. We need those them to make the choices that are best for us all, like cutting carbon emissions or requiring companies to clean up toxic sludge that they spilled. I am not advocating for big brother but am instead saying that everyone needs to do what is best for them, which leaves the government to help protect the big picture. We need an authority that is thinking about today, tomorrow, and what kind of life my grandchildren may have.