People love to hate Monsanto, yet a lot of those same people still have a bottle of weed killer, a bag of synthetic fertilizer, or some insecticide laying around their garage. They will read and talk about how evil these companies are, but then embrace them by purchasing their products to use in their garden because it is "easy" or because they "don’t want to do all of that work and have something bad happen."
It is sad, but people expect failure, not success, when it comes to plant systems, so they look for silver bullets and quick fixes in the forms of sprays, powders, and liquids. These products may be easy to apply, but they have a lot of trickle down effects that are difficult to repair (contaminating ground water, harming beneficial insects, general human health related side-effects, etc.). The long term losses outweigh the short term gains — it just isn’t worth it.
Fortunately there is an easy solution to the long-term downside — just don’t use these products. Vote with your dollar by not purchasing them, and get them off your property for good. This will start you down the path of true sustainability and it will move you from the category of someone who complains about the problem, into the category of being part of the solution.
There are some simple steps that you can take to declare your independence from the chemical companies and start down the organic path. The steps are easy — easy, easy, easy — but they require an absolute commitment; a commitment to changing your beliefs.
- Commit to never using anything that isn’t organic on your garden ever again. Eventually you can even work on phasing the organic chemicals out.
- Remove all of your toxic garden chemicals from your shed and/or garage.
- Dispose of your chemicals properly. Do not pour any pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or any other garden chemicals down the drain, into storm drains, or put them into the trash. Be responsible and dispose of them correctly. Consult your local municipality for disposal options or just do a simple Google search.
- Think about why you actually were using garden chemicals in the first place?
— Did you just buy them because you saw an ad and thought that you needed these chemicals to have a successful garden? Psst… you don’t need them. If you don’t believe me go look at that forest or meadow by your house – no chemicals there. So ignore the ads that you see on Hulu and vote with your dollar. Choose not to buy garden chemicals.
— Do you have some serious pest issues in the garden? If so, then why? Ask why. Don’t just default to a spray? Is something wrong with your soil? Odds are this is the problem. Great soil usually doesn’t require any chemical unless you are… growing a defacto monoculture? But that is none of us right? Are you attracting beneficial insects? Etc, etc, etc.. The key is in taking the time to think about “Why?” Why are you seeing the problem that you are seeing? What is the underlying cause?
- Start to expect success, not failure in the garden.
The steps accomplish two things:
- They get rid of the chemicals now.
- And then they start putting you in the mindset to never need them again.
So do the steps, and expect success in the garden.
Committing to these steps will start to change your mindset. Abandoning all of your garden chemicals isn’t just about eliminating toxins from your life, it is also about opening up your mind to observing and thinking about what you are doing. It will force you to think about cause and effect. If something starts eating one of your plants, then you have to figure out why. If some plants aren’t as big as they were before, why? You can no longer take the “easy” road and just apply a spray. That is why you have to physically remove all of the chemicals from your sphere of influence, otherwise it will be too easy to lapse back into using chemicals under the guise of “just this once to fix this one problem.” Get rid of them and never look back. You will find that the organic road is actually the real easy road. And your food will taste better.
You also need to believe and know that success, not failure, should be expected. When you have beautiful, healthy soil the by-product is vibrant, healthy plants. It is up to you to create those soil conditions, and those conditions don’t involve chemicals of any kind. So get rid of the chemicals and don’t look back.
Now the chemicals are gone and as a bonus you have just eliminated some serious toxins from your property. Yay! Who wouldn’t want a chemical-free household? You no longer have to worry about kids and pets getting into the chemicals stored in your shed or garage. And you can now eat everything in your garden. You don’t even have to wash it. The garden is now a clean zone and this is much safer and healthier for kids, pets, and the local wildlife. Just think about this for a minute. Why burden yourself with the liability of something or someone ingesting a chemical that you applied, and then that something or someone gets sick and maybe even dies? Why take that chance? No one wants that. It just isn’t worth it.
These steps are really easy and sound basic, yet most people won’t ever do them. They will go on complaining, but not fixing anything. They will keep using chemicals, saying that it is easy and they are too busy to learn how to go organic. Then how much better are we off? We aren’t, which is why you need to do the steps and change you mindset. Expect success. If you can do this and stick with it, congrats. You are now part of the solution.