I woke up early and sat in bed reading. Then I began to feel a bit annoyed, then sick and then very irate. I have the latest Green Harvest catalogue. Although it comes from Queensland, from time to time I have ordered their bulk seeds, for sprouting and for growing microgreens, since these are less climate dependant than growing in the garden. This morning I had made it to the last 10 pages, a full 1/4 of the catalogue, called Organic Pest Management.
Please tell me why all the focus is on killing things….. and why people need to be controlling pests, in an organic garden. I will tell you why; its all about making money and it makes me sick. Bottles and packets of stuff to spray all over your garden is not organic…. And please tell me what is organic about the plastic bottles these products are packaged in. It a similar lack of integrity in shops calling a vegetable grown organically in Peru and then transported to Australia, organic!
The Green Harvest products are infuriating! For example:Yellow Sticky Roll Trap….to mass trap flying insects. What!! That is madness!! And Trappit Barrier Glue…to prevent insects from climbing into the tree. Oh, this is like the stupidity of using a disinfectant (even organic eucalyptus oil) on your kitchen benches, killing all the bacteria; as if all insects and all bacteria should be eliminated from the earth….
….In his book The Diversity of Life, renowned entomologist Edward O. Wilson discusses the importance of insects and land-dwelling arthropods in the ecosystem, saying that "if [they] all were to disappear, humanity probably could not last more than a few months." Most other life forms, like amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals would also become extinct because of the domino effect that would occur in the food chain.
Insects perform a vast number of important functions in our ecosystem. They aerate the soil, pollinate blossoms, and control insect and plant pests; they also decompose dead materials, thereby reintroducing nutrients into the soil. Burrowing bugs such as ants and beetles dig tunnels that provide channels for water, benefiting plants. Bees play a major role in pollinating fruit trees and flower blossoms. Gardeners love the big-eyed bug and praying mantis because they control the size of certain insect populations, such as aphids and caterpillars, which feed on new plant growth. Finally, all insects fertilize the soil with the nutrients from their droppings
Many insects are herbivores, or plant-eaters, which makes them primary consumers. This abundance of primary consumers provides protein and energy for secondary consumers, known as carnivores. There are many secondary consumers, such as spiders, snakes, and toads that could not survive without feeding on insects. Tertiary consumers eat other carnivores; for example, bears and chimpanzees eat insects as well as other animals….
There is one very simple answer to reducing the amount of damage to food grown in your garden. Biodiversity. Look at nature and do your best to copy it. Are insect controls needed in the rain forests of Tasmania…. or the outback of S.A.…. or the tropical rain forests of Qld? Nope. They are full of biodiversity, providing habitat for an ecosystem full to overflowing with insects, who, along with a myriad of birds and other wildlife, all keep each other in balance.
Stop trying to control the life in your garden. Instead, encourage it and it will reward you with beauty, food and time to relax. Make your food garden a wonderland of diversity; a place where you can sit, watch and hear nature and know that you are providing for, not killing, life on earth.