I’d been selfish. I hadn’t yet realized that the true goal of organic farming wasn’t harvesting crops in spite of bugs, pests and predators. It was about harvesting crops alongside of them. It was about planting more than the amount we need. And it was about making sure there was enough extra to go around for everything that made it’s home on the farm. For every sparrow I’d killed in the netting on my cherry tree, there would be millions of fewer seeds spread over the fields from their droppings and millions of uneaten bugs, which would in turn attack our vegetable garden. We’d be paying for our unblemished cherries in some way or another for the rest of the season. Sure, we hadn’t sprayed chemicals all over the cherries. But we’d been just as deadly.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell (The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers)
When I read this book, this quote really resonated with me because of my stance on dealing with insects in the garden. You can read more about my methods and ideals for “pest” control in the post titled: Empty Shelves. I’d like to encourage you this gardening season to be proactive rather reactive when it comes to controlling pests.
Put up a bird feeder, add a garden pond or small water feature, plant lots of plants that attract pollinators, add a few extra plants to share with nature. Realize that every action you take in the garden will have far reaching consequences, generally the opposite of what you were hoping for.
Birds will be one of your greatest allies in the garden, anything you can do to attract and keep them will be of great benefit to your garden. Hummingbirds eat thousands of mosquitos, chickens eat loads of insects as do ducks. If you can have chickens and ducks, consider adding them. If not, put up a birdfeeder and a birdbath, plant things for our feathered friends and watch in amazement at how important of a garden partner they can be. I wrote and entire series on attracting birds to the garden for the Your Day Blog: For Our Feathered Friends.
In what ways do you think you are proactive instead of reactive when it comes to garden pests/problems?Filed under Organic Gardening, Quote | Comments (9)