Dixana
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Does it make anyone else kind of sad?

With spring either here or on it's way (depending where you are) there's a lot of new gardeners starting their first plots.
It excites me to hear of more people taking up this lovely hobby! But then the questions start.....
:( We all know how I despise MG and their products, nasty insecticide, etc but everytime I turn around someone is using them, asking about them, or buying them.
I spent a day last week with a new friend making paper pots for up potting. It's her first year having a veggie garden and I LOVE knowing the answer to so many of her questions (or where to find the answer ;) ). She asked about fertilizer and :shock: out came the soapbox. Thankfully, she has a young son, another on the way, lives on a lake, and loves wildlife so she appreciated the new found knowledge of the evils of Scotts and Monsanto. BUT not everyone is like her.
So, how do you other "natural" gardeners deal with the questions and the "Oh noes I covered my edibles in Seven now what" type stuff?
It makes me sad and a little crazy that a whole new generation of gardeners is watching the commercials and going out and buying MG by the truckload :(
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

Charlie MV
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Dixana, when I started gardening I found a web sight. Peer pressure from people I never have met and never will made me a mostly organic gardener.

So I blame people like you at THG who take the time to spread the word for teaching me that feeding the soil is the better way to go. I confess that I still hit a few tough spots with Roundup but they are all far away from my garden. They are all spots where vinegar has proven useless and where I have used a couple of bottles a season in the past, the bottle I have now is 4 years old and half full.

But to your question, I spend some time knocking heads over politics in my local paper's comment boards. Occasionally I mention that I garden organically. Even my ideological opposites have ended up asking me questions about gardening. I answer what I can and when possible let them know about THG in a private message.

Again, even from people who appear not to like me at all, I've gotten notes back that said they lurk here, some even from the drill baby drill crowd. Without fail they compliment the sight even if they only lurk. Management here has aggravated me by locking down threads that got too political but they are right. You get more flies with honey.

Believe me, whether you realize it or not, you are doing more to promote healthy gardening practices than you know. But if you want to do more, go argue politics in the newspaper and occasionally mention your garden. You'll be surprised. Even ideological numbskulls like to eat. :D

petalfuzz
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People who use MG or other chemical fertilizers don't bother me as much as people spraying their lawns with all sorts of stuff 3 seasons out of the year. That and the insecticides.

But when you get bit by the 'organic' bug, and read a lot, especially about pollution in the ground water, etc. It's enough to tear my hair out. That's why I try not to think about it...

KennyCouch
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My dad is a hardcore chemical user and I've been trying for a while to show him the err of his ways. I've never been able to get through to him.

This spring I went to visit and all his new stuff was organic, I was confused more than anything. He switched over because he notice less and less lizrds each year. My dad is stubborn and would never go organic for himself, but put the little creatures in the mix and his heart turned.

Susan W
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Rather than start new thread, thought appropriate here.
Was at H D today getting a mess of top soil, a couple bags of cow poo, and just a couple herb pots. I am learning to ask somewhere to ask for loader with cart. I can play my age when needed!
The young lady who took my request down, and I had pd, and she's loading in my car. I noticed your getting all this evergreen (brand, cheap), not MG. In conversation, she is trying to figure this out, bless her heart as we say here. I don't know if she is doing flowers, herbs, veg, but she is hot on doing good. Her grannie told her she had to work in some poo.
I gave her a hand-out for my fledge biz (Midtown Herbs) and if she calls/e-mails I won't charge of course, just be a booster. (she asked for contact). I was on the selling end for several years at garden centers so have some base on that.

Thanks for letting me share.
Have fun!
Susan

GardenNut101
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I subscribe to the Soil Association - do you have it in the USA? When I've read of the devastation Monsanto products cause - I can't believe our governments allow them to continue. They must have a very poweful lobbying machine.
Gardening for everyone. Garden inspiration and ideas come from active looking and thinking!

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stella1751
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I think it's important to look at both sides of the issue, to walk in the shoes of the opposition to fully understand his or her position. Without a recognition of why someone believes as he or she does, bias rears its ugly head, sitting high on the shoulders of intolerance.

Arguments in favor of chemical use follow:
  • 1. Saving the Plant. If a plant's health is at risk and chemicals are the only answer, why throw out the baby with the bathwater? I would imagine that many of the heirlooms we grow are with us today because of chemicals. It strikes me as unreasonable to lose a cherished plant over principle.

    2. Rolling with the Punches. We live in an age where the use of chemicals has resulted in super weeds and super pests, GMO's are furtively making their presence felt, and environmental changes are posing new challenges for plants. Sometimes Grandma's and Grandpa's old-time remedies are insufficient to battle the new threats to our plants. Again, do we let the plant die so we might hold our heads high?

    3. A Matter of Priorities. Life is a series of trade offs. We can reduce our carbon footprint, but eliminating it is impossible. Monsanto is one of only thousands of corporations responsible for the destruction of the planet. At a time when dolphins and turtles are washing up on the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and fingers are pointing at off-shore drilling, I take particular pride in the fact that I drive my car an average of 10 miles a month. I feel no shame in purchasing a bag or two a year of Miracle Gro, especially if doing so keeps my seedlings healthy and thriving.

    4. Intolerance Is a Buzz-Kill. Someone mentioned in another thread that it is odd how many of the old-timers have left this forum. I thought about it, and that person was right. They are still gardening; I see their names appearing regularly in other garden forums. Last year, a familiar joke in this forum was the cry, "Duck!" Members used this warning when someone mentioned he or she used chemicals, Monsanto products, or peat moss. Others used it when the unwary mentioned a dislike of spiders or other beneficial but nevertheless unsavory garden critters. Gardeners like to discuss their trials and successes, but like any other hobbyists, they hate having perceived failings pointed out to them. They will look elsewhere for gardening society, seeking a haven where they can be free to be themselves.

    5. Fanaticism Can Be Frightening. Hitler and his goons believed their way was the only way. They were fanatics in their desire to create a new world order, and 6,000,000 innocent people died in this pursuit of an ideology. Those who dared to disagree with their philosophy were also killed. This is an extreme analogy, but it should serve as a timely reminder to those who enjoy this forum enough to want it to continue in operation for years to come. Look at all the postings in the introduction thread. Then count the members who have posted in the last 30 days. Not only do old members leave, but also do new members disappear. The joy of sharing a mutual love pales beside the fear of being labeled a wrong-thinker. Even more frightening is THG's future as a forum with all right thinkers: Yes, I agree. Yes, I agree. Yes, I agree. That's not discussion; that's just plain goose-stepping.
My name is Stella1751, and I am a wrong-thinker. I take pride in being an organic gardener, but I will not let a plant die to feed that pride, nor will I deny a plant every opportunity to thrive. Most importantly, I am an organic gardener/occasional chemical user/ admitted spider bigot who enjoys a good discussion, no matter how heated, so long as it doesn't end with "Duck!" Discussions that consist of the same dozen members seconding one another's opinion frustrate and frighten me.

Little can be gained intellectually when everyone in a social grouping agrees and merely parrots the other individuals. Receptivity to another's stance suffocates bias and intolerance.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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SPierce
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I was new, once, but I did my homework first. When I freaked out over some bugs eating my plant leaves, I ran out and bought some Sevin--but after seeing a topic about how horrible it was here, it sits unused on top of my fridge, never to seen the light of day again.

Have faith, there are those that will always depend on chemicals to get everything in their garden perfect-- but there are just as many that will refrain from using them! :)

PLus, i learned last year from experience that MG soil really isn't all that great and they didn't make a huge difference in terms of growth. In fact, my in MG soil plants did worse while my non-mg soil ones did better. I'm using a different soil now, and adding in compost- though I will admit the MG base from last year is there. I can't just take all of the dirt out of the garden boxes.

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stella1751
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SPierce wrote:I was new, once, but I did my homework first. When I freaked out over some bugs eating my plant leaves, I ran out and bought some Sevin--but after seeing a topic about how horrible it was here, it sits unused on top of my fridge, never to seen the light of day again.

Have faith, there are those that will always depend on chemicals to get everything in their garden perfect-- but there are just as many that will refrain from using them! :)

PLus, i learned last year from experience that MG soil really isn't all that great and they didn't make a huge difference in terms of growth. In fact, my in MG soil plants did worse while my non-mg soil ones did better. I'm using a different soil now, and adding in compost- though I will admit the MG base from last year is there. I can't just take all of the dirt out of the garden boxes.
I rest my case nutz:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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farmerlon
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stella1751 wrote:... I would imagine that many of the heirlooms we grow are with us today because of chemicals. ...
Respectfully, I must say that I don't like the sound of that.
That just doesn't seem right to me.

In my own personal experience, I have never seen a chemical pesticide or fertilizer "solve" or "cure" anything in the garden. At best, I think they may function as a palliative, masking the underlying cause of a problem.

Is there an example of a situation where a chemical actually saved an heirloom plant from extinction, by rescuing the plant from some pest or disease that could not be controlled by improved cultural practices or "natural organic" means? I doubt it, but I would certainly be open to hear about it.

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farmerlon
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Re: Does it make anyone else kind of sad?

Dixana wrote:...So, how do you other "natural" gardeners deal with the questions and the "Oh noes I covered my edibles in Seven now what" type stuff? ...
Whenever I can, I just let someone taste a sampling of my fresh organic/natural produce... that's usually all it takes to make a convert! :D

DoubleDogFarm
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Moderators need to take some of the blame. Helpful Gardener has strict rules and one can not stray. If everyone enters the same funnel, we can not help but reach a similar conclusion.

Stella1751,

I still haven't figured you out. When I was new here I too was at the receiving end of your wrath. One might look in the mirror and ask the question. Where have the members gone?

nutz:

Eric

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farmerlon
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Re: Does it make anyone else kind of sad?

Dixana wrote:...It makes me sad and a little crazy that a whole new generation of gardeners is watching the commercials ...
I suppose it's the job of the "pitch men" to try to sell us their products, whether we need them or not.

I hope I'm not going too far off-track here, but it makes me sad that it seems, almost weekly, I hear of another friend or family member that is diagnosed with cancer.

I can't say that I know the answers... but I can't help but feel that the disconnect most people have from their food (and nature) is the root cause of many health issues.
Processed foods, plastic packaging, chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, animal confinement feeding and stress, overuse of drugs and antibiotics, and on & on ... are we creating our own demise by producing more and more foods of quantity without quality?

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stella1751
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Moderators need to take some of the blame. Helpful Gardener has strict rules and one can not stray. If everyone enters the same funnel, we can not help but reach a similar conclusion.

Stella1751,

I still haven't figured you out. When I was new here I too was at the receiving end of your wrath. One might look in the mirror and ask the question. Where have the members gone?

nutz:

Eric
DDG,

That you see wrath where I see a spirited discussion is likely responsible for your confusion :lol: Address the issue, please, not the character of the rhetor (Logical Fallacy 101). Have some fun with it. It might not be what you are accustomed to, but it grows on people who like a challenge. (I'm still thinking about a response to Farmerlon's logical rebuttal.)

BTW, I've noticed that you have quit ridiculing people who ask questions you think are stupid. That in itself makes for a considerably more pleasant forum experience. Thank you!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Charlie MV
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Stella, you've lost me too. It's not difficult to do but you've lost me.

In internet forums, people come and go. The forum content usually has nothing to do with it. I disappeared for months several times to take care of and ultimately bury a couple of elderly parents. parents. I'm not sure that new or old members have gone away because of the forum. I suspect it's more a matter of life's ebb and flow.


Edit, It's also possible that the challenge went away for some. I must admit that when I first joined, many answers I got from some very knowledgeable people went right over my head.

I participated in a weight lifting and fitness forum for about 8 years. I finally left because I got tired of giving the same answers over and over. Diet and fitness are a way of life. There are no shortcuts. I hung in for 8 years and burnt out.

I'm also a former licensed master. That's a boat captain for the lubbers. I left my boating forum mainly because of burnout and time constraints. I also dropped my masters license because I feel there laws are unreasonable as far as pleasure boaters are concerned. My issue is this. In the boating regulations, the first regulation you see is to avoid collisions.

As a licensed master, if I am anchored at night, asleep and in compliance with all regulations from where and how I anchor as well as proper lighting and I get hit by a drunk, maritime law places some liability on me simply because I carry my 100,000 ton ticket. So I dropped it. But I don't go to boating sights now because I'm tired of answering the same questions.

I am satisfied that there are very qualified people at THG to answer my questions and I'm glad they take the time. But I bet some of the older timers have just burnt out, gotten busier or moved to a sight that better fits their needs.
Last edited by Charlie MV on Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Hitched_Gibson
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I'm gonna like you people. :lol:

And just to stay on topic, I'm trying to start organic with all 16 plants I have.

DoubleDogFarm
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Stella, I also notice you left our pleasant forum for a period of time. :wink:

I will not get in a pissing match with someone who is a much more eloquent writer than me. Your teaching skills show load and clear. If you are retired, you shouldn't be. It's obvious you need the mental challenge.

Maybe farmerlon will take your challenge.

Have fun

Eric

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stella1751
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DDG, I always leave the forum over the winter. Not much gardening happens up here for six months at a stretch :D

HItched_Gibson, welcome to the Helpful Gardener. I am playing Devil's Advocate on Dixana's organic thread, appointing myself the voice for those who, like me, will, in emergency circumstances, turn to chemicals. Never will I use them on my garden beds, but I have taken out a lawn dandelion or two with them, and I unsuccessfully used them in the house last year. At any rate, so long as respondents stay on topic, arguing the points outlined in my original argument, and avoid sanctimony, this could prove a fun and fast-paced thread for all of us.

Charlie MV, I applied deductive logic to my determination of membership statistics. (I love deduction!) A) Last summer or spring, a member of this forum made some kind of posting deemed inappropriate by several parties; if memory serves, it was made in a peat moss thread; B) That member no longer posts in this forum, but can be found happily posting in another; C) I deduce that he or she left because he or she felt uncomfortable here, which supports the effects of intolerance and fanaticism points. This member is just one example. Several of the old members can be found posting in other garden forums, which is at the very least interesting. Tone may be every bit as important as content.

This could be researched by evaluating the last six threads in which the errant members posted, but to do so would entail a great deal of work.

Farmerlon, that's a tough one. You said you'd like evidence about heirlooms being available because of chemicals. I actually qualified this statement with the word "imagine." I am loosely basing this supposition on my experiences as a farmer's daughter in the decade prior to the publication of Silent Spring. To have validated this supposition with solid evidence, I would need to specifically research a particular tomato, and I don't have access to those types of resources.

I shall instead offer a hypothesis. Say, for example, heirloom tomato #1 was grown in large quantities for one of the major canners back in the 1950's, the era of untested pesticides like DDT that I believe to have been responsible for the death of my father. Say that this tomato was saved from annihilation by grasshoppers during these troubling times. That tomato would be available today because of chemical use.

Because it's all supposition, though, I can only say I imagine it 8)

Okay. That's what I've got. I'm enjoying having a free forum for the brief period of time this will last. Then I will go back to either stultified agreement or silence. And, hey, those of you who do use chemicals on rare occasion and still consider yourself organic gardeners, please feel free to chime in.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Charlie MV
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Stella, huh, whut? :D

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stella1751
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Charlie MV wrote:Stella, huh, whut? :D
Dang it, Charlie, now you've gone and made me laugh when I'm supposed to be at my most serious. I'll see whether I can't come up with an analogy for you tomorrow evening, when I'm bound to be fresher. Analogies make everything crystal clear.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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Well, I have been an organic gardener since my very first foray into the vegetated dirt (uh, "soil") in college. Which was...back in Atlanta in the Stone Age. Or maybe the Bronze Age; not sure.

Anyhow. It was forced on me. Yes, forced. I had no choice. And at that time, there was no Internet to look things up on in the dead of night (anyway, I was switching between full-time college and 75% job and vice versa, depending on which quarter/term it was, so the "dead of night" is when I did most of my assignments!), and precious few books, magazines, or even leaflets on organic gardening. It was beginning to be a glimmer in people's minds: maybe there *was* something to this idea that poisons on our food might not be the best thing for us??? :roll:

Anyhow. Within a period of about 12 months, and culminating on my 21st birthday--which I celebrated by eating a whole bag of potato chips on my own and coming down with a Monster Migraine--my life underwent a major constriction. I discovered, pretty independently--because doctors had no idea then about migraines--that perfumes, perfumed products, chemical sprays, intense sodium foods (remember those potato chips?), and other very common substances in the old US of A were incredibly potent migraine triggers. For me. (Each migraineur has his/her own personal list, but many of the same triggers are common to most of us.)

Therefore, when My Man suggested that we plant some veggies in the back yard of our rented house one spring, I said yes. He bought some "bug spray," too. Some kind of bugs (aphids, I think?) attacked our little plants, and he brought out the spray. I walked by the plants 15 or 20 minutes later.

It was what I've come to refer to as a "two-inhale migraine." Only lighter-fluid-treated charcoal (Quick Light types) achieves this potency. Kind of like the "two-step snake": it bites you, and two steps later, you're dead (Southeast Asia, some African snakes, I'm told).

So we gave the bug spray away.

I'm not going to burden anyone with the amount of time I spend making spam messages go away or sending PMs to people, trying to soothe ruffled feathers, or explain Member 1 to Member 2, or anything.

But I will not apologize for being an organic gardener or for trying to educate others on the advantages to self and wider environment of the same. Organic gardening--when I've been able to garden at all--has saved me, quite literally, from a lifetime of migraines and pain I would otherwise not have been able to pin down.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Little can be gained intellectually when everyone in a social grouping agrees and merely parrots the other individuals.
stella1751, from our posting guidelines. ;)
Discussions are Not Debates
...There's plenty of room for different opinions, and there is no need to "win" a discussion. On Helpful Gardener we encourage discussions, not debates. Discussions have no winners or losers, they are about the exchange of ideas, of which you are free to decide if it is the best or not for your situation.
stella1751, you are in agreement with the spirit of this forum. We are aware that people's needs are different and our posting guidelines require our members to be respectful of those differences. The ideal, as expressed in the [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2739]posting guidelines[/url] is for the civil exchange of ideas. No winners or losers. No debates. Just the exchange of ideas.

Yes the ideal of our mods and this forum is to do things as naturally as possible, to work with natural processes. But that does not mean we hold that as dogma for all to follow. As our [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2739]posting guidelines[/url] state, "you are free to decide if it is the best or not for your situation."
Moderators need to take some of the blame.
Blame? Moderators never edit or delete posts lightly. It is official policy that editing member posts is not taken lightly. The role of moderator is not about policing. Policing members is the absolute LEAST of the moderator responsibilities. Moderatorship is simply a higher level of member participation. That's it in a nutshell.

Moderator privileges include having a direct say in how the forum is run, having a direct say in changes, additions, and subtractions, and being able to zap spam. Moderators are community members who welcome the opportunity to take a more active role in it. There is no ego thing associated with it. It does not mean they are smarter than everyone else. It's simply a more active level of community membership.
Helpful Gardener has strict rules and one can not stray. If everyone enters the same funnel, we can not help but reach a similar conclusion.
Our forum for the most part does not have rules. We have [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2739]posting guidelines[/url]. They were created with the idea cultivating civil, pleasant, and useful discourse. That's it. The difference between a rule and a guideline is that rules are absolute and guidelines are not.

As for so-called "funnels," stella1751 and many others, including one or two of our moderators (mods who happen to use MG) contradict that notion. In fact, we have edited members who have wished fire and brimstone on anyone who uses MG. Regardless of opinion, the emphasis is on civility.

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Hitched_Gibson
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I guess I have to go back to my F150 forum for pissing matches and playing devil's advocate. I don't know any gardening to do that here.

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applestar
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Ah, that DOES make me feel sad....

@Dixana: I don't know how many times I've literally clamped my mouth shut and hurried away in garden centers or more often in *big box store* gardening depts. When I overhear a query by a customer answered not to my liking, or ...well... Plain WRONG. Maybe I should carry around little slips of paper with helpfulgardener.com on it... oh, but self-promotion is against the forum guidelines. :>

But I did give away some seed potatoes and onion and shallot sets to my friends yesterday, and gave them a brief explanation of how to plant them. That was fun, especially when one of them started talking with her hubby and missed a part and got razzed for "not paying attention in class" :lol:

Dixana
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@ hitched gibson- that sounds like a good reason to stay! To learn enough to be able to be the gardening devils advocate ;)

@Stella - there is a HUGE difference between someone like you who uses MG soil from time to time and feels no guilt spraying the occasional weed vs. someone like my stepdad.
Let me further explain... my stepdad thinks he is the gardening guru, and his yard does in fact look like it belongs in Better Homes and Gardens, BUT his yard is so toxic that everytime I see their dog go out and eat grass it makes me CRINGE. The yard is covered in some variety of weed and feed 3-4 times a year, each plant and flower is coated with various types of MG fertilizer (there's a whole shelf in the garage devoted to nothing but MG and Scotts bags-it is not a small shelf). Because his yard looks like it does the neighbors ask what he does and he's happy to share his wealth of toxin using knowledge. They live 3 blocks from a river that travels the entire state and flows into the bay, which flows into Lake Michigan.
The result has been the young newlyweds who moved in next door turning what had been an old women's beautiful (and organic!) garden into chemical central and you CAN see the difference. There are more weeds, less birds, and fewer bees every year.
I'm not 100% organic and probably never will be. I use Epsoma products, wouldn't be above using sluggo if the beer stopped working, etc - but it makes me sad, and a little sick each spring when I hear about people killing their plants with overuse of fertilizer, thinking it's safe to use Sevin on edibles because the container says so, and so on. It also frustrates me to no end that the one women on my parents block who IS organic gets condemned for not having a green yard, having a compost pile in her backyard that "attracts rodents", and choosing to use an old school non gas pushmower to reduce her carbon foot print.
New gardeners are easily influenced and the people at the big box stores are more than happy to offer up their toxic solutions at $17 a bottle with no true knowledge of the long term effects.
You can play devils advocate Stella, but all someone has to do is visit the AACT thread and see your wealth of posts there to know when it comes down to it you'll be using the organic method first ;) and that's not what I'm referring to what so ever when I say "it makes me sad".
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

Charlie MV
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stella1751 wrote:
Charlie MV wrote:Stella, huh, whut? :D
Dang it, Charlie, now you've gone and made me laugh when I'm supposed to be at my most serious. I'll see whether I can't come up with an analogy for you tomorrow evening, when I'm bound to be fresher. Analogies make everything crystal clear.

Try to dumb it down a bit. I like one syllable words.

And unles MG is Marlingardener, I have no clue what we're talking about.


Dixana, give your step dad a few guns and a six pack and he would be the perfect South Carolinian.

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stella1751
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Dixana, I do owe you an apology. You certainly never saw that coming. It might be the teacher in me, but I like to see people think for themselves. I fear conformity, always have. Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate and admire your sentiments. I think it's wonderful that you want to change the world. My greatest concern, in a nutshell, is that the world must be receptive to the message revolutionaries hope to impart.

Additionally, revolutionaries must recognize that not all people want or are ready to be saved. Those who don't want to be saved will react negatively to your actions. Those who aren't ready to be saved must be coaxed along. Every action generates an opposing reaction. By pushing too hard, you can actually compel someone to the dark side, given the natural homo sapien reluctance to admit to error.

Odds are high your stepdad belongs to the former category. If he's been messing up the environment for that long, he will likely resent any interference on your part, and you will be wasting your time. Even worse, your very presence will possibly cause a twinge of guilt he will manfully gulp down while anger rises to supplant it. You will pay next Christmas. He will see to it.

The newlyweds next door have potential. In my opinion, setting an example beats the holy heck out of telling them. Someone earlier in this thread mentioned that all he or she had to do was pass out some organic vegetables to change people's thinking. Perhaps once your garden is going and thriving and making their garden look like something out of a horror movie, you will see change.

It may be nearly imperceptible at first. One day, you will watch them drag two bags of compost from their trunk. Two weeks later, you will see them unload one of those compost machines. While out watching your garden grow, you will catch a glimpse of them peering over the fence, watching your compost tea brew. Three years from now, they will be knowingly telling you that Bud Light will not work on slugs, that Michelob 64 is the route to go.

You will nod sagely and say nothing. You will know you have made a difference, and that will be enough for you.

Don't feel sad when people won't listen. Tolerate and even appreciate the differences in opinion. Then, switch your method of communication :lol:

As for me, I have not spoken with my cousin's wife in over 18 months, not since she used Miracle Gro fertilizer on the organic garden I painstakingly prepared for her in 2009. I still get angry, just thinking about it. Chemicals are okay, again in my opinion, as a last resort. However, to waste a perfect garden and forever sully all that soil just so she could grow a bigger tomato and earn the admiration of her friends, well, she must be mentally unhinged :evil:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Dixana
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Marlingardener wrote:Lordy, Charlie, MG is Miracle Gro! No relation, not kin that I know of, and like most of the kin I do know of, I wouldn't claim it with a prize attached.

Yours faithfully,
Marlingardener
This made me literally LOL right in the Dr's office waiting room!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
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GardenNut101
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When I was young, my mum was delighted with the incoming use of chemical pesticides. She reckoned that she could buy a load of brussel sprouts and not be able to use one of them due to greyfly infestation. Same with cabbages.

So there is a place for chemicals.

I just think that many of the illnesses we suffer now could be due to the cocktail of chemicals we get on our food - while its still growing.

Very little research has been done on the chemicals used in combination with each other. I do think that we need our governments to be more safety minded before they approve chemicals that are to be used for food.
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Dixana
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This may be overstepping our non political guidelines, as if so mods feel free to edit and/or delete as needed....

The change in what is used where and how needs to come from the people not the government. If we wait for the government here in the US to step in half the animal population will be exstinct and cancer and other sickness will be more rampant than it is now The government is concerned with money and jobs before anything else. Shutting down and/or forcing change on a huge corporation like Scotts/Monsanto would be immensely costly in several ways.
The only reason the government got all crazy with BPA in plastic (just one example) is because of the sheer volume of revenue produced when Americans panicked and went rushing out to buy new tupperware, baby bottles, drinking bottles, etc etc.
Organic is cheap, can be done 100% at home with proper preparation and is not what the government wants. The people to be self sufficient? Good grief the world would come to an end!
Same reason the German version of the FDA monitors herbal products while ours does not. Natural remedies are cheap, prescription drugs are wallet draining.
But off my soapbox before someone hits me with a rolled up newspaper.....
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
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Hitched_Gibson
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Sounds completely logical to me. But then again when an argument sounds logical, the other person doesn't usually pick up on it.

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farmerlon
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:... I will not get in a pissing match with someone who is a much more eloquent writer than me. Your teaching skills show load and clear. If you are retired, you shouldn't be. It's obvious you need the mental challenge.

Maybe farmerlon will take your challenge. ...
Nah, not me. :)
I've got no time for arguments or bickering.

I welcome a good discussion, and I've got no problem with well-spirited disagreements. But, when folks start to take things personal and feelings get hurt, I don't want any part in that.

Thankfully, I find a lot more valuable and positive offerings than negativity here at HG! :D

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stella1751
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Dixana wrote: The change in what is used where and how needs to come from the people not the government. If we wait for the government here in the US to step in half the animal population will be exstinct and cancer and other sickness will be more rampant than it is now The government is concerned with money and jobs before anything else. Shutting down and/or forcing change on a huge corporation like Scotts/Monsanto would be immensely costly in several ways.
It needs media attention. How about a million gardener march on Washington DC?
Dixana wrote:The only reason the government got all crazy with BPA in plastic (just one example) is because of the sheer volume of revenue produced when Americans panicked and went rushing out to buy new tupperware, baby bottles, drinking bottles, etc etc.
I haven't heard about this. What happened?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

tomc
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If organic gardening is a goal, some use of pesticides, or, herbicides is to be expected. IMO its not time to beat the new gardener up for their choice.

I did have on another gardening forum a proponent of chem-spraying (and hybrid seed) become upset with me, when I told him why people would take the steps to de-hybrized known F1 cultivars. A-n-d while he might not want to do that, he might want to keep tabs on who was doing dehybridizatiion of cultivars he felt he needed to grow.

He felt that was at least disloyal if not un-american. I'm as sorry for his ill placed beleif as I am for that new growers.

Big agri-biz' job is to sell us ever more stuff. Not to supply us with what we need.

I'm going to posit, its up to us to not use what we don't need.

Will glycophosphate make me sterile? I dunno if it really matters at my age. it does stay my hand near to my grandchildren.
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Handsomeryan
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Dixana wrote:Organic is cheap, can be done 100% at home with proper preparation and is not what the government wants. The people to be self sufficient?
You have to remember that not everyone wants to be a gardener. The lawyers, firefighters, school teachers, plumbers, and other non-agrarians out there may not want to grow their own food. No one is stopping you from having an organic garden in your back yard but to feed the world population organic gardening is not efficient. It is more expensive and labor intensive and still has lower yields. The low cost of conventionally farmed foods is what has allowed us as Americans to enjoy such a high quality of living.

Don't get me wrong, I think some of the things Monsanto does are terrible but they have also contribute a lot to modern agriculture and keeping food cheap. Imagine if your food cost 2-3 [maybe more] times what it does now, what would you have to give up in order to feed yourself?

As for organic methods, I think it's a shame that people won't try a little harder to educate themselves about GMO's before dismissing them. I manage a research greenhouse and one of the things we are working on is tomatoes that are modified to be resistant to powdery mildew. The scientists have successfully transformed arabidopsis to be almost completely resistant but before they go any further they are spending years (and a LOT of money) studying exactly what genes they changed, why it works, how it works, and what other effect the modification of those genes have. If the goal is to stop spraying chemicals then we should embrace plants that do not need to be sprayed.
Gardening is mostly an issue of your enthusiasm holding up until you get used to the work.

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stella1751
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Handsomeryan wrote: Don't get me wrong, I think some of the things Monsanto does are terrible but they have also contribute a lot to modern agriculture and keeping food cheap. Imagine if your food cost 2-3 [maybe more] times what it does now, what would you have to give up in order to feed yourself?

As for organic methods, I think it's a shame that people won't try a little harder to educate themselves about GMO's before dismissing them. I manage a research greenhouse and one of the things we are working on is tomatoes that are modified to be resistant to powdery mildew. The scientists have successfully transformed arabidopsis to be almost completely resistant but before they go any further they are spending years (and a LOT of money) studying exactly what genes they changed, why it works, how it works, and what other effect the modification of those genes have. If the goal is to stop spraying chemicals then we should embrace plants that do not need to be sprayed.
I need to be educated to what Monsanto has done. I've never studied its methods. Although I feel guilty buying my bag of MG each year (I'll be purchasing the 2011 bag on Monday), I'm not sure why I feel guilty.

I do wonder on occasion where all the bagged top soil comes from. I would imagine a small city like Casper goes through a gazillion pallets of the stuff each year. Do the manufacturers of top soil strip it from somewhere? If so, where and how to they replinish it?

As for GMO's, one or two students a semester writes an argument about GMO's. Because it is simple to argue for them (i.e, supply must meet demand, and agrarian lands are diminishing), I make them argue against them. This last semester, one student made an argument connecting the increase in food allergies to GMO's. I guess many more people are developing allergies to corn-based products, ostensibly the most altered of all the vegetables, than in the past. I didn't check the student's sources, but they appeared to be reliable.

My vet told me once that he is seeing increased food allergies in cats and dogs, too. GMO's fascinate me. I worry they will sneak up on us, that one day we will have an unhappy awakening.

As a farmer's daughter with dozens of farmer relatives and friends, I really don't think the world can be fed without chemicals and GMO's. I can't condemn them. In fact, I applaud them because not a one of 'em is a corporate farmer, and in many cases, the farm has been family owned since the sod was first broken.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Well, there ya go, Stella. have your students do papers on Monsanto and save yourself the trouble. :wink:

I came across their condemnable practices in college when I did a paper on how corporate giants affect 3rd World countries for a class. Have your heard it mentioned that some people feel USA is fast becoming a "3rd World Country"?

...and that's as close to politics as I'm going to get. It's easy to do with this topic, so watch your comments everyone. :wink:

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Do I ever expect to see 100% organic food on the shelves in the stores? No way, at least not in my lifetime.
Can I/should I expect to see people at least TRYING to be more "green" and go for safer more natural ways of lawn and garden care? Yes. I feel like I have an obligation to my children and their children to try and do everything I can to make their world better. I recycle and reuse everything I can, try to reduce my carbon footprint, and avoid -if at all possible- the use of harmful chemicals that can hurt and/or kill plants and animals, both short and long term. So it does ruffle my feathers when I see or hear people abusing the chemicals.
Do I think products like Sevin need to be taken off the shelves? YES. But it won't happen if people keep buying it. At the local wally world the other day I overheard an older women telling another women that coating her whole yard :eek: in sevin would kill fleas better than the flea product she was currently looking at in the pet aisle AND that it was safe for her pets and kids once it rained. I almost fainted. This lady had a little girl riding in her cart. I waited for the older women to walk away and put my two cents in about msds sheets being available online and that you can get a pill at the vets office to keep fleas and ticks off your pets better than frontline. After some time chatting I come to find out this child has severe skin reactions to everything from lotion to laundry soap. What might have happened of she covered her yard in poison and let her kid play out there? I'm not sure I want to know.
And that's the big problem with the chemicals is that people abuse them. I have to confess, after fighting this HORRIBLE vine all last year I brought a chunk of it to the county extension office. Guess what? The only way to get rid of it is poison. I explained my POV on the use of them and this awesome guy spent a good 20 minutes telling me how to cut the tips off every vine I could find and dipping the frshly cut tips in a product like Round Up until they were saturated. It kills the plant without having to soak the ground in poison. Does it take longer? Yep, it could take 2-3 years of this process to kill it off completely. Does it work with less damage to my soil? It does. And it's using the toxic chemical in the safest manner.
The one under my porch does not seem to be coming back.

Obviously there is a place in society for these things, but when you get people who don't know or care how to use them and people like my stepdad who abuse them horribly, something needs to be done.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

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applestar
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Heh. I think in that situation, I would've done the same and talked to the woman with the child....

The reason I usually walk away is because I'm tired of the "who is this and why is she talking to me" looks as well as being mistaken for an employee when All I'm doing is walking down the aisles (I,ve decided this might be either the way I dress -- though some of these places have uniforms and I'm not wearing anything like that) or I'm scrutinizing individual plants too much -- I tend to turn them to see what they look like or shuffle them around looking for the "best one" :wink:

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As for organic methods, I think it's a shame that people won't try a little harder to educate themselves about GMO's before dismissing them.
I agree, educating oneself on both sides of an issue is important- but I also think it's a shame to assume someone has not tried to inform themself. ;)

The GMO business model has (fairly or unfairly) created a reputation management problem for the industry. That may be contributing to knee-jerk reactions to it.

Should Seeds Be Patented and their Usage Strictly Limited?
A complaint about GMOs that has been made is that the seeds are patented and farmers are legally bound to strict rules on how those seeds are used. On the one hand there are benefits to the farmer and consumers, including increased yields and less chemicals used (although Roundup Ready crops are crops that are resistant to herbicides).

On the other hand it has been said there are increased costs to farmers using those seeds plus some litigation against farmers that has been claimed is unfair. One thing that is clear is that many documentaries and countless negative news stories have caused a reputation management burden. Which leads to the next issue.

Scientists and Big Business Have Lost Goodwill and Trust
Perhaps another reason why people have a knee jerk reaction to GMOs are the daily studies about OTHER supposedly safe compounds and products that are now deemed to be unsafe. These are things GMO companies and scientists have nothing to do with, but it's impacting how they are viewed.

Nuclear energy, artificial turf (lead), BPAs, cigarettes, artificial colors, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, [url=https://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/16/news/la-heb-meat-bacteria-consumers-20110416]antibiotic resistant bacteria in meats[/url], etc., etc., ad infinitum. Heck, wild fish on the east coast have PCB contamination and on the west coast some of the wild fish have mercury contamination. Rightly or wrongly companies not associated with GMOs have created an atmosphere of wariness in consumers. This is nothing new, but it has been growing and reaching a tipping point where it's becoming part of our popular culture. Nowadays it's not just hippies reading an ingredient list and wondering about the safety. It's everyday moms and dads.

Scientists, big corporations, and the government have lost some of the trust and goodwill previously extended to them by our parents and grandparents. People don't believe scientists when told the climate is changing and they don't believe scientists when they say the climate is not changing. Rightly or wrongly, people are wary when told that certain products are safe. This wariness manifests itself in misinformed decisions such as mothers not inoculating their children against diseases because of unfounded fears that vaccines cause autism. :(

Scientists and corporations will have to earn consumers trust back only this time it's possible that there is so much information and misinformation out there that it might take more than trying to influence public opinion.

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