Mother Earth: Thank you for your patience

Silent Spring has been on my bedside table the past couple weeks. It has been my friend, my companion, on a fascinating environmental journey through time. Why did I wait so long to read it? Although these events occurred before my time, there are many aspects still relevant, and in some cases present, today. 

I’ve always been an environmentalist. I grew up in the country surrounded by farms and learned at a young age to appreciate both plant and animal alike.

My dad was a beekeeper, and we sold our own honey from the side of the road or at the fair. Forget sugar when you need a sweetener. Add honey instead!

We had a vegetable garden too. Nothing beats the taste of your own home grown beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries or raspberries.

Every year my sister and I would be summoned for potato bug duty. It was an unpleasant job to say the least. Even though they were destroying our potatoes, I still had to look away as I smashed them under a rock.

Biological control fueled our garden. And you know what? It thrived. We thrived. We ran through the garden without fear of pesticides. We ran through the grass, fell sometimes, sprawled often and ate always the tiny wild strawberries that grew in a small patch.

Reading the book is a stark reminder that powerful chemicals still exist. Although, this is also obvious from the sickening residue on fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. Sure you can rinse it off, but where does the residue go? If it doesn’t pollute your body, it will pollute someone or something else down the water line.

Nature had a great system of checks and balances that sustained and controlled each component. Why did we disrupt it?

Did you know that planting marigolds protects your vegetables from soil nematodes? Instead of applying chemicals for weeds in the lawn, layer on more grass seed. Scratch up the soil, and over seed to keep weeds at bay. Plagued with sidewalk weeds? Whip out the vinegar in a pump sprayer, and soak them to the root. It works every time.

Head outside, and thank the earth for her patience. Then apologize, and make a difference.

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