I learned there are some crops that do fine without pesticides: beets, carrots, radishes, turnips and peppers, for example. I don't spray the vegetables that don't need spraying. Unfortunately, I have not found the magic wand that will keep loopers off cabbage and potato bugs off potatoes. Yesterday when I sprayed the potatoes, the bugs literally swarmed off the plants. Early green beans are usually buggy, too; later-planted ones, not so much.
And yes, I use fungicide on my tomatoes, as well as changing their location every year. It's either that, or I end up eating the plastic, high-priced tomatoes in the grocery store. Blight destroyed so many tomato crops for me that I totally stopped gardening for several years; it just wasn't worth the heartache of doing all that work for nothing.
|when I find these eggs on my viney plants, I know they don't have long to live|
So yes, I may be using carcinogens in my garden, but the alternative for me is to buy everything frozen or in cans at the store. Do you think the farmers don't use anything on the crops they raise for Del Monte and other companies? Of course they do. Don't tell me to "buy organic", either. Imagine yourself living on $2,500 a month and paying the kind of price folks have to pay for organic produce.
I am a mortal; I am not going to live forever. I'll have to die of something, and it may as well be from carcinogens. My mother, by the way, lived to be 92, and when I was a kid, she and Daddy used arsenate of lead on their potato crop and DDT on everything else. When I was a child in Harlem (Kansas City) in the fifties, trucks came along regularly spraying DDT for the mosquitoes that plagued us there by the Missouri River.
We have come a long way. When I see an eagle soaring overhead, I remember that those mighty birds were almost extinct as a result of DDT.
Did you know that Monsanto, which practically rules the agricultural world, sells genetically modified seeds with an inborn talent that resists insect pests? There you have a whole other mess. If the bugs don't eat the crop, maybe we shouldn't either? I will soon be sixty-eight years old, my time here isn't long, and I'll leave the worrying up to the next generation: Oh wait, they are sipping aspartame and eating fast food at such a rate that garden chemicals are the least of their worries.
And then there is the state of the world in general. Yeah, we're pretty much doomed.