It’s been a busy couple of days, but I finally had the chance to scan through some other gardening blogs. Garden Rant posted about a petition campaign in support of the organic status of the White House Garden, so I did a little research of my own on the subject. It appears The Mid America CropLife Association, a group that represents chemical companies, wrote a lengthy letter to Mrs. Obama stating their chagrin over her intent to keep the First Garden organic. The letter, posted at La Vida Locavore on March 28, has since made the Internet rounds. As you might expect, organic gardeners are not pleased and there now is an online petition in support of an organically grown First Garden and the First Lady’s choice to use organic practices. Consumer Reports has also posted information on the issue here.
I’m not going to get into a pro/con discussion of the use of chemicals in large farming operations, but I will voice my support of organic practices in backyard gardens and small farms. Chemical attacks are unnecessary when gardens have healthy soils teaming with beneficial organisms – this comes from the use of compost, not factory produced chemical fertilizers. In the absence of pesticide attacks, insects – both beneficial and harmful – generally maintain their own balance. The best way for gardeners to help nature be nature is to have a good solid understanding of local ecosystems and when to get out of the way and let plants do what they do best – grow. Bugs in a garden is not the end of the world, but a sign of good health. Gardeners who take the time to learn about the natural environment in which they work understand that every tomato may not look ‘perfect’ but will still taste perfectly heavenly … without the use of chemicals.
So you may have guessed by now that I have added my name to the petition. Go here if you want to do the same.