Whenever possible we go out of our way to use safe, clean, organic and natural methods of weed control and pest control.
For many years now, we have used no herbicides or pesticides or chemical fertilizers on our herbs.
That is not to say that we have never used them. But about 8 years ago we started to eliminate them, and we have not used any at all now for four years.
You can grown fabulous big giant vegetables if you pump your plants and ground full of the right chemicals. But we grow our plants for more than just appearance and we decided that we just are much more comfortable knowing that we are not feeding anyone any chemical additives.
The impact of various chemical treatments on our land and water tables is apparent, and although the effect on our bodies is not so clear and easily defined, one only needs to look at the health of our grandparents generation, and their diets, and compare those with the health of our generation and our diets, to draw some pretty clear parallels.
So, although we havent reached the stage of treehugging yet, we have made a conscious effort in the last few years to grown a more environmentally friendly product.
One of the steps we have taken is to implement Integrated Pest Management to our operation.
On their website, the Environmental Protection Agency describes Integrated Past Management (IPM) as follows:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices... ...to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
You can click on the paragraph above and read all about it.
...last week, when we discovered some aphids in the greenhouse, we looked at what would be the most economical and least hazardous way to address that problem.
Knowing that ladybugs (Ladybid Beetles) eat aphids, we called around to the local farm supply stores, to see if any of them sold ladybugs. All of whom acted like we wanted to buy space aliens. One employee of a local feed store even asked "Why in the world would anyone BUY bugs?"
Well, apparantly she doesnt practice IPM.
We started looking online until we found an affordable source of ladybugs. They arrived three days later, and we released them into the greenhouse.
It didn't take them long to start doing their job.
This particular lady, inspired a sign for the greenhouse.