Not sure if this belongs in gardening or Green Portland, but either way, I needed to get it out there. So, after months of neglecting my yard and garden while I waited for the early signs of Spring growth and the surge to bond with the good earth, I finally broke down and started calling different landscape/yard maintenance workers. Mainly, I would get referrals from friends, neighbors, or just randomly stop at each landscape truck that I saw around the neighborhood to get them over for an estimate. What horrified me was not the quotes I was given for the amount of work involved, but rather, the fact that every single "landscaper" advised the use of pesticides and/or weed killer to transform my overgrown gnarliness into lush green toxicness. They claim that Roundup is "just salt" and harmless to the soil. Well, after an extensive Google search last night, I now know differently. It will kill not only the bad organisms, but all the good ones, too. Especially my beloved earthworms, which come wiggling out in droves at night, reminding me what an important job they do to keep my soil aerated and healthy. The soil where I plan to plant vegetables that will sustain me and my family. The thought of Monsanto's glyphosphate leeching into our groundwater or wiping out an entire colony of earthworms left me feeling very sad and scared about the impact that this one act alone would have on our ecosystem. I know, it's just one house, one garden. This stuff is used by all the golf courses and parks in our city. Would it truly make a huge difference if everyone stopped using it? It just made me stop and really think about how little thought goes into what we consider "green" and the sacrifices we make for the sake of convenience.
One of the main reasons I moved here was precisely because it was green, and people seemed more evolved, or at least, aware. Clearly this is a nice "feel good" label that we like to put on ourselves, and convince ourselves that we're doing our part. I, for one, told every single landscaper that the job was off if they so much as spilled a drop of Roundup on my property.
If anyone has had similar experiences, or knows of any truly "organic" weed control (yes, I've read about the vinegar/citrus/clove oil), I'd love to hear about it.
I guess I'll start pulling out the weeds, the old fashioned way, and I hope that the earthworms will thank me by tilling my soil for me...the old fashioned way, too!