The other morning I walked out to my garden, as I do EVERY morning, to see what has occurred in the night. I'm always amazed at the growth, or the damage, that can occur in one night. So, I like to know immediately if I've been invaded by some sort of pest so that I can obsess immediately over what measures I need to take.
I haven't updated about my garden in some time, because honestly, I almost ripped out the whole thing about a week ago. Everything was dying! Every.Single.Plant was being attacked by any number of pests. I was amazed that my little yard could be the meeting place for every imaginable pest that can destroy a garden. My tomatoes were a wilting, yellowing MESS. I was so sad and so defeated.
Until this point, my garden was totally organic. The only fertilizer had been from my own compost. There had been no pesticide use. I sprayed a castille soap mixture at one point, but that's it.
As I desperately searched for ways to save my garden, I contemplated nuking the crap out of it with Sevin dust....which seems to be everyone's go-to insecticide. BUT, I love my dragon flies! I didn't want see them killed or fly off to greener (safer) pastures! I LOVE my daddy-longleggers! I didn't want to see them lying dead all over the place. I LOVE my hummingbirds! And I LOVE my bees! My adorable little hard working pollinators!
Look at this guy! On this particular morning, I was looking in at my zucchini plant and this guy was having a HAY DAY rubbing all up in the pollen. It was adorable! You can see his legs are covered in it. By the time I got back with my camera, he was inside a different blossom doing the same thing and in turn, doing his job as super pollinator.
But another problem I was having was lack of nutrients. Like I said, I was relying entirely on my compost as fertilizer and I'm afraid it just wasn't enough. There is no manure in it, just food scraps. So, I'm sad to say, as a desperate attempt at salvaging my garden, I applied Miracle Grow. I'll never do it again....I'll take the time to research more organic products....but like i said, I was desperate! So, I think my veggies were a little extra compromised and became easy targets for the pests. The Miracle Grow worked wonders! I have to say. So, I'm happy and I feel like I'm learning soooooo much about gardening, farming, being earth friendly, and the struggles with being pesticide-free. But, it's WORTH it!
In conjunction with all this gardening drama, I read the book The Organic Manifesto. Wow! Wow! Wow! So informative!
Since my kids were born, I made more of a conscious effort to be organic, cut out high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, and limit harsh chemicals in my house. But, admittedly, it was not a very educated decision and it was based almost entirely on the health of my kids, not so much on affects to the environment. After reading this book, though, I know more about how supporting organic farming is beneficial in so many more ways! It makes it feel really worth the effort to me.