Monday, 21 July 2014
Think before you spray.
An old chap down the allotments was being complemented on his clean and weed free plot. "Do you use some kind of special weedkiller," he was asked. Yes he did, replied the old devil, "It's called a hoe". There are many human problems that can be solved by sharp tools and a bit of elbow grease and weeds are one of them. But if hoeing and hand weeding can be the answer for annual weeds there are tough perennials such as bindweed that will simply multiply from broken pieces of root and although much can be achieved by deep digging many amateur growers and most farmers turn to a spray of Round-Up. But Monsanto don't spend millions developing herbicides so that the products can be used sparingly and only when needs must. The more of the stuff used the better for Monsanto and much GM research is focused on developing plant strains that are Round-Up tolerant so that weeds growing in amongst a young crop can be targeted. Round-Up has been a boon to farmers but nothing come for nothing and there are considerable health concerns about the use of this and other agro-chemicals. Sri Lanka and El Salvador have already banned Round-Up and it can only be a matter of time before it's proscribed by the EU. I dislike ideologically driven agriculture and don't claim to be an organic gardener, but I would not trust Monsanto as far as I can throw them.