Those of us who want to live in a way that doesn’t destroy nature face many challenges. After all, the idea of ecological conservation is relatively new. In the past, human beings were not even capable of destroying our environment, at least nowhere near to the degree that is possible today. In an age where humankind is literally able to destroy the entire planet if they so desire, it is important for all of us to lower our personal ecological impact as much as we can.
Which brings me to the garden. Most eco-conscious people enjoy growing their own food to one extent or another. When you are trying to “go green”, agriculture is one of the most obvious steps. But often, this is where the rubber meets the road. When your lovely little garden starts to swarm with bugs, you will face an unpleasant decision. You should not use pesticides for reasons that should already be well-understood. But do you have any other options to keep those nasty little trespassers from destroying all your hard work? You certainly do.
One of the oldest and most time-honored methods is to use wood ash. Fresh wood ashes contain a high level of potassium, which is one of the three nutrients that plants love best (the other two are nitrogen and phosphate). When pests come to eat the leaves, stems, or fruit, they will get a big yucky mouthful of ash. However, it should be noted that this method requires a person to burn a lot of wood. This method is best suited for people who already burn wood regularly. Remember, you don’t have to go out in the woods and chop down trees to get your wood! People throw out perfectly good scrap wood all the time. Use this method instead of destroying a tree!
Another method is to use cayenne pepper. This method has the advantage of being a plant product itself, which means that your garden can produce its own pesticide. By taking these extremely hot peppers and soaking them in water for a day or two, you can create a liquid that will most certainly keep pests away. If bugs or rabbits do take a bite from your garden, I can promise you that they will not take another! Like the wood ash, this poses no danger to the plants or to those who will later consume them.
You can avoid many of the problems of pest control by concentrating on crops that are naturally resistant. Anyone with gardening experience knows that certain plants are far more attractive to pests than others. For instance, I have found okra to be extremely susceptible to pests, while tomatoes and squash seem to be relatively free of such problems.
If you are not afraid of spiders, they can and will help you to control the pest population in a small garden. Whenever you find one, simply catch it and release it in your garden. Of course, you will have to be a little more careful when you pick from your garden. However, a pair of thick gloves will protect you from anything short of a tarantula.
When it comes time to prepare all those good eco-friendly fruits and vegetables, you might want to check out a good food blog. William Bronchick operates one of my personal favorites. William Bronchick is a chef who specializes in the uncommon and the eclectic.
With a little ingenuity, humanity can live in a sustainable way. There are ways in which humankind can take from nature and reap its bounty without destroying the source, which is nature itself.