With the new year comes new outpouring of landscaping magazines and advertisements. One of the advertising and propaganda magazines that has found me and continues to bombard me is Total Landscape Care. It is basically a mechanism for advertising with a few articles interspersed between the advertisements. This bothers me much less now that they stopped trying to trick me into paying for this uninvited mailing.
With 2004 upon us, they have begun pushing advertisements for chemical sales for landscape and turf management. The magazine is available online, so I will post the links to the most recent publications that I received.
Of the two, the one that I find most disturbing is their 2014 Chemical Guide.
Clicking on the link will take you to their publication of page upon page of commercial pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. All of these are being sprayed daily on the lawns in our communities by the plethora of spray companies with their spray trucks rolling down the streets of every neighborhood.
Glancing through this publication may be an eye-opening experience for many who are not involved in agricultural and urban management vocations. There are very serious amounts of toxic chemicals being sprayed throughout the year.
I am an agriculturalist. I have been involved in agriculture and agricultural studies all of my life. I was in the Future Farmers of America for six years in Jr. and Sr. Highschool. I studied agriculture throughout those years. My undergraduate degree is Animal Science/Pre-veterinary medicine. Thus I have a deep appreciation for the agricultural vocations and sciences.
I understand that commercial chemicals sometimes are necessary and helpful. However, I also know that they are very dangerous, both in the short term as well as the long term.
In my daily work as an arborist, I work outdoors. I often smell these toxins in the air in the neighborhoods where I am working. Sometimes they actually make me feel dizzy or even faint. Sometimes they cause me to develop a headache. Very rarely I have felt nauseated.
These spray companies put little signs in the yards afterward warning people not to allow their pets and children onto the lawns for a period of time. The law limits them from spraying whenever wind conditions cause aerial drift of the chemicals being applied, but in places like Kansas, this would restrict their spray activities almost entirely. So the spraying goes on regardless of the weather and the drift.
The second of the TLC publications for the new year includes an article on “Debugging Grub Control.” Here is the magazine link, and here is the link to just the article, Debugging Grub Control.
It includes this photograph of one of the types of grubs that people believe that they need to control in their lawns.
These creatures certainly can be problematic. They can do great destruction both in people’s lawns and in agricultural settings.
The question that I am asking, is whether people are acting wisely in utilizing these powerful synthetic chemicals, especially in their lawns and landscapes. Would it not be wiser to consider landscape planning that utilizes grasses and plants that are known to be resistant to the concerns that are being treated with chemical applications?
One article that addresses this is Ask Mr. Smarty Plants. In the first paragraph of the answer given is this portion of advice:
Here in Wichita I met a fellow who applies organic means of insect, disease, and weed control. His prices are slightly higher, but comparable to the companies using commercial pesticides.
It seems to me that people would do well to consider what they are doing to their own families’ playgrounds, a.k.a., their lawns. The chemicals used within their homes also ought to be of concern to them. After all, what is used in the laundry resides in their clothing and linens, items worn day and night and in which they wrap themselves as they sleep. So-called air fresheners fill their homes with particulates that are constantly breathed and absorbed through the skin. Once a person begins taking an inventory of these items, the list often is found to be immense.
Is it a coincidence that people are experiencing more and more allergies and respiratory ailments? Is it a coincidence that people use more and more relief items from the drug store?
It seems worthy of consideration.
I am not advocating government intervention in these matters. Keep the government in its place, out of our lives as much as possible. Surely people are capable of evaluating these issues intelligently and responsibly so as to make healthy, wholesome, and responsible decisions for themselves and their families.
God has given us His beautiful creation for us to enjoy. Even with the curse of sin looming over us, He still blesses us with wonders beyond description. Many wonders have not yet even been discovered. Surely it makes sense to work in concord with God’s creation rather than against it. In our daily lives we take much for granted, or at least we should. This is actually what the Lord desires, that we should receive all things as His gifts that flow from His heart of grace. Thanksgiving begins with taking things for granted, i.e., things granted to us by our gracious heavenly Father. This is the way that is truly meet, right, and salutary. This is the way of healthy and happy living.
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