My method all this summer has been to pile greens (coffee
grounds / kitchen scraps, mostly) layered with browns
(shredded newspapers and leaves) in a corner of my back
yard. I live WAY out in the country, so aesthetics are not
My plan was to take this lovely stuff and pile it on my
lasagna-gardened flower beds after the first couple of frost.
This a.m., I was out there, shoveling into three 40 gal.
trash cans in preparation, and that stuff is eaten up with
ants. And the ants became furious at the shoveling activity
and bit the hell outta me.
The 3 trash cans are just gonna sit there, 'cause frost is
probably 30 - 45 days away (South Carolina -- Zone 8).
WILL the cold kill the little rat bastards? IF I simply
leave it there until April, will the little biting things be
To prevent future outbreaks, I plan to fling a few handfuls,
amongst the layers, of ant killer pellets as I build up my
pile again. It makes me sad to introduce chemicals, but it
ain't fun to play in your compost pile if you have to battle
little creatures who hate your guts and are willing to prove
it with every shovel full.
Did you notice that no one was paying any attention to your snarks except
for my one reply? I was hoping you'd catch on to let up but I guess you
haven't reached your majority yet, either.
Giselle, in case you haven't noticed, there's still an enormous contingent
of people who believe pesticides are probably safe, and that all the hubbub
is for nothing. For these people, a bucket of cold water over the head is
just the thing.
I use whatever is needed to get my lawn and gardens in good condition and
keep them that way. (Of course I don't use anything poisonous on my
However, I would also be concerned about using poisons in my compost pile
because whatever you use to kill the ants will most likely have a negative
effect on the worms, and micro-organisms needed to convert the compost to
Well, just keep in mind that everything you put on your lawn ends up
SOMEWHERE. Some of it ends up washed into storm drains, and that may end up
in your drinking water and/or a nearby lake. In the lake, it ends up in the
fish that you or someone else (perhaps your kids or grandkids) want to eat
at some point.
Homeowners have replaced industry as the largest source of
But life expectancy is not quality of life.
* Health costs keep going up. We have more sick people.
* Cancer rates keep going up.
* Diabetes rates keep going up.
* Heart disease keeps affecting more people.
* New diseases are emerging every year.
* New nursing homes are being built each year.
* Medicare expenses are increasing each year.
* More people are being rescued from death by our health care system.
Imagine how long life expectancy would be if we had today's health care
system, today's wide variety of healthy foods, and clean air and clean
We don't own the earth, we just use it a while and pass it on to our
children and grandchildren.
There are more and more people being born and living to old age each year.
Life expectancy and the quality of life have never been higher or better.
We have more people in general plus many people living to an old age
therefore the cost of living in all area keeps going up, not just in health
Again the population and the age of the population keeps going up by leaps
and bounds. More and more cancers are being prevented and/or treated
successfully and cured.
Diet and the lack of exercise are the main causes of most cases of diabete,
at least type II.
Again most heart diseases are caused by diet and life style. Plus the
population is living to an older age.
And more diseases are being prevented and cured all the time. Many of these
new diseases are coming from third world countries that use no or very
Because the population is living longer,
Has nothing to do with the subject.
Again, this has nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Most of our "healthy foods" are available because of the chemicals used by
Want to live a long and healthy life. Eat right, don't smoke and exercise
regularly. At least that is the advice your doctor will give you.
No, we don't own the earth, but we do live on it much longer than our
ancestors did and we are much healther and better fed than they were.
Actually, farmers in this country are using less chemicals than 20 years
ago. Cost is the main reason, as well as their ability to grow varieties
which don't require as much treatment.
By the way, before this discussion takes a detour, let's define "chemicals",
since it was me who started this mess. I'm talking about pesticides &
herbicides, not chemical fertilizers.
Now: This past summer, I heard an NPR news story about doctors investigating
a particular type of cancer. If I recall, it was pancreatic, although it
might've been prostate. Doesn't matter. Anyway, the doctor said they were
initially curious as to why Japan had such a low rate of this disease. They
did the usual studies and almost settled on genetics as the answer, until
they looked at a large group of Japanese-Americans, factored in (or out)
diet as much as possible, and found that after living here for a certain
period of time, this group had the disease as often as the population as a
whole. The theory: Once someone lives in our fishbowl, they end up with the
The chemical companies like to point out that because the environment is
such a complex system, it's extremely difficult to prove a connection
between a pesticide and the diseases it may cause. They're right. But, by
making that statement, they are completely nullifying *all* the so-called
research they used to point at (beginning in the 1960s) which supposedly
proved that certain products were safe.
In fact, without a valid test population of HUMANS, in a study conducted in
the same way as those done for new drugs, you will never see proof of the
safety of any agricultural/garden chemicals. Therefore, they only sane
course is to use little or none.
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