It’s recently been Soil Associations annual Organic September, where people strive to be fully organic or begin to make that shift over to organic lifestyle or just promote the benefits and pros of being organic and there are so many.
For me, on the other hand, things aren’t quite so positive. Now I have never been shy about putting my voice forward, in opinion and TRUTH within the gardening industry, so that’s what I am going to do!.
I recently earned my first certificate in Horticulture and have begun looking for employment within the industry. Every single practical gardening job I’ve yet come across looks brilliant until you read in the job spec……. must have sprays license. No!!!!
This then leaves me questioning my morals!
I’m organic in my life with the way I garden and grow at home and on the allotment but for an employer am I prepared to be non-organic to put food on the table and pay the bills?
No, I’m not, this would be hypocrisy!
But you have to be realistic, at what cost, you still need to earn a living!
Exactly at what cost, you only get one home and that’s earth!
You see what’s happening here?
You’re being beaten down by the chain, by the high-powered system designed to make a profit at the cost of the environment and I can’t trade in my morals and beliefs and endorse that.
Sadly, there are many that do succumb to the pressures and it’s totally understandable why they do. We are being bullied! Surely this is no different than me saying “If you don’t do this, I’m going to kill you?” OK a little dramatic, but is it? If I can’t afford to live because I won’t do the wrong thing, is it really any different?
I’m sick of the bullshit excuses too. “To garden commercially, you have to use sprays, organic gardening on a large scale takes too much time and effort” Ahhhh I get you, you’re cutting the corners, cheating your way to a job well done! Bravo!!
We ALL have an environmental responsibility and I totally understand it can be extremely difficult to adhere to at times and may seem impractical and not everyone finds it as easy to flip off the man, but if we don’t stand united in these situations all that fighting we’ve been doing so far becomes wasted.
We have that power, we are the people. Without us these companies are nothing. Let me give you a real-life example. Last month I went to a very popular garden trade show and one of the companies exhibiting there was Roundup, now this made my blood boil and I really wanted to go over there and give them what for. But then I noticed I actually didn’t need to, NOBODY was stood there in this huge booth, why? Because they are the devil and anyone in the right mind avoids a bad rep like the plague. They are avoided because people have raised light on how unethical and environmentally damaging their products and company is. You can’t undo a bad reputation it stays with you for life!
All because a few activists once said NO to Round-up and shed some light on their corrupt goings-on. Now everyone knows the story of Monsanto, Round-up, Glyphosate, and GMOs whether you still use them or not. But it’s not socially acceptable to use them anymore, is it? Everyone loves being organic….. but just how far do you take it, before it begins to infringe on your life. I’m not asking people to begin quitting their jobs, but do you ever question your companies ethics or bring forward an environmentally sound solution?
My views are indelible and just like those first activists that said No, I’m going to keep the wave rippling and say NO too! By not applying for that job because I’m not prepared to bend my moral fibre. I am one less candidate applying for the job, standing strong in a battle. By speaking about it, I am helping raise more awareness that these requirements are not acceptable and we are still fighting this organic war……… don’t underestimate how far we will go to win! The force is strong and you should be afraid because if you are not organic you are going down and you know it!
Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear how you’re fighting this organic war however big or small, every step is a step in the right direction and should be celebrated.
Very interesting and thought provoking piece Michelle but I think it does raise the whole ecological impact of treatments whether they are done organically or by chemical methods. Will just focus on weed killers, yes not ideal to use, maybe health problems caused by malpractice, not using as per instructions etc but the cost and damage to hard and soft surfaces by leaving must also be thought about, leaving weeds in hard surfaces will cause damage to the structure either just in the pointing or foundations so repairs maybe needed, worse case ripping the whole lot up and replacing, cost and environmental impact of raw materials like sand, cement, Both in producing and transporting, use of power tools etc surely would outweigh the enovimental impact spraying a bit of roundup down in correctly a couple times of year? Yes could use the more organic approach weeding by hand, if money was no objective then I would agree with that use but sadly it’s a big factor in a small back garden to a large estate, otherwise use of blow torches and hot water but no one has yet told me the environmental impact these methods can do to the ground they are being used on, how far down does the heat go and what creatures, bacteria and fungus does it kill?
Personally I think you are excellent for standing up for what you believe in,
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Interesting blog, thank you! In reply to the other comment, it is quite possible to run gardens and keep them weed free – even large ones – without resorting to chemicals. I don’t want to hijack Bo’s post with my own stuff, but the effect of Roundup on the soil and soil life is a real consideration.
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Thanks for your comments Steph, Hijack away, it’s not a single battle, the more awareness and info we can get out there the better x
I do struggle with this. I can see a case for minimal & sensible use of herbicides if it is necessary – I’m thinking more for invasive and damaging plants than the general spray-happy tendency there seems to be out there.
I am not 100% organic, not because I use pesticides/herbicides, but because I use growmore in some areas to avoid driving the local foxes bonkers and digging out my crops.
Completely agree with you. It’s a struggle I think for jobbing gardeners; especially those who are contracted to work big estates etc to work organically; they are only allotted so much time a week to get the job done ( time is money). I think a lot of it lies with the tightarses above not shelling out for a proper job. Not caring. Hence why there’s so many job postings requiring PA 1s and PA 6s. I too have noticed how many there is with that requirement on the job pages as like you I’m hoping to switch career into hort. Do you have any plans to get round this issue in order to gain employment? It’s a tough one, all I can think of is self-employment with the fact you are completely Organic being the USP ( as, in this world as it is, that is certainly what it will be – unique – how sad! )
Be interesting to read the discussion on this.
All the best,
Cultivation does damage to soil; damages structure, reduces organic matter content, destroys myccorhizal networks, etc. I was talking to an organic fruit and veg grower recently and he maintained that he couldn’t do no-dig without using herbicides, so he uses a tractor and cultivates. I’ve seen no convincing evidence of glyphosate damage to soil and soil life. No one says there aren’t alternatives, but in my experience they are equally damaging or labour intensive and people won’t pay for it. I don’t like it being sprayed over GM crops, I don’t want to eat it. The biggest problem is that it is so effective as a weedkiller, along with a few other products, that wildflowers have largely been wiped out of farmland, to the detriment of the whole ecosystem.
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Good for you for sticking to your beliefs. I was walking my kids to school the other day when I saw council workers spraying the grass verges of a residential street from a ride on buggy with something (weed killer?). It did make me wonder whether it would be carried on the wind into local gardens and how many of those have owners hoping to stay organic.
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