Showing posts from February, 2017

Please Farm Responsibly. Because What Grows On The Farm Doesn’t Stay On The Farm

Keeping the family in Family Farming Recently , I was able to stream the GreenBiz’17 Conference in Phoenix without leaving the comfort of my office. I was surprised and delighted to hear the same refrain repeated again and again by heavy hitters from the multi-national companies whose sustainability officers comprised both presenters and audience: “It’s too late to turn back now.” Sustainability Tipping Point Reached   As one speaker pointed out early on, a direct consequence of doing business on a global scale is that corporations must abide by the international agreements on sustainable development if they want to do business in any of the signatory countries. That includes selling farm products, sourcing raw materials, as well as manufacturing; regardless of whether or not the U.S. government ever signs any of those conventions or treaties. This should be big news, but it’s yet to make big headlines. In addition, so many American consumers and investors are demanding t

Please Garden Responsibly. Because What You Spray in Your Garden Doesn’t Stay in Your Garden

American Lady caterpillar on licorice plant. Photo: Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden Scores of their silky tents covered the licorice plant in the container on my porch. Inside the tents, something was gobbling up the leaves faster than I could pick them off. The plant must have been infested when I bought it. As I reached for my organic insecticide, I thought, “Wait, you don’t know what kind of caterpillars these are!” I recalled an article on pest management by a friend who cautioned: “Sometimes, the best treatment is no treatment at all.” It took the better part of the afternoon for me to identify the miniature mowing machines. In the meantime, half of them had started dropping from their perches and wriggling off into the underbrush. I hoped I had made the right decision. The licorice plant was devastated. But then I noticed that the caterpillars had not eaten the leaves all the way down to the stem. Possibly, secondary buds could sprout and still provide a silvery