Weekly Update 6.30.17

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 - 7:14pm

7 Comments

msnrochny's picture
msnrochny
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 4 2010
Posts: 58
Alternatives?

Chris -

This is such a great update - thanks!  I'm wondering if given your Toxicology background if you or perhaps some of the folks in our community have recommendations for alternatives to the biocides being sold? 

Arlene and I have gone to great lengths to build an orchard and property that is supportive of bees and insects.  But, our fruit trees were getting hammered.  I'd like to know if their are "safer" approaches to protecting our fruit trees?

Mike Neal

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 182
Link to the article

You should post the link to articles you discuss in your videos.

Here's the one for Suicide by Pesticide

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/92653/suicide-pesticide

Glad to see you made it available to all.

Agent700's picture
Agent700
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 3 2014
Posts: 28
Peak Focus

Powerful Chris, very powerful..One of your most heartfelt yet.

You are making a difference! Your "Suicide By Pesticide" article plus an "intervention" on me by Zach Weiss at ElementalEcosystems caused us to abandon a lucrative ROI, monocultural - but sprayed and "nuked" - hazelnut farm in Chile, and move towards a polycultural, organic, ecosystems driven development instead. It cost us money, time and stress because of the last minute change, but our spiritual health has improved and the cognitive dissonance is gone! Thank you..

We're out there trying to help spread the intelligence and develop the passion, you are leading the way. I'm sure there are others around the world who are waking up and feeling the same..Please feel some satisfaction and allow yourself some reward from this!

rheba's picture
rheba
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Joined: Apr 22 2009
Posts: 71
Neo-nics

Getting rid of these pesticides is going to entail banning them from sales altogether. That is going to be hard because the are so "useful"  and people are going to object.  As I understand it, these are the alternatives to Lindane and other insecticides that are very harmful to vertebrates (ie farmworkers.) Neo-nics are especially toxic to invertebrates but not as bad for us mammals. For example, the spot medications we put on our dogs are fipronil and imidacloprid both of which are neo nicitinoids.

I don't have a background in biology but my family and I did try to run a 100+ hive bee business. When the first talk of colony collapse began back in 2006 I thought it sounded like a poisoning so I went to my coop and took a label from each of their spray products. I Googled them and began to learn about neo-nics. At the time Bayer made a termite treatment and the description of its effects sounded just like colony collapse disorder. I tried to raise the alarm with our county beekeepers association. Most of them were skeptical but I think many began to do some research. I emailed everyone at the state and federal level. The state was willing to consider. I think that I may have prevented some spraying on state land though I am not sure. The researchers for the USDA through their land grant universities (I am not going to publish their names but I have saved their disgraceful cowardly emails) were terrified of being sued by Bayer. I think that they are still terrified.

That experience, coupled with my earlier witnessing of the association between the "death" of Lake Erie and the disappearance of the mayflies made me especially receptive to the message of the Crash Course back in 2007-2008.

But to get back to the main point of this comment: there is a book written by Michael Phillips called "The Holistic Orchard" that does offer advice about biological/organic approaches to growing fruit. He will be the keynote speaker at the NOFA summer conference at Hampshire College this August. I own the book and I plan on attending the conference. I know that NOFA members around me are concerned about their apple trees this year.

This has been a bad year for apple trees in Massachusetts due to gypsy moth infestations. Last year there were no apples and, unless you sprayed in my neighborhood, you are not going to get any this year. It is obvious who is spraying and who is not. So one thing I will do is to approach the neighbors who have leaves on their trees to ask them to confine their spraying to BT and not to the neo-nics.

This is also another argument against mono-cultures. My peach and pear trees are unmolested by caterpillars. My raspberries have been chewed but they are going to produce anyway. Ditto the wild ones in the meadows. All nut trees are slightly chewed.

I think we need better contact between organic farmers/growers and the scientists at our ag colleges and high schools. Had we known the moths were coming we might have been able to use diatomaceous earth and other physical techniques.

But the stores are full of poisons in pretty bottles. Most people will see an insect and start spraying. I don't see that stopping till the trucks stop their deliveries. All of us can try to educate our neighbors but bees fly for three miles. That is a lot of neighbors!

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5729
Thank you and good luck!
Agent700 wrote:

Powerful Chris, very powerful..One of your most heartfelt yet.

You are making a difference! Your "Suicide By Pesticide" article plus an "intervention" on me by Zach Weiss at ElementalEcosystems caused us to abandon a lucrative ROI, monocultural - but sprayed and "nuked" - hazelnut farm in Chile, and move towards a polycultural, organic, ecosystems driven development instead. It cost us money, time and stress because of the last minute change, but our spiritual health has improved and the cognitive dissonance is gone! Thank you..

We're out there trying to help spread the intelligence and develop the passion, you are leading the way. I'm sure there are others around the world who are waking up and feeling the same..Please feel some satisfaction and allow yourself some reward from this!

First, thank you for making the decision you did.  I know it wasn't easy, and moving away from the current practices of farming takes courage and extra financial risks.

But you've already reaped the most important benefits that I know of - spiritual health and cognitive congruence!  Congratulations.

I'm honored to know the small role I played in nudging your decisions one direction vs another and such feedback is what keeps me going.  Seriously.  So that you for relaying it.

With every positive decision like yours the ship's bow swings towards a better future.

 

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5729
Me too!
rheba wrote:

That experience, coupled with my earlier witnessing of the association between the "death" of Lake Erie and the disappearance of the mayflies made me especially receptive to the message of the Crash Course back in 2007-2008.

But to get back to the main point of this comment: there is a book written by Michael Phillips called "The Holistic Orchard" that does offer advice about biological/organic approaches to growing fruit. He will be the keynote speaker at the NOFA summer conference at Hampshire College this August. I own the book and I plan on attending the conference. I know that NOFA members around me are concerned about their apple trees this year.

As a young lad, at the tender age of 13, I was raising roosters for their hackles, the beautiful, long feathers on the nape of their necks (2+ year-old roosters or older) so that I could tie flies for trout fishing.

I specifically raised ones to emulate tying specific mayfly patterns, and knew which hatches came at which times of the year.  I got so involved that I would try new patterns and take them to the river, place them on the water's surface, and using my diving mask I would go underneath and visually compare them to the real thing.

As a result of these experiences I became quite fond of the mayfly.  And stone fly and caddis fly.  I came to love them really, and appreciate them.

Now they are all but gone from the lake I go to every summer in upstate NY, the place I went every summer since being an infant...Canadaigua Lake.

How did an entire lake, entirely surrounded by summer cottages come to lose its entire insect ecosystem?  I don't know for sure, but it did.  Last night on the porch around the lights there were zero mayflies.  No stone flies.  No caddis flies.  None.  No luna moths (always rare, but a frequent guest of my childhood).  

I suspect the neonics...but I don't know for sure.  I only know that the ecoystem has collapsed.

The lake is beautiful to the casual observer, the water is clear (thanks to the zebra mussels) and sweet and everything 'looks' great.  But there are no schools of minnows anymore, and we all sat on the dock last night marveling at how there were no mosquitoes either.

I tell you, this all fills me with grief...and dread.   How could it not?

At any rate, I might make it to the NOFA conference...if I do, let's find each other there rheba?

rheba's picture
rheba
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2009
Posts: 71
NOFA

That's a potential plan. Julie and Jack have got a bunch of us singing a song about organics Friday night so I have to be there then. I think that is when Phillips will give his keynote address. It is at Hampshire College this year.

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