After a cold wet spring which was great for my lettuce, summer and the occasional 100 degree day have finally arrived. It is too warm for new plantings of lettuce to germinate, but as the picture to the left of my first tomatoes shows, there are other garden crops starting to com on. Of course with the warm weather come tomato diseases, Cucumber Beetles and Squash Bugs. Because I avoid chemicals in my vegetable garden, I plant extra tomatoes, pick off the squash bugs until they get to the point where a spray of weak soap is necessary, and live with the Cucumber Beetles. The beetles seem to be almost kept under control by the birds anyway.
Yesterday while weeding in the garden, I saw many beneficial insects including, Lady Bugs, some kind of small parasitic wasp, and a Praying Mantis. Last night when out there with a flashlight, there were worms and night crawlers all over the place. All of these are signs of a healthy garden and soil and might not be present in healthy numbers in a garden where chemical fertilizers and insecticides are used. Using chemicals in your garden can cause trouble for many more species that the intended target.
On another note – My last post on water being the next oil was viewed by a few thousand readers over three days. The topic must have hit a nerve, am I am flattered that so many people read it, but I was still surprised by something I have noticed a few times before. Lots of readers does not necessarily translate into lots of comments. In addition to comments from a few regular readers, the post did get three comments from new people who have not commented here before. Their comments were great and I do hope they continue to read and voice their ideas. But here is the reason for even bringing this up….
I had at least a dozen email contacts from new people who had something to say about the post. This has happened before and has made me wonder why these obviously articulate and opinionated people decide to email rather than comment? Anyone have any ideas? Maybe they have had problems with commenting on other sites and are just gun-shy. Or maybe in the case of one reader who I will describe below, he just did not want to be critical of the post in the comments. In case anyone else ever feels this way, critical is OK. Fire away! If there are holes in my reasoning or facts, I sure want to know. And, if their are holes in your critique, I sure want to let you know!
One of the emails said that they thought the post was “stupid” because I was saying in part of it that we should limit water to agriculture and industry so that homeowners would have more water available to water their lawns and fill their swimming pools. There was a comment on Stumble Upon to this effect also. This makes me realize I should follow up with a post being specific in my ideas and opinions in that area, but for now, here is what I meant in the post by saying “We can conserve, and even better, industry and agriculture can be forced to conserve, but we humans will always need a certain amount, beyond what we drink, just to survive in a modern world.”
Human society needs a certain amount of water to survive. Some may, but I don’t include lawns of pools in that amount of water. But we could cut off all water to any uses but industry and agriculture tomorrow. No toilets, tap water, lawns, pools, showers or baths. That would still not even make a dent in the U.S. consumption of water because most is used by industry and agriculture. I will research the actual figures and do another post on this aspect of the issue.
Now as to those cows with the backpacks. Thanks to JD, I was alerted to this story. I wonder if PETA knows about this experiment? There must be something unethical about embarrassing cows in this manner. I also think each animal needs a sign on both sides saying “no smoking allowed”! Don’t miss reading the comments either…
A fart tax???