Last year I wrote a post for The Grow Network on Straw Bale Gardening… and along came Joel Karsten to attack me, the site itself, and other commenters there.
“This article is EXTREMELY misleading. Many basic facts counter to the authors agenda are simply, maybe purposefully, left out. Selling straw or hay sprayed with the listed herbicides is “off lable” use and therefore illegal. Farmers would be extremely unlikely to ever allow their crop to enter this market. In addition while this article makes many claims which might lead readers to believe this is an issue on a large scale, the fact is that very few actual cases where this has happened have ever been actually documented. These involved hay bales, and not straw. To my knowledge, not a single documented case exists of straw causing this issue. I have 23 years of extensive experience with straw bale gardening, and my opinion is that this article is simply “click bate” trying to create controversy where none should exist.”
To this, Pam responds:
“No. Sorry, but you are simply wrong. Almost all straw is sprayed nowadays, not only for weeds, etc but also to dessicate the grain more quickly.
I bought round bales of straw for a horse shelter and almost 15 years later, there is still no sign of anything sprouting out of the straw. I hadn’t thought to ask at the time, but clearly it’d been sprayed.
Not that many people yet use glyphosates on hay, but some do, for the same reason. Things have changed a lot.. I first saw what could happen when friends had to buy hay one year and every single one of their mares aborted; when they finally looked at the hay, they found it had been dessicated, something that none of us had ever run across before so it never crossed anyone’s mind to ask!!this year I saw ads that proudly ADVERTISED the fact that the hay had been dessicated!
I live in the prairies, where grain is grown on farms from small up to townships in size, and it is getting harder and harder to find straw that hasn’t been sprayed. It is the norm now. Farmers have been told for years that it’s safe.. just as doctors used to tell people it was safe to smoke… so because they believe that they not only sell it, but they sell it for feed extender as well as bedding.
Thousands of gardens in Britain were poisoned by contaminated manure. That product is no longer sold but it was too late for the gardens. I once got one bale of hay in a semiload that must have been sprayed with something.. it looked normal, but where it had sat on the ground NOTHING would grow for almost 8 years. NOTHING. not even the toughest of weeds. I still don’t know what was in it, but now, almost 12 years later, the grass is finally filling in the area.
None of the studies saying this stuff safe have been done by governments, they have simply taken Monsanto’s word for it. Not the Canadian government, not the American government. If you actually look at ANY of the studies done by anyone not being paid by Monsanto et al. you will find that the results are invariably that it is NOT safe, that is DOES stay in the soil for at least a year. It’s been scientifically linked to cancers, diabetes, autism, leaky gut and a host of other diseases. It’s been banned in three countries for causing an epidemic of kidney failure deaths in farmers, specifically traced to glyphosate, and even the WHO says it is likely to cause human cancers.
This is important stuff for people to know, it isn’t just click bait, it’s bringing people real information on just how dangerous the world has become, when farming relies on poisoning the food we eat.”
But then Joel Karsten comes back with this comment:
So are the EPA and the NIH telling the truth in the above links to two most recent studies that all the hype over the toxicity of Glyphosate aka Round-Up, is total bunk? By the acute standard of LD50, glyphosate is indeed less toxic than either caffeine or table salt. It has an LD50 of 5600 mg/kg based on oral ingestions in rats, according to EPA assessments, placing it in Toxicity Category III. Did you know that the LD50 (lethal dose of 50% of exposed) Coffee is 192 mg/kg which means coffee is 29 times as deadly to a humans as Round-Up. Keep your head in the sand if you want, but don’t try to educate me about the use of Ag Chemicals until you get your basic facts in order.
The attempt to manipulate people’s opinions by those who do not even a basic understanding of FACTS, is very frustrating. People like the author of this article who simply read propaganda and recites as fact anomaly occurrences that are neither controlled nor evaluated based on any scientific technique or protocols. Your arguments are similar to people that used to be convinced that the earth was flat, simply because they did not understand basic science nor would they listen to those who tried to reason with them. Keep up the ignorance at home because nobody will protect you from yourself, but don’t try to spread that ignorance to others publicly and expect to never be challenged for your ignorance.
This article is completely “Clickbate”. Understand that the owner or this blog gets paid by his advertisers based on how much traffic he generates. I am sorry to those who believe a word of it, many of you are simply victims of this author’s ignorance and deceitful intent to generate clicks.”
So, Joel is calling myself and another gardener in the thread ignorant, deceiving manipulators without a basic understanding of facts… and more… and well, let’s not spend the whole day listing names, shall we?
Really, responding to this kind of attack is almost too easy. Almost like:
Except I like that Joel better than this one.
But respond I shall.
When Garden Authors Attack
So who is Joel Karsten, you ask?
He’s the guy who runs StrawBaleGardens.com and is the author of the book Straw Bale Gardens.
Yet here he shows up to say my experiences with long-term herbicides are “similar to people that used to be convinced that the earth was flat”
And he says “Keep up the ignorance at home because nobody will protect you from yourself, but don’t try to spread that ignorance to others publicly and expect to never be challenged for your ignorance.”
Well, guess what Joel Karsten, author of Straw Bale Gardens… you seem to be a bit socially challenged.
Your trolling and sanctimonious attitude has been noted.
Ah, the irony of a guy who writes “This article is completely “Clickbate”. Understand that the owner or this blog gets paid by his advertisers based on how much traffic he generates. I am sorry to those who believe a word of it, many of you are simply victims of this author’s ignorance and deceitful intent to generate clicks…”
…and says this while actually running the site STRAWBALEGARDENS.COM.
Note also that Joel Karsten tries to refute the pesticide point by quoting government sources on their safety.
Oh yes, Joel, we believe the government. We are good citizens, Joel.
We need to believe the government, right? If we didn’t, we might stop planting straw bale gardens and you’d lose sales.
Methinks you project too much, Mr. StrawBaleGardens.com.
Try showing some civility before you roast another garden writer for sharing his point of view.
I have had nasty experiences with long-term pesticides and am interested in seeing people’s gardens stay alive.
And yes, I do write for money.
This is part of “being an author,” something Joel Karsten should know something about.
Look, if there are potentially serious problems with your gimmicky gardening style, well then, try to defend it. Tell people how they’re wrong without assuming they’re flat-earthers who are hunting for gardeners to deceive.
I’ve certainly been wrong before. Many times. I even became friends with one critic who corrected some of my assumptions.
Unfortunately, Karsten’s big list of insults was childish… much like his spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
My article wasn’t a personal attack but it’s personal now.
I didn’t even know who Joel was before he came in to call me names… yet now his hypocrisy and vitriol are preserved and presented for all of you to see. I might have been convinced to write a follow-up post if he had simply spoken reasonably.
Next time, refute the points rather than attacking the author, Joel.
Especially an author with my motto.