Much of the farming we see embraces death and destruction in order to get a yield. The “enemies” of a crop are sprayed with poisons. The ground is beaten into submission and soaked with chemical fertilizers.
The tiny living creatures which attempt to live in these fields find themselves in a dangerous and inhospitable place. Bees get poisoned, spiders get crushed, worms get chopped into pieces, etc.
It’s hard to grow food on a large scale without causing a certain amount of destruction. Trying to avoid killing anything is difficult and may not even be a correct goal, as some things just need killing. I can’t imagine growing enough corn for all the tortilla chips consumed during an American summer without big tilled fields filled with rows of corn fed by chemical fertilizers and harvested with specialized equipment that cares nothing for the tiny lives of ladybugs and crab spiders.
But in a backyard garden there’s no need to roast everything. Instead, we should embrace and encourage life, with the notable exception of the squirrels that steal our heirloom corn. We know what to do with those.
Overall, I like lots of life in my garden. It’s great to see butterflies, bees, beetles, spiders, dragonflies, praying mantises, toads, lizards and worms. Yeah, we have some leaf-footed bugs and cabbage moths, but they aren’t huge issues. The sheer amount of plant species and hiding places for predators keep things somewhat under control. This doesn’t look like a typical row garden and doesn’t have the same pest problems either.
We had worse problems last fall and in early spring before we built our Grocery Row Gardens and added all the other plant species. Look at the picture above and imagine how many hiding places there are in there! Then imagine all the roots in the ground and the micro-life that those roots bring. Lots and lots and lots of life.
If I were to spray malathion now it would be a desecration. I’d kill countless good guys. The gardens are now beyond that. It’s not a monoculture system that needs tilling and spraying. It’s developed into a forest edge polyculture. God’s design is taking over and the checks and balances are falling into place.
Stop spraying, plant lots of different species together, then watch and see what happens. Life will arrive!
Embrace life and see what little miracles come your way.