A Garden A-ha. For me, it happened a week ago. A pile up of frustration from a pile up of inch worms all over my rapidly growing greens. A few months old, the arugula and mustards seemed to be racing for the sky. The arugula spouting off flowers faster than a fire cracker. Were they bolting? Struggling to do well in this rich black gold I’d provided for them? Had I not given enough space in my intensive gardening ideals? I kept pinching off, pinching off, harvesting every spicy leaf to ensure an ample yield.
Then the tiny holes appeared. The feaster, dreaded Inch Worms. We spied. We sought. We peeled off every plump green feaster night and day that we could find. After weeks of highest service transportation from me to them, I finally ditched the suckers, only to be left with two (out of five) shotty stalks of mustard and spindly arugula with bare stems and holes in every other leaf.
Those were MY nutty, pleasantly bitter, tender leaves that those green goobers devoured! Nature had taken charge. I thought I could save these plants, even after the 3 week chow down but by the following week, what was left of the leaves started to tinge a yellow-ish hue. Heart of green, broken… so I cleared them out. Hauled them off to compost heaven. Decided, why try SO HARD to grow something that was struggling to begin with? Why not plant something matched for my unique environment (backyard), right now, that will grow vibrantly and resist these insects. Can a plant do that? Just be so vital, so strong, that it can resist bad bugs? It wasn’t until I read the following by master gardener of socal, David King, that I felt validated in my kinda crazy seeming decision and relieved of my grudge against my suffering plants. I caused destruction, yes, but only to give creation another chance.
“There are those plants the insects ‘get’ and there seems to be no way to save them. I have come to feel that this is natures way of removing a given plant’s genetic make up from the pool – for some reason this plant was not thriving and nature has decided, in her inscrutable manner, to remove this plant before it can replicate. So be it! I can yank it and afford more room for a plant that doesn’t need to be sprayed.
Remember, pristine produce, like what you see on the shelf of the supermarket, is an artificial creature placed before you in the interest of divorcing you from reality. Real food often has evidence that it is good to eat; it’s approved by other species. This stuff we have come to think of as ‘normal’ comes to our table with a tremendous price tag on the environment and the other critters on this planet.”
taken from David King’s blog, beautifulfoodgarden.com
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