By Michael Bogart
Organic and pesticide free. Those words are nice to hear, and even nicer to practice.
As you visit our gardens, you can be assured that there are no chemicals and everything we grow is organic. When we practice this method of gardening it ensures the health of everyone, from the gardeners that tend to our campus grounds, visitors, animals domestic and wild, insects, microorganisms and to everything downstream of Marin Art and Garden Center.
It takes little extra effort and cost to garden organically and pesticide free but once committed, it becomes effortless and the cost is nominal. We learn to live with some of the trade offs and link that to a beneficial attribute of organic and pesticide free and how that connects to our environment. Like the moles that leave billowy mounds of fresh soil on our lawns. They are busy little creatures that offer lessons in acceptance. The tunnels they create allow air and water to pass through, thus helping avoid soil compaction. There is hope however that the new group of raptors we’ve seen will aid in the control of the moles. Already we’ve seen a Kestrel strike a mole. Such a fierce little bird! We are holding out hope for the return of owls.
I hope you have seen our roses this year. They had a splendid first bloom and are now in the second round of flowering, All done organically and without pesticides. Roses are prone to many issues but most of the afflictions that roses (and gardeners) endure are manageable through organic practices. For example, we are using a yogurt/water solution to treat powdery mildew, rust and black spot. A chance meeting in the rose garden with author Kier Holmes led to the discovery of this method. Thank you, Kier!
In the garden, the unexpected happens often and what a delight it is to discover something new. By practicing safe methods throughout our gardens, we hope to continually discover the positive affects of mindful gardening.