Category Archives: Pesticide free

New French study finds 32 toxic pesticides in the air

The fact that there are airborne residues from farmland spraying is not new. What is concerning is that this study measured the concentrations and type of chemical and found banned products.

The article says there is no evidence of airborne pesticides being a health hazard. That sounds like PR from agrochemical companies trying to avoid litigation. There is a long history of  people living close to farm land  complaining of symptoms when fields are sprayed.

What is really scary about the research is that they found traces of chemicals such as lindane which was banned in the EU in 2008.

It makes sense to ask if there are residues in soil dust. We know that a lot of spray ends up in soil and that some are very persistent so they could linger in soil for many years.

It really is time we stopped drenching food in chemicals however ‘safe’ the manufacturers claim it to be. It is an old fashioned and outdated way of farming that does huge damage to the environment. There are better ways to produce food.

Read the full article here

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Forcing banned pesticides on the UK

The US is putting pressure on the UK government to allow the use of pesticides on food that are banned in the EU. Most dangerous of all would be neonicotinoids that caused the mass death of bees across Europe before they were banned.

Click to follow link

The key finding of the report are here

Trump wants us to slither down the scale of acceptance and be like the US so that we can import their food. We need to resist this at all costs or the environmental destruction and damage to human health will be huge.

Progress in the garden

This is our fruit and veg  garden on 16 May 2020. We started work on the plot just over a year ago. There was a lot to do and it’s been hard work but worth it. We are looking forward to harvesting some tasty, pesticide free veg soon.

The weather made it a difficult year but gardeners always say that! The first few months were cold and wet and the top part of the garden was flooded a few of times due to poor drainage. That should now be fixed.

Spring has been cool and mostly dry here and again we are verging on a drought. There were frosts up until last week. That has caused some damage especially to the fruit bushes in the new bed to the left of the path, the top corner is just visible in front of the chairs.

We have done a lot recently thanks to lock down but there is still more to do to achieve our aim of an sustainable, zero waste fruit and veg garden.

New projects
We are lucky to have a corner of a large garden to grow food. Many people have only have a small gardens or just a balcony so we want to share some ideas. First will be an update to the lettuce table  made about 20 years ago. The plan is to make one using as much reclaimed timber as possible and use reclaimed butyl rubber pond liner for the waterproofing.

Next is the use of self-watering containers. We have used them before with good results. We will have peas, beetroot, tomatoes, courgettes and strawberries in various sizes of container. More to come on this soon.

We are also about to start making comfrey liquid fertilizer from the plants started in 2019. This is part of the closed loop, self-contained. zero waste garden we are working towards. It will not be on the same scale as our previous project.

We desperately need an extension to the compost bins as we are already getting short of space. So far we have a cubic metre of compost maturing in one of the bins. The second bin has active compost in it which leaves just one free for the next batch. The plan is to try a very simple way of locking boards together to build metre square bins that can be used when required and then broken down over winter.

As winter approaches we want to try some new ways of extending the season with the aim of having keeping some crops going through winter. That will mean some new cloches and cold frames to go with the solar pods stacked against the wall on the top right of the photo above.

That should be enough to keep us busy for a few weeks, we will post news with videos of progress here.

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RSPB resigns from government’s pesticides forum

According to an article in The Telegraph “The RSPB and dozens of environmental groups have resigned from the government’s pesticides forum after two decades claiming the use of dangerous chemicals is now far worse than when they joined.”

The UK government is very good at playing games, they will no doubt shouted about the fact that they have environmental groups on board yet will have really wanted to keep their farmers friend and agrochemical companies happy. They want votes and donations to party funds to win elections and feed their hunger for power.

I am in no doubt that Michael Gove will have already had his spin doctors in to gloss over the withdrawal of environmental groups. They will be saying something along the lines of the need for cheap food, a prosperous agricultural industry and the need to keep food on supermarkets shelves while at the same time saying how sad he is that these groups have taken such extreme action.

The UK government has ignored the 2013 UNCTAD report on sustainable farming because it says that we do not need pesticides, GM or any other agrochemical, money making, Earth destroying products to ‘feed the world’. There are no party donations from not using agrochemicals

What I do know is that if we keep destroying insects for profit the whole ecosystem will collapse. We are part of ‘nature’ not above it or able to control or manipulate for our own ends. We simply rely on for everything.

Food has to be sustainable.