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Man versus Mother Nature

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Don’t you just love the convenience of reaching for a can of something to solve your latest lawn and garden problem?  My husband does.  I suppose it’s a good thing that we’re trying organic gardening for personal reasons, and not applying for a genuine grower’s certification.  We keep having these little exceptions to the organic rules.  It’s man versus Mother Nature, I suppose.
My Husband’s Ant Carnage
My husband, the protector, discovered what he identified as fire ants infesting the steps of our front porch one afternoon.  It seemed logical to him to grab a can of nerve-agent-fortified bug killer and go to work.  Thus, an afternoon of scolding my children to stay away from the porch and finally forcing them inside because they couldn’t stay away from the pile of dead ants.
My argument that we should have waited to use the special fire ant bait recommended by the entomologist we consulted last summer made no sense to my husband.  He felt he was protecting the kids from certain ant-biting harm.  I was much more worried about inhalation of the insecticide fumes.
Squash Plant
As for the vegetable garden, my husband warned me that cutworms would surely eat all of our little squash plants set outdoors.  He noted proudly that he had just the thing to spray for them.  First of all, I don’t see evidence that our plants are being eaten.  Secondly, I’m reading in the Rodale organics book that cutworm collars are an easy way to protect the seedlings.  It seems at every turn that I have to prove to him we can grow food without using synthetic products.
Baby Spinach

If we don’t have a perfect garden this year, it might be because of some challenges that come with growing organically.  Or it might just be that we make mistakes, organic or not.  I’m still glad we’re giving it a try.  If our busy family can grow some of our own food, then anyone can.  Except for the fire ants, I still hope that we can deal with pests without resorting to something toxic from a store shelf.

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