I have had a professional gardening business for the past 15 years. Within my business, I made a commitment to use only organic products to the best of my abilities. I closed this business down this past fall since I moved out of Baltimore to parts farther west in Maryland.
Two summers ago in the midst of my gardening season I got poisoned by using Roundup. Since nothing organic could eradicate the highly invasive Canadian Thistle weed, I felt I had no recourse but to try to kill it by applying Roundup/glyphosate concentrate on the shoots of the plant. This was in an approximately 40’x50’ woody area on a gardening client’s property. A fellow landscaper gave me the suggestion of using rubber gloves and dipping my hand in the concentrate in a bucket and then smearing the herbicide along the undersides of the foliage. And I was silly enough to follow his advice.
Unfortunately, as I dipped my gloved hands in and out of the bucket to do one section (about 5’x5’), I inadvertently got the liquid on my bare skin above the rubber gloves. And within a day started to feel rather weird and sick. It was clear that I had gotten poisoned by the chemical. So I took a bunch of herbs to detox myself and hoped that that took care of the toxins in my system. And I vowed to never use Roundup again.
This past spring instead of using any other herbicides, organic or not, in the area, I decided to sheet mulch the area with lots and lots of cardboard and bags and bags of shredded hardwood mulch. My clients were kind enough to pay for this more expensive approach to eradicating the noxious weed. And we monitored it all season and it worked. Let’s hear it for permaculture and more sustainable/environmentally (and labor intensive) ways to garden and address noxious weeds.
Later in the spring I was diagnosed with some lymph node issues and have been on a daily regimen of detoxing my kidneys and liver since. And part of me seriously suspects that absorbing all of those chemicals into my system has helped to trigger my health issues over the past few months.
Roundup is one of the many toxins that Monsanto has created. Agent Orange, etc, etc, have come out of their factories too.
Monsanto is also a huge supplier of seeds that are GMO. Their work is monstrously huge and influential and anything we can do as an organized people to slow Monsanto down, and help people become more aware is really significant and necessary in these scary times.
”Virtually all of the claims made for GM crops – increased yields, more food production, controlled pests and weeds, reductions in chemical use in agriculture, drought-tolerant seeds – have not materialized, while serious risks and consequences, including herbicide-resistant super weeds, super pests, uncontrollable cross-contamination and health problems from GM foods, have emerged…”
Thankfully, there is some good news as far action-taking goes here in the USA. And that is to support the California initiative to get GMO foods labeled in their state. If this initiative is passed, this will have an impact throughout the USA and even internationally since so many foods are grown and packaged in CA. Any food products grown and packaged outside of CA, yet sold in the state would have to be labeled also. If these same products are sold nationally, they would then be labeled in our stores too. We would all benefit. Here is the link to more information on this initiative.
Please consider supporting this very important effort. It is for our health and ecosystem health and our children’s health.
And please do not use Roundup. If you are looking for an organic alternative that is an effective herbicide use Burn-Out II. I used it for several seasons professionally and can vouch for its effectiveness.
And if you have Canadian Thistle in your garden, either sheet-mulch it or keep on pulling it up as soon as you see it. That will weaken the roots.
For the Earth and our future…