I’ve been out planting seeds this morning. I planted sunflowers a few weeks ago and was very happy to see them pop out of the ground only a few days later, and then they were all eaten by snails. Grr.
So I’ve planted more. I have a lot of seeds because I saved them from the sunflowers I planted last year, which means I can afford to lose a few to snails. But you can be sure that I’ll be buying coffee when I next go shopping (coffee is poisonous to snails and slugs). And as I was walking around with my watering can, giving the seeds a soak, my thoughts turned to the TPP. It’s not as big a leap as you might think–saving seeds is something which is common to both gardeners and farmers the world over, and with the trade agreement having been apparently rushed through, I’m concerned about how this will affect our agricultural sector, and the environment, as well as a host of other areas.
It will surprise few of you that I am right into organic gardening. I care deeply about my family’s and my own impact on the environment, and part of that is trying to use as little intervention as possible when growing the food we’ll eat. Not just for our own benefit, obviously, but also for the soil, the insects and the other animals which call our garden home.
To this end, I practise a method called ‘integrated pest management.‘ You can read all about it on the link, which is quite long-winded, but the basics are: you accept that there will be some loss of crop due to pest and disease, but you hope that on balance, you’ll reap more than you lose. In other words, nature will pretty much sort it out (read: I am a lazy gardener).