Sunday, September 5, 2010
The organic gardening movement has many thoughtful and useful aspects, including the concepts of decreased use of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, decreased overall water usage, increased and deep mulching, and local food production and consumption. I'm with the WEE* people on all of those and I try my best to be a good locavore. But, you see, where I fall out from the Kool-Ade drinkers (look it up) is when reason, knowledge and logic give way to zealotry and fighting over issues of faith. Show me that increased mulching moderates soil temperatures and decreases watering needs and I'm your huckleberry. Go off on a rant about how the wearing of sack cloth and the double-digging of beds halfway to China will decrease Global Warming and you're going to lose me within minutes.
In most instances, it's because I don't agree that "natural" necessarily means "good", any more than "modern" necessarily means "bad." I don't really want to go back to "natural" if it means forsaking steel tools, automobiles, and computers in favor of stone tools, caves, and starvation. There's a reason that life-expectancy and personal productivity increases go hand-in-hand in developed countries and there's a reason that modern pharmaceutical's are more effective than bat-wing and newt's eye stews in treating disease.
In short, the true road to gardening Shangri-La is by applying organic methods in moderation. Zealotry without Reason is the Devil's tool.
*WEE = wild-eyed environmentalists, the natural constituency of idiot ex-Vice-Presidents who fly around in private planes, live in energy-burning mansions, and doesn't have the slightest idea of what constitutes scientific inquiry.