What is the true cost of pesticide spraying on our ability to grow food now and in the future? (File photo)

Mary Lowther column: What’s the future of growing food?

Commercial fertilizers too, don’t put a complete array of nutrients back into the soil

When Rachel Carson predicted a world bereft of insects due to pesticide use, I thought, it wouldn’t be THAT bad; after all there’d be no mosquitos, no fruit flies and no aphids! Therefore, no birds to peck out all my cover crop and eat my berries. Evidently engineers have created mechanical “drone” bees that can fly around pollinating flowers, and we can hand pollinate as well, so we wouldn’t need bees, they say.

“But,” David pointed out, “You said yourself that it takes microorganisms to break down compost and make nutrients available to plants, so wouldn’t pesticides kill them too?” I hate it when he’s right. “And what will break down your compost in the bins I made you, turning it into that great humus you’re always bragging about?” Would all my scraps just sit there like a McDonald’s burger, never deteriorating, looking just the same as the day they dropped into the bin?

Given the continued massive use of increasingly stronger pesticides worldwide by commercial growers, I fear that Carson’s predictions are coming true. Commercial fertilizers too, don’t put a complete array of nutrients back into the soil, resulting in depleted soils that won’t grow crops. I wonder what these growers will do when they’ve completely exhausted their soils. What will they do when their pesticides finally kill everything? There are no new horizons for humans to broach and no new soils to exploit.

If we’re lucky, the pesticides and chemical fertilizers won’t encroach on organic farms and gardens because I suspect that the only food available will be grown by these people. Are there enough of them? Many people balk at the cost of their produce, but growing without pesticides or chemical fertilizers takes more time and money. What will we do when this is all that is available? Hungry people don’t stay hungry for long.

Please contact mary_lowther@yahoo.ca with questions and suggestions since I need all the help I can get.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LAKE FLASHBACK: Death, destruction and a big donation

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Brentwood hosting 2A boys Island tourney

Mill Bay school aims for fourth straight provincials berth

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire Thursday morning being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

Chris Wilkinson column: Private seniors care homes must be more accountable

The lack of transparency of where the public funds are allocated is alarming

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read