>> Friday, July 2, 2010
I do my darndest to keep my gardens organic, particularly the veggie and herb gardens.
Confession: the only times I have thus far stooped to non-organic options at this house are 1) when I have found poison ivy growing smack in the middle of my flower garden, and very nearly grabbed it with my bare hand thinking it was an ordinary weed, and 2) last summer when the aphid infestation on the front privet got so bad that I couldn't see the privet for the bugs, and they failed to respond at all to organic anti-aphid stuff. Even I have my limits, and those limits are all about the ick factor of poison ivy (which makes me shudder to the very core of my being) and so many bugs the object they're on is writhing (which also causes the same sort of gut-deep twitching and then I start to mentally itch all over).
I just had to admit those non-organic moments out loud and get them off my conscience.
Overall, though, I really want my gardens organic. As an environmental attorney, I have had to learn about the potential health impacts of various chemicals, including a handful of pesticides. At this point, chemicals pretty much just straight up skeeve me out, including all the metals that exist in our environment naturally but which we humans have managed to concentrate and put in places they oughtn't to be.
Imagine, then, my horror when I went to get a new garden hose this spring, and actually bothered to read the labels on them. It turns out that all those ordinary ubiquitous green garden hoses are lined with...
Since I had a couple of those green garden hoses in my own yard, I've been inadvertently watering my nice organic veggies and herbs with leaded water.
My handy Ace Hardware store also sold some of the white hoses that are not intended for garden use, but for filling RVs and whatnot with drinking water. I grabbed several, went home, and promptly disposed of the old green hoses. But the experience has nagged at me ever since. I don't know how much lead they really spew out, and as you can imagine, Internet reports vary widely. However, I don't care to take the risk of filling up my gardens with a whole lot of lead over time.
I guess I know that there's no way to keep contaminants out of the garden. There's a tremendous amount of contamination that comes from the air and I just can't do anything about that. And the water that comes through our pipes is chlorinated and fluoridated and all that good stuff. And even the non lead-lined hoses are made out of something, in most cases medical-grade vinyl with nickel-plated fittings. Who knows what-all ick can come out of vinyl, especially as the material breaks down in sun and heat? Pleh.
Apparently it is possible to think way too much about these things.