Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Last Roundup

A few summers ago my neighbor saw me, once again, wrestling with a healthy crop of Bermuda grass that was, once again, creeping into our shrub and flowerbeds. I grew up in Pennsylvania and seldom encountered Bermuda grass so I didn’t know how insidious it could be to control or impossible to obliterate. He walked across the lawn and handed me a plastic container with a thin hose and spray nozzle and said, ‘Thom, that’s never gonna work. Use this.’ He told me to spray it on the grass and weeds but cautioned me to keep it away from the plants and shrubs. This was my first Roundup.
Frankly, within two days I was amazed at the results. The unwanted and stubborn grass – along with other weeds – had turned brown and began to wither. Although the roots of the Bermuda grass remained difficult to extract it was easier to get the now-dead and exposed parts out of the ground. Needless to say, I had become a fan of that nasty white liquid inside that container.
Two weeks ago – following an absurdly hot and humid summer in which it was far too hot and dangerous to be doing yard work – my sweet wife dropped the hint that our beds were looking pretty rough. She was right. I noticed it, too. So, on a breezy Saturday morning I grabbed my faithful, plastic killing machine and took to the garden. Today I cut down three formerly healthy, tall and beautiful bushes that we planted around a very ugly telephone utility box that holds the switches for our little development. If I didn’t like my neighbor so much I would be in his yard right now spraying all his crepe myrtle and rosebushes.
This caused me, finally, to connect the dots between this Roundup product and a lot of very scary commentary I’ve been reading lately about genetically modified organisms. Voila! Monsanto! And, briefly stated, here is the mind-boggling riddle inside the paradox wrapped in the enigma: Monsanto created Roundup to kill things and then created genetically modified seeds that would withstand Roundup’s power! What a strange and destructive tightrope they walk!
In the next few weeks, as the beauty and relief of autumn returns to Tennessee, I shall purchase, plant and begin nurturing some new plants to replace those devastated by the combination of a harsh chemical and my stupidity. That may set me back a hundred bucks and some weekend hours. In the next few years - and for decades to come - a very high percentage of our planet’s population – especially our friends and neighbors in India, Africa and assorted Third World countries – will suffer starvation, poverty and death because of the cruel stranglehold Monsanto (and others) have on international agriculture in the form of their genetically modified seeds (sugar beets, wheat, corn, etc.) If you are interested in becoming more aware of this travesty please read this brief article:
Buy local, eat organic and make this your Last Roundup.


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