Alternatives to Cancer-causing Roundup

Below is a speech made by Mary Fraser regarding Roundup and related documents are attached:

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Mary Fraser. I am a board member of the Pesticide Free Zone. I am here tonite to talk about alternatives to using toxic pesticides in landscape maintenance.

As many of you know, The World Health Organization has classified the main ingredient, glyphosate in the most widely used pesticide, Roundup, as a probable human carcinogen. I have a 2 page brochure that I will pass out that gives 12 reasons why spray free streets and parks are so important, so I’m not going to say any more about that.

Now, all of us wish that there was one magical element that could replace pesticides and for small scale applications, there actually is. It’s called VODKA. Spray it on a plant that is bathed in sunlight and the plant dies.

But for larger scale landscapes, the key to remember is there’s no one answer, it’s not like conventional landscaping. It’s a whole strategy that has a lot of elements that have to build together and intertwine to work properly.

One of the main strategies is understanding your soil and plants. Most of the pesticides used destroy the microbes in the soil and also bind up many of the nutrients, which are then unavailable to plants. Microbes and plants work together .So, test your soil. Add the missing nutrients and compost to accelerate the restoration of healthy soil and healthy plants. Plants that thrive out compete weeds, so your maintenance costs go down.

Marin County Parks is working on transitioning to organic practices. The golf course at McInnis is 99% organic and one of the keys to their success is compost tea. They brew it onsite and apply it several times a year. Another key to their success is in using the right plant. They are changing some of the grass varieties on the golf course. So double check the plants you are using. SF has redone a number of their medians with native plants that need no weeding.

There are new mechanical means of weeding that are getting a lot of attention. One is the use of flame throwers. Back pack mounted propane tanks fuel flame heads. They can kill individual weeds or sterilize an entire seed bed. [A disadvantage of this is the CO2 that is released.]  Another interesting development out of Australia are steam weeders. I have brought an ad from WeedTechnics with their three basic models. They can be used in all kinds of weather and one model is large enough for orchards and row crops.

In conclusion, I am going to leave you the executive summary of a document called “Advancing Alternatives”. Created in 2000, it’s a little dated but it will give you concrete examples of successful least toxic management programs.

Thank you.

alternatives

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