Weed Be Gone

There is a popular herbicide called Weed Be Gone.  A catchy name that pretty much sums up most gardeners thoughts regarding weeds.  We would like them gone.  There’s an even more popular product, roundup.  I see people with back pack sprayers applying a spray of liquid on grass and weeds often.   I’m pretty sure its roundup they’re using.  It’s so well known my spell checker doesn’t even bat an eyelash when I type the word.  These products are easy to use.   Mix with water and spray.  Worry free?

Every time I’m tempted to use one of these products I read the caution label again and always put it back.  I don’t like the idea of a chemical that might make me sick, blind, dead.  A product where a hazmat suit and a gas mask would be a reasonable precaution.  I know I’m exaggerating with these two products but some over the counter herbicides are really scary.  I know a gardener who regularly uses crossbow and other systemic herbicides.  She likes the results, but I always think at what cost.

Today I was digging unwanted plants out of my path and it crossed my mind how much faster it would be to just spray them and have them die in a day or two.  It would be easier.  Lots of years ago I decided that I would rather be slow, probably not get all weeds out before they seed, and sleep better at night.  I know I can’t hurt myself or the environment with a hand spade.  Well, maybe a blister or two from the handle rubbing my palm.  I’ll take the blister, it will heal in a few days.  I’m not so sure about how the earth heals with so much herbicide being sprayed around.

Monsanto developed roundup along with a host of other horrific chemicals.  Agent orange and rBST to name two.   These are frightening products.  Agent Orange is gone but the US still has not banded rBST.  A quick look on the internet will bring up 100,000’s of sites discussing the evils of Monsanto.   What most people do not know is how Monsanto is manipulating the production of seeds.  Here is a short clip from one website:

Monsanto Documentary Reveals Evil

The liberties people are taking with the food supply and with their bodies make the natural world seem like a fleeting memory. But a new documentary has emerged shining some light on the evils of Monsanto, the GM food king.  Under the plausible guise of eradicating world hunger with genetically modified seeds resistant to Round-Up, a best-selling herbicide it also developed, Monsanto has launched an insidious campaign to achieve worldwide market supremacy, regardless of the social cost to small farmers and rural economies. It’s all laid out in previously classified documents, and confirmed by scientists, politicians and victims. What the evidence suggests is that Monsanto has long waged a dirty war of pressure campaigns, corruption, collusion with government and prevarication, also known as big fat lies.  More awareness might be able to short-circuit their quest for total ownership of the world’s food supply.

I’ve also made a link to this short video, The Future of Food.  Learn how one day Monsanto may own the basis of all our basic food production.

Be informed so we can move together to stop this madness.  Then join me and many others who won’t use roundup not because we like to work harder, but because we refuse to support a company who disregards human welfare in the pursuit of its own profit.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Barb on May 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I do use some roundup in certain places, but what they don’t tell you is that all of the dead weeds you create need to be pulled out anyway – otherwise they just create a nice pile of somewhat organic material for the next set of weed seeds to get stuck in and create more problems. Also, I do subscribe to the theory that roundup (etc) has a long-lasting impact on the soil by affecting all of those wonderful micro-biotic things that help other things grow.

    So – definitely at a minimum, and judiciously – pulling weeds can be very therapeutic!



  2. Posted by Dennis on May 6, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I, too, wrestle with the balancing of risk factors in gardening — the way I wrestle when it is cold and I would like to cross a street against the “don’t walk” light. For example, here is how I and a lady friend whose acre bordering a forest I help to garden. Only Round-up, she said, and then only after we have tried pulling and hoeing for a long while. And so we logged hour upon hour pulling out weeds all over her place until finally, after four or five $200 loads of bark had been wheel-barrowed and distributed over several seasons in Michigan, only the most persistent weeds were still popping up. There was something very evil-looking brought in with three shrubs that just kept coming up and there was, of course, poison Ivy and buckthorne. The buckthorne was the first plant that kicked both of us over the top, because sthe little trees were as big as six inches in diameter at ground level and totally crowding out any native shrubs or flowers at the edge of the forest. I was allowed to do what the native plant experts prescribe . . . saw off the buckthorne and paint Roundup directly from the bottle onto the stump. Roundup, we all know, disintegrates into harmless compounds fairly quickly after it is applied. Buckthorne dead! You bet. Poison Ivy? In the shade it is slow to yield to the Roundup that does better from heat and sunlight, but we stayed with Roundup for a couple of years, each year having to deal again with our own raunchy red arm and wrist welts that somehow we could not avoid no matter how careful we were out and about working in the plant beds and edge of the forest. And garlic mustard: we pulled and pulled and piled and piled, but it kept coming. So first for the Ivy, after probably the fourth bad arm infection and three straight seasons of discontent, I was allowed to step up and use something more insidious than Roundup on the Ivy and I began spraying Roundup on the Garlic mustard. I also developed a technique, once the Ivy was reduced to only a few persistent plants, in which I put on gloves and take a trowel and pliers out and dig down and lift out the root and use the plier to put the entire plant into the trash, carrying them plant by plant directly to the trash can. I return to Michigan in June to see if finally we are poison ivy free and the spraying of garlic mustard as my last chore in September did most of them in.


  3. Great blog, Linda. Monsanto is really scary and not enough people are aware of the evil they are doing. Thanks.


  4. Posted by Carrie Conner on May 7, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Amen sister. I have to confess, earlier this spring I nearly went to the dark side. Faced with a weed infestation and no time, I considered buying Roundup. Yes, it would take care of my problem in one sweeping spray, or so the label says.

    But in the back of my mind I wondered, “What about my neighbor’s fish in the in-ground pond?” And what about the frogs? And the birds, dogs, people . . . So, I kept putting it off, digging weeds out when I had time and watching them multiply when I didn’t. I just couldn’t pull the trigger (no pun intended).

    Then, I watched Food Inc. And no more waffling. Once I saw Monsanto’s Dr.Evil-like ambition for world domination, I couldn’t bring myself to give them money. I won’t ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it. But I recommend it — very enlightening. Guess I’ll be buying double-strength garden gloves instead.


    • I haven’t seen Food Inc but I certainly have heard about it and it’s on my list of to watch soon. It should be required viewing for anyone who eats. I’m so with you in the temptation and the decision to let the weeds live instead of endangering all the living creatures around us. And so true, I won’t support Monsanto in any way!


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