Myth 1. What you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Chemicals are all around us daily, and we can’t always do anything about that, but what you grow is totally yours to control. Manufactured chemicals can often make plants appear very healthy but there can be harmful residues and currently unknown health or environmental impacts could result from their use. We just don’t know. Are you willing to gamble?
Myth 2. Pesticides are targeted to the specific pest and don’t hurt the other bugs and soil organisms.
Applying almost any sort of substance that attempts to kill one kind of insect has collateral damage and harms others as well. Birds may consume insects already poisoned but not yet dead. Applicator error can result in spray drift, thus impacting a wider area than planned. The balance of fungi, bacteria, microorganisms, worms etc. in the soil is usually negatively impacted during any pesticide application just like our bodies are when we take an antibiotic.
Myth 3.You have to apply pesticides to get any harvest and make any money
Manufactured inputs cost you money. You have to go to the store and buy them. Many garden chemicals are made from petroleum based products, which are generally expensive to purchase and expensive to the environment when we extract them for our use. Pesticides must be appropriately stored and disposed of, and require equipment to apply, generating more costs.
Myth 4.You need heavy machinery to manage the hard work of farming
Using natural farming methods like no till help to keep alive non-mechanized farming techniques and knowledge that were commonly known not long ago in our history but have declined in recent years with the onset of huge mechanized farms. You can manage your soil so that you never till, it is never uncovered and isn’t full of weeds. But that’s another post 🙂
Myth 5. You must aerate soil by tillage or it will compact
When you first till you artificially introduce a large influx of oxygen and rotting cut up roots, which will support a sudden wave of growth in the microorganisms which thrive on these inputs, and then potentially a die off of that population surge once the soil settles. This can throw the balance of all soil life out of whack. Compaction is really caused by leaving soil uncovered because no roots exist to provide the structure soil requires to channel water effectively while leaving tiny air spaces open. Compaction is also caused by driving on the soil with heavy machinery to do the tillage in the first place.