I have heard repeatedly how we need to use the toxic chemicals/poison on our soils to maintain balance. Frankly, that sounds absurd to me. How can known toxic chemicals, which have been proven to cause cancer, pollute groundwater, destroy the endocrine systems in mammals, etc., etc., create balance? When sprayed on weeds year after year after year and the weed population continues to grow, doesn’t that make you pause? We are in fact poisoning the soil, creating health hazards and we are left with the same weed problems. The weeds are at a place where they are not even composting any longer when treated with the toxic chemicals and are resistant to the repeated bath of poison. The seeds and roots are left behind and are quite prolific. I do not consider this balance.
The Industrial Revolution has introduced us to numerous toxic practices, which has taken its toll on the environment. Look at agribusiness, the oil and gas industry, chemical companies, and pharmaceuticals to name a few. You can easily see the price our air and soil have paid to support these commonly accepted industry practices.
In Colorado, we can see the effects of the air and soil pollution. In looking at our soil we will find a high potassium content which will support the broadleaf, stalky, woody plants many of which are weeds such as thistle. Our soil is out of balance and would benefit from microbial activity which would assist in producing sugars once again. Our trees are also suffering for this reason.
Applying 2, 4-D, Dicamba, which is the active ingredient in most of the chemicals (Trimec, Roundup, Vessel, Ortho, etc.) commonly sprayed in Telluride, Mountain Village and throughout the county, we are depleting the soil further and it is not assisting in bringing the soil back into balance. And yes, the depleted soil will support the very vegetation we are trying to poison. The poison of course depletes the soil even further.
A great deal of our area has compacted soil as well which was caused in great part by overgrazing and air pollution. The oxygen has basically been squeezed out of the soil and the colloid components are quite simply stuck together. This can be remedied with natural, nontoxic practices.
Isn’t it time to address the cause of the weeds and the cause of the abnormal amounts of worms, moths, beetles in the trees and begin to nourish the soil so we may have a chance at restoring our trees, replacing the weeds with healthy grasses and vegetation supporting a green, healthy environment for humans and animals alike?
It is possible to naturally mitigate vegetation issues from weed control to vegetation enhancement. The weed seeds, tap and rhizome root systems can be naturally composted while nourishing the soil. The implementation of appropriate nontoxic practice would stimulate long dormant microbes and help build top soils for better, sweeter vegetation in the next season; the animal life would not be repelled, but be attracted to edible vegetation (many of the weeds are edible if they were not so bitter due to soil imbalance); the air would be fresh and the water safe downstream; the soil would be able to hold more water with greater microbial activity; insects would not find trees to be a feast as they cannot tolerate eating from a tree which is sweeter with greater sugar content.
I am describing another way of working with our land which would be balanced and support a healthy environment; an environment where we would have grass which would actually support animals and trees which would be alive; a sustainable landscape. Today, that is not the case as our trees are dying at an unprecedented rate, the weeds are everywhere, and grasses hold little nutrition, energy and flavor in many areas.
Solutions are available. For example, John Buerger with Alpha Natural, Inc. is an individual who has devoted himself to the care of the land through his research and implementation of completely nontoxic practices. His successes and natural technology are touching some of Colorado’s most fragile areas throughout the mountains. He has held a seminar in Telluride and was a speaker at the Mushroom Festival. He offers our region an avenue where we have an opportunity to be green, an opportunity to discontinue the use of toxic chemicals, an opportunity to make a difference right here in the Telluride region, now.
John Buerger with Alpha Natural, Inc. will conduct another seminar on this subject this fall. Date to be announced. Please join us.