Bugs are inevitably a part of growing things. While most of the bugs out there are good for the soil and good for your plants, there are plenty of pests that will drive you crazy while you try to salvage a tomato crop ravaged by white flies or a peach harvest destroyed by aphids. Conventional agriculture since the times of the Green Revolution has taken advantage of the distress that pests cause to farmers to market hundreds of different chemical pesticides that promise to help you win the battle against nature.
The problem, of course, is that this is a battle that simply cannot be won. As research has continually shown, the use of pesticides has essentially done nothing more than increase problems with pests as they´ve upset the natural balance where predator insects maintain a relatively decent control of problematic bugs. While the target “bad” bug might be killed off by the initial application of a certain chemical pesticide, so will several other species of insects, bacteria, fungi, and other essential parts of the soil and farm ecosystem. This loss of natural predatory controls and the disruption of the greater balance almost leads to increased pest problems in the future.
So what can be done when your tomatoes are filling up with worms and your peaches are covered in aphids? Below we look at three different strategies to deal with pest problems in an ecological way.
For thousands of years, indigenous populations around the world have known of different plant species that have certain properties to repel different bugs and pests. In Central America, the seeds and leaves of the Neem tree are fermented in buckets of water by small farmers who then apply this fermented Neem extract to their corn and bean crops affected by certain bugs.
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