Dear Farm Journal,
This afternoon, we received an email about organic farms and plastic. Many organic farms, including us in the last 2 years, have used plastic for weed control and it is becoming increasingly controversial. Pesticides replaced by plastic is not a great change up if your goal is to take care of the planet. Whenever we go to war with Mother Nature, we do damage to her as well as ourselves. I have a love hate relationship with using plastic. I love that it cuts down dramatically on time spent weeding, especially in the hot greenhouses, which allows us to keep clean beds and tackle other farm tasks. This is huge since it is just the two of us. However, I hate that the life of plastic from its creation to its inevitable end in a landfill or the ocean, never to truly breakdown is detrimental to our ecological well being. It will most likely outlast us and everything we do here. So, is it worth it? Probably not. It makes things easier, but methods that make things easier are not always better or right. Often, they are worse or wrong. From our anthropocentric view point, the only factor that matters is that things are easier for us, even if they are harder on the environment, animals, bees, soil microbes, or waterways. So, now we have all this plastic. It is becoming part of our landscape. Stray strands take flight on the wind and end up in bird nests. If we continue to use it, we are playing a part in the plastic problem. If we “get rid of it”, of course you can’t truly “get rid of it”, it just moves to a later stage of the plastic problem. Moving forward, we need to do better. There are now paper based biodegradable options out there that would make me, and more importantly, our planet feel a lot better.