i just got an email from our friend, Bob Vaiden (who showed us around the Illinois prairie) bc, poor man, he was the unfortunate victim of my faulty memory. Ben worried that I had heard wrong (re: pesticides and Roundup) but i was sure I remembered correctly. Anyway, I certainly did not do Bob justice in my reporting, as you will see…His response contains some very important information, so please read on…and Bob, thank you so much for setting me straight. I couldn’t be happier to have been mistaken. And I still hope you get your Franklin’s Ground Squirrels for Christmas…
“About Round-up…we don’t use it everywhere and all the time! On a former corn field, there’s no need! It’s already been “treated”. We don’t need to kill the corn…it’s not a problem.
“Round-up IS often used on fallow fields, or areas heavily taken over by other vegetation. None was used at Meadowbrook in order to plant…all areas were previously cornfield until planting. We actually caught “flak” from some folks for NOT using it in a couple areas. Small amounts have been used since to control some bad guys (Canada Thistle).
“I must admit I don’t remember you mentioning Round-up surfactant as a carcinigen…my hearing IS bad (5 years as a machinist), so maybe I just didn’t catch it. The surfactant IS a problem around water…it can be bad for fish and amphibious critters…we don’t use it there.
“I certainly didn’t say I didn’t worry about pesticides! Round-up is used as a necessary evil…within certain limits. You CAN kill off vegetation by several discings of the area. One before winter…then cold weather can kill roots. One or two after winter as things start to grow…then plant. That method may not be as effective.
“So, anyway…I sat around my back yard eating (pesticide-free:) peppers, yellow pear and red cherry tomatoes this weekend, and watching the Hummers frantically exhaust themselves chasing each other around. Wonderful weekend! Too bad you couldn’t stay for the Saturday Farmer’s Market…we’re still munching peaches and sweet corn. Hope your friend has recovered from the corn diet:)
“Anyway…wish you the best…the web address for my “Backyard Habitat”:
Check out the photo album…not the best pictures, but…”