How Dare I?

After listening to the Paul Parent Garden Club on Sunday, June 21, I decided to boycott it. I have that right. I am after all, guaranteed free speech by the U.S. Constitution.
I emailed him, and expressed my concern over him promoting RoundUp. It concerns us, as well as other organic farmers that there even is such a product. It bothers me to hear a “gardening expert” promoting it.

This is the response I receive back from Mrs. Christine Parent:
How dare you want to boycott my husband’s radio show. How would you like it if I put on our web site that the entire gardening world should boycott your products.   Most of the products that we have for sponsors are completely organic.  Only a few are not.  You can not teach the world over night to go organic, it takes time and we have been working on it for the last 5 years. Round up is the safest weed killer for the homeowner and breaks down in the soils in 7 to 10 days by the microbs in the soil, no other weed killer works this way.  If you know of an organic week killer that will do the job let us know and we will promote it.
Now, if this is the way she handles dissatisfied customers, then she needs to go back to cutomer relations 101 . This only incited me to blog more about it.

I then received an email from Paul Parent himself:

Apparently, you do not listen very often to the program!  Most of my sponsors are natural or organic and we work very hard to find companies who have earth friendly products for the garden. Many companies have both and that is the gardener choice, NOT YOURS.  A company like Scotts works very hard to make sure that there product are used wisely.  The chemical industry spends many years of testing before products are released to the public. You may not know this but Scotts has many organic products for the homeowner.

Like you, some people take the extreme and want changes overnight, It’s not possible.  If you were a Farmer living on the soil, you would know that without chemicals the world would not exist without them.  There is not enough Manure to feed the soil for every farm in the world.

The situation you heard part of ‘only’, was in reference to a man whose field was being overtaken by Multiflora roses.  This plant is very aggressive and each plant can cover a 6 by 6 foot area of ground in just one year.  Thousands of seed are made yearly that are ejected in to the air and the wind can carry them several yards from the mother.  In addition, seedpods are eaten by the birds in the fall and dispensed everywhere they land with their package of Manure.  Perfect for seed germination.  Farmers who have this problem will lose their field to animal grazing in just a few years if not controlled. The average Farmer does not have time to hand dig problem weed growth by hand, as you do.

If you want to keep your farm organic, that is wonderful but do not tell people how they must garden.  Not everyone has so much spare time as you, to pull weed from the garden by hand.  To pick insects that find there way to the plants on your property and control disease by removing the infested foliage or removing the plant, As you do. With proper management of garden chemicals, everyone can lessened there use. But not everyone has your time available.

Now, of all weed killers Round up is one of the safest as it only affects plants when entering from the foliage. It cannot kill plants from the roots/soil. Also Round up will die in the soil from the bacteria and the rays of the sun hitting it in as quickly as 14 days.  Used according to directions it is as safe to this planet as the soap YOU use to wash your clothing and dishes. The products You use to clean your house and the gas you ask your clients to use to come see what you grow, “gas fumes”. The packaging used for your product and the shipping to deliver them,  You pollute with your business even if you know it or not.  We all do the best we can for this planet.  Some more than others.

I have been working in Agriculture for over 25 years and have 2 degrees from University of Massachusetts.  I know the problems better that you ever will. I do the best to keep gardening safe for all gardeners as my listeners are like family to me. Every year I work HARD to find a better product for my Family.  Believe it or not I am here to stay and educate gardeners about products Organic, Natural and YES chemical! There is a place for them whether you like it or not. So get off your High horse, get your head out of the ground and learn to do the best for Mother Nature and that means with chemicals when needed.

If you think I am wrong call me. Do not let you feelings about the planet be the right way and the only way.  In this country we are all allowed to have our opinion, right or wrong. We both try to do the right thing for the gardener.

All the best to stay organic.  The more power to you if you can. But do not force your beliefs  to others, give them a choice as I do.

My response:

Mr. Parent,
After reading both your email, and the one sent by your wife, I realize I have made the right decision in boycotting your show. You are both unprofessional, and arrogant to say the least. Instead of putting out the fire, you have fanned the flames.
You both will obviously never understand. Perhaps because you are getting funding from Scotts, or maybe you just can’t open your eyes. It is just common sense to know that if you put a chemical in the soil, you will at some point wind up putting it into your mouth. Doesn’t take a degree to figure that one out.
Please take the time to watch “The Future of Food” http://www.hulu.com/watch/67878/the-future-of-food and possibly you may understand.