Amanda and I visited a garden shop in Montgomery yesterday, an unremarkable event. Take a woman who loves to shop and who has discovered recently how much she loves to grow things, and it’s a natural fit.
Also unremarkable was the pungent odor of poisonous chemicals that greeted us when we walked into the store. Not only did the counter of poisons produce the strongest odor; it also enjoyed the front-and-center position that any retailer recognizes as the sign that these are the high-profit products in the store’s inventory. They’ll sell you plants and seeds and shovels and hoes if you ask, but they make the REAL money selling poison.
Parenthetically, it’s striking how much money gardeners spend on poisons of every kind and description. There are weed poisons, insect poisons, rabbit poisons, and probably poisons for just about any critter you can name. But of course, that’s all a sham. All poisons are poisonous. Period. And when we spray our squash to kill insects, we’re deciding to ramp up the amount of poison we eat and that we will feed to those we love.
We gardeners need to be more obnoxious when we walk into garden stores and say, out loud, something like “Wow, I smell poison!” Say it loudly enough for the manager, the clerk, and the other customers to hear.
Garden shops should be selling things that nurture and replenish the earth and the creatures that call it home. If they did, we’d all find them more pleasant places to be.