Companies that make money from us buying their products need us to buy into their marketing and have stifled us by doing so. When I first stopped all my pest control subscriptions I was very concerned that I would soon be overwhelmed with "natural Florida"! Bugs, snakes, poisonous spiders and more! EEK! I thought it would be awful! But to my surprise, instead of critters that would torment me, I got tons of new birds eating the new bugs! And several varieties of frogs eating more! Then I took the Florida Master Naturalist Program and learned that rarely are these critters, snakes, spiders, etc. ever poisonous! Moreover, I saw my first native black racer snake, famous for eating all those nasty Norwegian river rats that have always been an issue here. Now that I know my snakes, instead of being frightened, I can welcome him! With all the frogs, dragonflies, bats and birds, I have no mosquitoes! I don't want to kill all the mosquitoes, they are an important food source for these beneficial critters.
But the Chemical companies would have us believe we need all these toxins for our health! And the pond industry would have you believe you need to start from scratch to have a pond where you now have a pool! They also advocate regular water changes! How absurd is that! If you work to get all those beneficial microbes and insects into your pond, why would you destroy them all with powerful (and expensive) filters and water changes! Now I'm not saying there is no maintenance required. Just that the prudent stewardship that comes with actual knowledge will do the trick. And surprise! It doesn't require all the products that Madison Avenue would have you think it does!
I wish I had seen this couple's post sooner. Taking the initiative to step out and learn something new is scary. But believing what the companies that want to sell you a product have to say is how the Earth got into this mess in the first place. I say step out, step up and learn the facts for yourself. There is no greater step in fulfillment of your own personal journey on this Earth.
Some starting points:
- Master Naturalist Programs, many states have them now! Google this: Master Naturalist Programs
- Native Plant Societies: again, most states have them!
- Master Gardener Programs - as mandated by the US Congress, each state has an Agricultural Extension Service associated with a major university and a Master Gardener Program! Find yours!
- Yards and Neighborhoods programs are now in many states! Usually advocating friendly planting and water wise gardening.