Living in the Hothouse — Greenhouses for more than tomatoes?

19 04 2010

Last time I was at Costco they were setting up their seasonal displays for summer.  I’m a sucker for such things.  I am the type of person who cannot walk past a constructed garden shed without stepping inside and pretending that I could live in it.  Amongst the new displays were a very nice looking swing set (complete with rock climbing wall) and an 8×8 greenhouse.  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a greenhouse for quite a while but have yet to find myself with enough “extra” money to justify the purchase of one over saving up for the Fraxel laser treatment I’m hoping will rescue the ruins of my face.  My preoccupation with preserving my youth only proves that I am just another lemming looking for a distraction from reality.  But truly, seeing that greenhouse brought me back to my fear of (and sense of powerlessness over) areal spraying of pesticides.

Over the past couple of years I have realized that a greenhouse can serve a much more important use than extending the tomato growing season or protecting strawberries from pests.  Anyone who had access to mainstream media of any kind in 2007-08 will recall the Light Brown Apple Moth Controversy.  Some scientists had suggested that the LBAM had been in California for years, even decades, while others were convinced that the state became infested sometime after the year 2002.  There was a possibility of potential crop damage but no significant losses had been noted by 2007.  In fact, there was the suggestion that the LBAM could not even survive the extreme temperatures of California’s Central Valley, the agricultural hub of our state.  Even so, government agencies began making plans to start areal spraying a pheromone-based pesticide.  It took public outcries to get the spraying stopped.  The whole situation smacked of a corporate manufactured emergency designed to sell more product — in this case the pheromone-based pesticide.  Cui bono?

I can recall the early 80’s when the enemy pest was the Mediterranean fruit fly.  When the formation of agricultural helicopters came overhead to drop their load of Malathion, my grandmother would keep us inside until it was “safe” to go back out again.  I was ten or eleven at the time, but teachers in this area can recall when the crop of kids born between 1980-82 started coming through Palo Alto schools.  These kids had more behavioral problems and learning disabilities than kids born a year before or after those dates.  But still, Malathion was considered safe enough to shower over suburbia.

The LBAM controversy had an effect on me similar to 9/11, Avian Flu and, more recently, Swine Flu.  These “emergencies” seem to be an effective way of keeping the populace in survival mode, scared (see the BBC Documentary “The Century of the Self“).  My daughter was a baby when reports of Avian Flu saturated the media and I am ashamed to admit that I stopped taking her to the duck pond and we eventually got rid of our two chickens, Lucy and Ethel, out of fear.  A couple of years later, the thought of Pheromone-based pesticide being dropped on my organic garden angered me and it seemed that purchasing a small greenhouse was one way of fending off the oppression.  However, how do I protect my children from the government agencies (and the corporations that control them) who purport to protect the populace?  I can scuttle my kids inside the next time the government decides we need areal spraying and pretend that the spray will not seep in through vents and under the worn weather stripping beneath my front door.  I can try to cover my plants and pretend that the soil is not contaminated.  I can also distract myself by being a consumer.  So for now I’ll just have to check to see if they make a greenhouse big enough to cover my small part of the world.




3 responses

20 04 2010

The push to take care of “us” is overwhelming. This blog entry reminds me of the Summer of the Shark…

Just another way to get us to vacation somewhere else (away from shark infested waters), buy Tamiflu (, or keep us in the “dark” (in our houses).

By the way, you could put a couple of these together to cover your property!

27 04 2010
Frank Farm

Your garden might be tiny relatively speaking, but it is still part of the surrounding ecosystem. It’s all connected. You can’t seal off the soil from contaminants seeping through. Putting everything in a greenhouse hinders behaviors of pollens and insects that are beneficial to either your garden or the ecosystem. The best I can offer is to say keep seeking the truth and continue voicing your opinions so that your world becomes the one you make it rather than the one you were given.

The ruins of your face?! I LOLed at that! Your interest in laser treatment reminds me of this public artwork in Seattle:

I will always love the false image I had of you

I think you’re plenty beautiful enough.

25 05 2010

I love that image! Thanks for the link. And now I’ve blown my laser treatment money on a goat. So now, instead of looking fabulous I pick up Gwen from school smelling a little like…well…let’s just say there is more of a need to watch your step around here.

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