When taking classes on ag. for my environmental science degree, I came to a few conclusions:
1. I never want to have to make a living off of agriculture.
2. Because agriculture is a battle, a crapshoot, and a hard way of life for uncertain profit.
Seriously. Farmers are the bravest and most wonderful of people. We should treasure them.
I haven't been around much to look at my garden (my hours are insane), so my mom's been looking after it for me. She came in the other day and suggested I take a look at my tomatoes.
Yikes. And I mean yikes.
There's a fungus among us.
Or several fungi, according to the extension websites I've been reading. The tomatoes have fuzzy grey spots on the leaves, and black spots that are turning the leaves yellow, which indicates some form of blight. The leaves are wilting and falling off. The extension websites recommended pulling up the plants at the point. I am not willing to give in just yet.
I'm not generally a fan of pesticides, but what must be done, must be done. There are a number of naturally derived and less environmentally harmful options out there, happily. After doing some reading, I settled on neem oil.
Neem is a tree species indigenous to India. It's a very valuable species: the shoots are edible, the leaves and flowers are used in festivals, the oil is a potent disinfectant and pesticide, the tree can be used for firewood, and the flowers are good for bees to make honey with.
Neem oil is pretty good when it comes to the environment. It's not very toxic to things like bees, birds, or mammals, and breaks down quickly.
The bottle I purchased recommended a 7 day treatment for treating fungus. Treatment 1 is currently going to work.
The fungus war is just beginning.