: Tracy Aquilla
wrote: : >
: > Apparently you are unfamiliar with seed production, particularly regarding
: > lettuce. One can produce lettuce seed from multiple varieties, all
: > the same row without any cross-pollination. I know because I have done it
: > myself. Species which cross easily are either isolated by distance, or by
: > covers, cages, etc. This general pollution' theory is bogus.
: I am readily familiar with _controlled specifics_ of how to acquire seed
: that has been hand-pollinated. However, I am not talking about hand
: pollination under ideal circumstances. I'm talking about accidental
: pollination of the plant that was neglected in your neighbor's garden,
: or for that matter in your garden because, i.e. perhaps your Mom got
: cancer and you had to leave for four months to take care of her.
: > I do not believe any tomato can be purchased anywhere in the world which
: > contains a gene spliced from an animal. If such tomatoes even exist, they
: > are currently in the experimental stage, and none has been released for
: > commercial production. Again, your imagination is getting the better of
: Again this is just an example: maybe it's not tomatoes. Maybe it's
: altered Tifway II Bermuda Grass that doesn't go dormant below freezing
: or a bacterium that inhibits frost when sprayed on apple blossoms. The
: point is that it doesn't matter which species has been polluted - it's
: loose in the wild by accident and it could cross pollinate or reproduce
: with another rogue polluted variety of the same species. There _are_
: altered species of bacteria that have been sprayed in open fields on
: apple orchards for research purposes.
: > Again, you apparently do not speak from experience. Anyone who raises
: > heirloom seeds knows how to avoid undesirable cross-pollination. If a
: > species is an outcrosser, it must be bagged, caged, or otherwise isolated,
: > regardless of the genetic make-up of your neighbor's crop. This is very
: > basic stuff.
: Not just "anyone" is aware of just how to avoid undesirable pollen.
: There are plenty of people out there who think they know what they are
: doing but don't. Under ideal circumstances with well educated
: pollinators who use proper procedures, you are correct, but there are
: plenty of sloppy growers out there. I have received seed from supposedly
: educated growers that were definitely _not_ the heirlooms in question,
: regardless of what they thought they were giving me, on more than one
: occasion. Of course I throw those seeds out, but how do you tell someone
: who is forty years your senior they aren't really growing what they
: thought they were growing for the last twenty years or that their strain
: has been polluted?
: > This argument actually gave me a good chuckle. Did you see the movie
: > of the Killer Tomatoes" recently?
: Not recently, but it is a lark, isn't it?
: > Ever heard of biocontrol? For every story you tell about the 'bad' exotic
: > species, there are many stories of the successful use of exotics as
: > biocontrol agents. Not long ago, this was seen by those with an eye for
: > environment as a rational means of reducing pesticide use. Times change
: Beneficial insects, nematodes and bacteria used in the trade are often
: promoted because they are "annuals": They don't survive the winter in
: our climate or they cannot survive the summers - one or the other, so
: they can't get out of hand. If they become a problem, they are gone by
: next year and you don't buy them again, or you buy fewer. But look at
: the new ladybug that has been introduced from Asia. (Native beneficials
: to the US, such as Praying Mantis are primarily for aesthetics: they
: look fierce and hungry, but pound for pound they eat considerably fewer
: detrimentals than the Asian ladybugs.) The Asian ladybug has infested
: many peoples' homes in great numbers during the winter in the Southeast.
: Even if they do eat lots of aphids, etc. during the warm months, they
: are a trial through the winter. They leave bug crap all over the house -
: in cabinets, on tables, chairs, sofas and beds. Who wants to be watching
: "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" while there are no fewer than fifty lady
: bugs flying around the room, dodging every lightbulb that is on? I know
: people who spray for them. And they stink. So, "perennial" beneficial
: introductions have their negative sides too. You _will_ pay the piper,
: so to speak.
: Tracy, you may consider what I have to say as alarmist and uninformed,
: but I am a gardener and I watch what I grow very carefully. I watch the
: spread of introduced species, both beneficial and detrimental. Sometimes
: it's easier to call names and say someone is uninformed than to it is to
: question your own viewpoint. Look at it from a statistical point of view
: - like that mathematician from another movie: "Jurassic Park". There are
: no simple answers. If you mess with the variables, you always end up
: with end products which you can't expect, and some of them could eat you
Sal Schettino,Organic Farmer,don't panic eat organic,email@example.com or check out my homepage: http://www.rain.org/~sals/my.html .