Parasitism is when an organism devours resources at the expense of the
environment. Conventional gardening methods, and unfortunately, large
scale organic gardening optimize parasitism. Not only do they damage
the immediate ecosystem, but negative effects ripple outward, having
deleterious effects on the entire world. Monoculture farming, the
intensive use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides,
and the transportation of product to massive processing plants followed
my transport to marketing venues thousands of miles away all result in
our food system draining the ecosystem without returning any benefit.
Parasitic relationships result in either the parasite exhausting the
host environment resulting in both parasite and host dying, or the
evolution of the association into one that is commensalist. We are at a
point in our food production a transition from parasitism is imminent.
I am hoping that we can move towards commensalisms rather than death.
is often explained as “eating from the same table.” In these
relationships, those sharing an environment co-exist without one
organism taking resources away from others in the environment. Organic
gardening, at its best, is a commensalist relationship. Adding organic
matter, cultivating diverse crops, and rotating crops to prevent soil
depletion are all approaches that move gardening from parasitic to
commensalist. Urban gardening can go a long way towards moving food
production from parasitic to commensalist.
Posted by Erin
@ 01:33 PM MST