We emphasize that we go beyond “organic management.” The organic movement is primarily a marketing rather than scientific movement. It has failed to address many issues including worker rights, environmental pollution, human health risks, monoculture, soil tillage, biodiversity, and annual crop cultivation.
Those who have worked on organic farms know that the use of “organic” pesticides is commonplace. The application of chemicals such as neem oil, tobacco powder, winter/summer oils, pyrethrum extracts, etc is considered acceptable by organic protocol. While considerations can be made regarding the protection of beneficial species (e.g. pollinators/bees), invariably non target species are impacted.
Ironically, in a diverse system pesticides can have the most impact. Pest insects reproduce in greater numbers and at higher speeds than predators and other many other beneficial insects. It is therefore pest species who rebound most quickly after pesticide applications. Without predators and other beneficial insects in the system pest populations grow at a rate even higher than prior to chemical application. In addition, faster reproduction in pest populations results in their rapid evolution regarding pesticide resistance. Eventually it is primarily non-target species who are susceptible to pesticides. Rotating mode of action, chemical used, target groups, etc; is only marginally effective at reducing pest adaptation.
Non-host species, crop rotation, fire, complimentary plantings, and primarily an environment that encourages healthy populations of beneficial organisms are the tools PrairieGreens Permaculture uses to fight pests. With these systems in place pests are kept under economic threshold levels. Biodiversity takes time to develop and demands an intact ecosystem for effective protection. The system is always in flux; results are not instant, but they are elegant and beautiful.
Parasites, predators, parasitoids, competitors, pest-diseases, etc.; when our system matured pests became as vulnerable as any other monoculture population. Pests can evolve, but so do their rivals in an intact ecosystem.