I really admire small farmers, especially small organic farmers. You know the very passionate people who work very hard and bring great food to the farmer’s markets around the country. Making a living from large scale gardens (or very small farms depending on your view) is hard work and very labor intensive.
Having been raised by a conventional farmer in a conventional farming community and rather organic minded mother, I have very blurry view of food production. The way I see it farming is excessively hard work for very little gain and therefore something I don’t really want to do for a lifetime. [I do realize this view does bring to mind the question, "And your husband has worked for a church, and still is a youth minister?" Yes I appreciate the irony.]
So in my little garden, I was going to not use any “chemicals”. Really because I know the pesticides tend to be very overused in residential applications. That was until the thistles started coming back. Thistles are “pokey” plants which means they stick/sting you. Some types including the type in my garden are considered “noxious” weeds in some places. They also unfortunately grow from rhizomes (or related plant structure) and aren’t eradicated by simply pulling them up. Well pulling them works if you keep at it but I am impatient, so I went with the Monsanto solution. I used Roundup on the little buggers, which makes my garden non-organic. Only on the thistles, not the weeds I can pull up and eliminate because again like I said, pesticides are frequently overused in residential settings and it is better management practice to simply pull the darn grass up. So I guess what I am doing is better termed Integrated Pest Management.