gardening ethics

Thomas Bjorkman Thomas_Bjorkman at cornell.edu
Thu Nov 19 17:06:30 EST 1992


In article <1992Nov18.174905.1 at ducvax.auburn.edu> , dr at ducvax.auburn.edu
writes:
>I think the following were mistakes:
>
>1) The clearing of the great southeastern forests for the
mega-cultivation 
>   of cotton, resulting in a number of eco-disasters (Charasmatic
example: 
>   the extinction of the carolina parakeet.  Related disaster: The
massive 
>   soil erosion in the 20s-30s, caused in large part by the continued 
>   clearing of woodlands from marginal areas.
>2) The over-grazing of the american west with cattle.
>3) The introduction of the european rabbit into Australia.
>4) The introduction of kudzu. (as a high-yield crop)

I believe that the main motivation of introducing kudzu was as a
conservation crop to prevent the soil erosion of your item 1.  The
conservation folks were right about it being a good cover crop!  

Clearly introduction of exotic plants is sonething that must be done with
great care.  But it can also be useful.  We would have a rather bland
diet if we used only plants native to the US--corn is from Mexico, wheat,
rice and soybeans from Asia, Potatoes from South America.  Crustless
pumpkin pie would be a big item, but I think I might still be hungry.



More information about the Plantbio mailing list