Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Garden Cloche

plant garden cloche
There’s no doubt that the garden cloche is underutilized.  It’s been around forever and works very well, yet there’s really only a small group of people gardening with them. Garden cloches have remained popular in the UK, where they were thought to be first used for gardening.  Either our friends across the pond have managed to keep the garden cloche a secret or Americans just have not been exposed to them.  The latter seems to be the case, considering most people I’ve come across are pleasantly curious of its function and normally ask where they can buy one.  It’s much like when you travel to a foreign country and see a simple product that everyone uses in that country and you wonder why no one back home uses it and you try to find it when you return home but it’s nowhere to be found.  

An example of this is a product I call the “bug zapper”. About 10 years ago In Thailand I noticed that all these shops were selling these devices that looked like a small tennis racket that were made out of plastic and wires.  I soon found out that inside the handle there were two double A batteries and when a small button on the side of the handle was pressed it would send an electrical current through the wiring (the “strings” of the “racket”) and create a small shock when something touched it.  This is what I called the “bug zapper”.  It’s a clever idea that works very well to kill flies and mosquitos and is ever present throughout Thailand.  It’s light, affordable, portable and much cleaner than smashing a fly or mosquito.  Why wouldn’t you want to use it?  Ten years ago it would have been extremely difficult to find a bug zapper and still is pretty tough today.  But they can be found.  Sometimes our eyes are opened to new things to us when we explore a little.  It’s not that some things are secrets and others don’t want us to know about them, but rather that we have simply forgotten about them or do not have a knowledge that it is an option.

Another alternative that I think has delayed the popularity of garden cloches are chemical pesticides.  One purpose of the garden cloche is to keep bugs and pests away from eating your plants.  The pesticides and insecticides have become so affordable that it’s much easier to spray a chemical on your plant that will last for days, weeks, months and you’ll have enough for the entire year.  The downside of those chemicals of course is that you’re spraying this chemical that you have no idea what it’s made out of directly onto your plants and vegetables.  Garden cloches on the other hand will keep your plants insect/pest free the 100% organic way. 

There are multiple reasons why the garden cloche has been underutilized, but I believe that it is an excellent tool that has huge benefits.  As people take more time to examine their health and use gardens to increase that healthy organic lifestyle, garden cloches will play an important part in growing good food for families.

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