High Country Gardens Statement On Neonicotinoids
At High Country Gardens, we are pioneers in sustainable gardening. Our employees all care deeply about what we do and gardening’s connection to the environment is a critical element of the passion we bring to our work.
Like many of our customers, we have become more and more aware of and concerned about the potential link between neonicotinoids and the loss of pollinators, especially bees, as well as pollinating birds that rely on insects for food.
We have worked with all of our growers and suppliers to better understand if, how and why neonics are used in the production of any of our products. We can happily say that all of our perennials and wildflower seeds are neonicotinoid free.
Historically in our plant production, neonicotinoids have only been used in reaction to combat specific pests, as opposed to proactively, as a matter of course.i
What are Neonicotinoids?Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that are chemically related to nicotine. They are systemic, meaning plants absorb them, and insects that consume the plant or elements of the plant such as its leaves or pollen, are susceptible to their effects. Although there are no conclusive studies, there is enough evidence that these insecticides may be adversely affecting pollinators that some countries have banned certain 'neonics' until they can be proven safe. The U.S. currently does not have such restrictions.
At High Country Gardens, we pledge to:
- Identify which products are neonicotinoid-free on our website so that our customers can make an informed choice when planning their garden.
- Work to inform our customers about the dangers of neonicotinoids in the home garden as much of the damage from these pesticides occur when unknowing homeowners purchase and use (and often over-use) common pest control products that contain neonicotinoidsii.
- Have a 100% neonicotinoid-free supply chain by the end of 2016.
High Country Gardens is dedicated to environmentally-responsible gardening practices. As such, we want to minimize the use of any and all chemicals and instead work in harmony with nature to produce results. Neonicotinoids were introduced to be a safer alternative to the previous generation of harsh insect-controlling chemicals. Now, research is driving the horticulture industry to find a better solution. At High Country Gardens, we are committed to being a part of that solutioniii.
i. For instance, mealybugs have proven to be particularly difficult to eradicate. At times, our cactus growers have had to use spot application of neonicotinoids in their greenhouses (a controlled environment) to eliminate this pest.
ii. For a list of common home pesticides that contain neonicotinoids, check out the Center for Food Safety's Fact Sheet.
iii. For further reading, we recommend some of the excellent articles on the topic available at Scientific Beekeeping.
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