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January 12, 2010
March 2, 2009

I am a lifelong enemy of lawns, for many reasons. For brevity, just imagine if every sunny front yard was planted with herbs and veggies and fed compost and manure, instead of being seeded with blue fescue and fed fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and ‘grub killer.’ Lawns tremble when I approach. I even drive my cars over our crabgrass, just in case it is getting any ideas.

I discovered a new reason to despise inorganic landscaping. I’ve been wanting to shoot some waterfowl and try to make it taste good. Think about it; organic, free-range meat raised in the most sustainable fashion – foraging its own sustenance from what grows naturally in the local ecosystem. I don’t have much time to sit in a blind, but I thought I might be able to jump some ducks on a stalk through the marsh during one of these seasons. I was going to do some research to find out if any of our locally appearing species are abundant enough to justify a little bit of hunting.

One afternoon I was stacking wood and paused to watch a big flock of Canada geese fly overhead from the middle school fields to the Town Cove, where they hunker down for the night. Mixed in with the honking geese were mallard ducks, hanging on the ouskirts of the v-formation. It suddenly struck me: they are ChemDucks. As native species they have found the smooth expanses of every soccer field and golf course perfect for waddling around and nipping at the soft grass that stays green year-round. GreenCAPE can help you with some information about how many pounds of pesticides are expended nationally on golf courses alone, and the figures aren’t for the faint of heart.

Now my research has turned to finding out how I can have a duck tested for Round Up. Stay tuned. Maybe the same lab can test my perch for mercury, but that’s a story for another day.

This is why the use of nasty poisons on someone else’s yard ends up being my problem. I don’t want this stuff in our estuaries, I don’t want it killing my honeybees, and I certainly don’t want to eat it for dinner in my pate de canard.

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