This is the article I wrote for our local magazine The Beacon issue #12

Create an Insect Friendly Garden and Help Saving the Planet

by Ewa Bekiesch, Permaculture Consultant, Designer and Educator
 
Our Life Depends on Insects
Bug extinction is one of the most extensive extinctions on the planet. It’s scary because you don’t notice it until it’s too late (Worrall, 2017). According to a recent study (ScienceDirect, 2019), over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction. Having in mind, that most of our food is insect dependent, this is an alarming and very worrying prognosis.
“If insects were to disappear, the world would fall apart — there’s no two ways about it,” said Goggy Davidowitz, a professor in the departments of entomology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. That means that most of us would starve to death and the world would fall apart when the insects disappear. In addition, flowering plants indirectly put food in our bellies by making up the diets of the animals we eat, from cows to chickens and even most freshwater fish. (livescience, 2015).
There are a few reasons for insects decline with one of them being the use of pesticides. While spraying plants in the garden to protect them from the bugs you don’t want, many other insects, birds, and other animals like frogs or lizards may be killed either directly or indirectly by feeding on the poisoned insects or drinking contaminated water. Apart from that, insecticides and pesticides are not only dangerous to the environment, but they are also hazardous to a person’s health.
What Can You Do?
  • Stop using insecticides and pesticides. There are many other organic and homemade options to protect your plants.
  • Design your garden accordingly and bring diversity into your garden! Different plants will make your garden look interesting, will attract the pollinators, birds and other creatures to help maintain a healthy ecosystem
  • Improve your soil to help your plants thrive. Strong plants are less vulnerable and are able to produce their own defence system.
  • Create a natural habitat for the wildlife to help them survive. A bowl with fresh water and some rocks to create a landing platform for the thirsty little creatures will keep them hydrated during the hot summer days. A little compost corner in the garden or a pile with branches or rocks will attract small animals which feed on the insects and give them some shelter if needed.
  • Start to love the biodiversity in your garden! Watch these fascinating little creatures interacting with nature while enjoying the fact doing your part in saving the planet.
  • Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for more info on how to live with nature, plan your garden and other sustainable living related topics. We organize courses, workshops and can also help with the design of your garden. Our website: www.permaculturehaven.com

References:
Worral, 2017, Without Bugs, We Might All Be Dead, https://www-staging.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/08/insect-bug-medicine-food-macneal/
Francisco Sánchez-Bayoa, Kris A.G.Wyckhuys, 2017, Biological Conservation, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718313636?via%3Dihub
Adam Hadhazy, 2015, What If All of Earth’s Insects Keeled Over?, https://www.livescience.com/52752-what-if-all-insects-died.html

 

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