It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Kansas City… rainy, bright grey, sweet-smelling spring. While March was warmer and sunnier, the regrowth and renewal were missing. It felt like we had skipped right into the comfy days of late May, the edges of summer. The air was warm, but the ground still felt dead.

All that has changed! My city has been reborn: lush, muggy and verdant, floral-scented and noisy. While my daffodils are long gone, the tulips have bloomed, as did my grape hyacinth. The family of house finches that built a nest on my patio last year have returned. Each morning I awaken to the the cackle of grackles, the song of starlings, and the firing hammer of woodpeckers.

Between storms, Tom has been making progress on our raised beds.


He completed his plans and we took off for the home improvement store to pick up the lumber. While he gathered the boards, I scoped out the garden department.

Unfortunately one of these was planted in every single tray:


For shame, Home Depot! I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but Neonicotinoids are bad news. While they’re broadly known for their damaging effects on bee colonies, Neonicotinoids are actually detrimental to almost all ecological life. Just last week, the EASAC released a report on the lethal damage these insecticides pose to entire ecosystems.

Simply put: there is no place for Neonicotinoids in agriculture; they are deadly and unsustainable. The agrochemical companies who create them are profiting off of the destruction of whole ecosystems. They may have the deep pockets needed to file lawsuits “protecting” their product, but the science doesn’t lie. Plain and simple: they are killing the Earth in favor of corporate greed.

So while it might seem like a nice gesture for Home Depot to label these poisons—seemingly giving the consumers a choice—it’s nothing more than a thinly-veiled marketing ploy. They can claim they care about the environment, while still getting that agrochemical money. The plants that they’ve doused in Neonicotinoids—and from what I can tell, it was all of them—were outside where pollinators could still access them. Their very existence is a problem, as they are still active participants in the ecosystem. Not to mention, the language on the labels is highly deceptive: let’s be frank, it’s propaganda. For the uninformed hobby gardener, Neonicotinoids probably sound great, which is just what Bayer and Syngenta want you to think.

But, I digress…

The makings of a Raised Bed

The raised beds have been coming along nicely. Since our yard is on uneven ground, we’ve had to sink parts of the boards to keep things level. The center bed is on such a slope that we’ve built up one corner with a partial rock wall!

Here’s an in-progress shot:

Rock Wall Beginnings

The tiny rocks in the well were from Home Depot (we found a broken bag with a small hole in it and scored the whole thing for only a $1.50!) All the rest—those giant slabs—were found on property. Most of them we actually dug up ourselves! Gotta love that Missouri limestone!

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Talking ‘Bout Raised Beds


Gardening on a Dime