Saturday, 23 May 2009

Old fashioned ideas work better than modern products

By Marc @ GardenDesk

It is amazing how many gardening products, home and garden pest deterrent products and health and beauty products there are on the market today. Some of the products for sale work well I suppose, but most of them are a waste of money. Some products peddled to the masses have harmful chemicals in them, but others are secretly derived from natural components.
These are the products that I find most interesting because many of them have their origin in something our grandparents used to do. Many products underlying ingredients are herbs or other plants. This makes me want to research old fashioned home remedies that have been tossed out by modern society as, well, old fashioned. I’m finding that “old fashioned” does not mean “no longer valid” like society teaches today.

The category where this applies the most is probably in medicine. I know that “natural healing” is often dismissed as quackery, but I think there is quite a bit of wisdom in using natural remedies for common ailments. A small example is a natural wart-remover that I witnessed. I was amazed to see my wife tape a piece of potato on a wart. I was even more amazed when the wart disappeared! Do you know of other natural home remedies for common ailments?

Another category where old fashioned ways are usually better than new expensive products is gardening. This is the category that I am more knowledgeable in, but I have to admit that I am only recently learning the natural remedy for problems in the garden. Sure, organic gardening in general flies in the face of modern chemical aided gardening. I have written much about this in the past. I’m looking for more specific things. Possibly a good example is how I kept rabbits out of my first organic garden by spreading large amounts of human hair around the perimeter. Another example is with my current battle with slugs. Until I began fighting them, this was a common sight in my lettuce beds:

An easy remedy that most people know for getting rid of slugs is putting out shallow trays of beer. The slugs are attracted to the beer and then “drown” in it. Recently I read on a new garden blog that slugs won’t usually cross over crushed eggshells. Since we have lots of eggshells and no beer in our kitchen, I am trying this.

I got this idea from a blog that I just found called crazy organic gardening ideas and recipes. Lynn has dozens of posts about using natural or household items in the garden. There are some pretty creative ideas there.

I haven’t really listed many home remedies to use medically, in the garden or around the home, have I? That’s because I am pretty much a beginner with this. At first, I wasn’t going to write this post since I don’t personally have loads of information to share. After thinking about it a bit more, I decided to bring up the topic anyway.

Here’s where I need your help. I know that many of the readers here at Simple Green Frugal Co-op are experts in this area. Please help me finish this post by commenting and telling the other readers an example of how you use simple ideas or items to cure something, to rid a specific pest from the house or garden, or any other non-traditional cheaper alternative to modern products.

Thanks for the help. Together, we can come up with enough good-old-fashioned wisdom that would make our grandparents proud!

Keep Growing,