Gratituesday Meets the Spring Cleaning Carnival


This week, Gratituesday is teaming up with Katie’s Spring Cleaning Carnival to talk about “getting the pesticides out”. The carnivals came together on the same day…so we’re working with it. You may think that thankfulness and pesticides have absolutely nothing in common…ooh but you’re wrong! It just so happens that I’m very grateful that we DON’T have to use pesticides. See? The two do go together!

SPRING CLEANING BUTTONRead more of what I wrote about getting rid of pesticides over at Katie’s!

Learning about all the pesticides in many of our foods and the harmful ways they can wreak havoc on our bodies can be incredibly disheartening. 

I’m thankful that we don’t have to throw our hands up in dispair! Do you know what I’ve discovered while growing my own garden? It is really NOT hard to grow vegetables without pesticides.   Just don’t use them – plain and simple. There WILL  be bugs. Squish them, flick them, step on them, scream at them…but you don’t have to use poison on them. Poison for the bugs means poison for the food. Watch carefully (especially under the leaves of your plants) and squish them before they get out of hand. Plant marigolds in and around your garden (because many bugs don’t like them!).

And what about the food in the store? How can you afford to buy organic foods all the time? Well, there’s no hard and fast answer to these questions.   Our health food co-ops have made organic eating much easier for us, not to mention…affordable!  Katie has a list here that may help you decide which fruits and vegetables should be a higher priorty when it comes to buying organic. Plus, read through this series I wrote on Feeding the Family to see how feeding our family of six a *mostly* organic diet on a limited budget works for us.

And what about household pests like ants and roaches? Sprinkling borax in the “buggy hotspots” of your home is very effective!

Trying to avoid DEET? Try cinnamon oil! Mosquitoes don’t like it!

I’m so thankful that there are healthy, safe alternatives to pesticides. I’m thankful that I’ve learned the harmful effects of pesticides to our bodies and to the earth.   I’m so thankful that we have a choice about what we eat and what we do.

But I’m VERY thankful that no matter what the pesticide usage is in the world, and no matter what I choose for my family…God is still in control. We put our trust in Him!

Please join us for Gratituesday and/or the Spring Cleaning Carnival! Write on your blog about what you’re grateful for…and/or about how you’re working to get rid of pesticides! Come over and link up with us here!! 

AND…there’s a giveaway going on over at Katie’s place that includes Heavenly Homemaker’s Guide to Gardening and Preserving Ebook. Leave a comment over there AND over here for chances to win!


  1. carmen says

    Wow, my comment is about the same as the first one. I LOVE that you made the statement about GOD being in control. Sometimes I read blogs like this and get discouraged because it can be expensive and my husband doesn’t always agree with the changes. I always submit to his wishes but I tend to worry about it. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t need to worry, just trust God. By the way, I am thankful for a wonderful husband who returned home from Afghanistan last Tuesday.


  2. Brighid says

    I’d love a chance to win your ebook! This year I’ve greatly increased my garden, and it’s mostly organic. I now know things about free horse manure that I never knew before!


  3. says

    We belong to a local CSA (they’re organic & sustainable) and get a huge amount of produce for the little bit we pay. We’ve also planted a garden – it’s our first year so anything that grows will be a bonus.

    It’s actually a joy to know that we’re eating foods that are good for our bodies and helping the environment. :)


  4. says

    I have not been able to get my act together to plant a spring garden this year, but I can hardly wait to get some plants in the ground for fall! Looking forward to growing our own veggies so that we don’t have to worry about what got sprayed on them or what kind of soil they were grown in. They’ll come from our own backyard.


    Danielle Reply:

    I would test the soil.. to see what it’s made up of though. Some people do not have good soil.


  5. Jamie Swenson says

    I would love to win your ebook. Although I didn’t plant a garden this year, we did join a co-op so we will have fresh chemical free produce all summer and fall!


  6. Karin says

    I am thankful that I have a choice about what I eat and what I give my family to eat. I am thankful for the support and encouragement and information that I find on your blog. I am thankful that I have a bit of land that I can use for a garden … we are building one this week and it will be the first time in several years that I am planting MORE rather than less. I am thankful that my preschool boys like to catch little bugs!


  7. says

    What do you dilute the cinnamon oil with for bug repellent? Or do you dilute it?


    Laura Reply:

    I think it works fine to just use it straight, and just dot it onto your skin here and there.


  8. says

    Thanks for the info on marigolds! I will be buying some the next time I go out.

    We have two apple trees that I would love to harvest apples from. The extension office advises spraying them EVERY WEEK in order to get a decent harvest. A lady at the local feed store suggested spraying them with Neem, which is an ancient pesticide and approved for organic gardening. Any comments? I really want some apples!

    I’ve seen the paper bag technique, but seriously, are those going to stay on the trees through our hard summer thunderstorms???

    And has anyone heard that putting eggshells in the hole when you plant your tomatoes will help with something, maybe some kind of fungus?


    Trina Reply:

    Chives are beneficial to apples, but not immediately. If they’re companion planted for a few years, the chives prevent scab.

    Crushed eggshells around plants will deter slugs. If you make a tea out of crushed eggshells and pour it around your tomato plants, it can give your soil a calcium boots, which helps prevent tomato blossom end rot.


    Trina Reply:

    Wow – I just realized that I suggested giving your soil and tomatoes calcium boots! That *should* be BOOST! ;)


  9. says

    I get overwhelmed with all of the information out there. I figure if I baby step my way, I’ll get there eventually. I was a person who said “I’ll never buy organic anything.”

    Never say never! I have 2 pounds of organic carrots in my fridge right now. Thank you for all of the information you provide!


  10. says

    Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to garden organically. We have been doing this for a long time, but in the past few years with several little ones four and under, it seems a struggle at times to take care of the garden and preserve the harvest.

    For the mom asking about apple trees, I have heard of using plastic sandwich baggies to protect the fruit. Honestly, even a local organic orchard owner said that some pesticides are required to grow apples if you want a decent harvest. Personally, I would find an organic/sustainable orchard in your area and ask what works for them. Talk to the farmers at the farmers market. If they don’t have answers, they might know of someone who does.


  11. Sherry C. says

    I didn’t get marigolds this year but plan to next year. So far so good with the garden. I just picked (and ate) my first red tomato this morning.

    Thanks for the tip on the cinnamon oil. We have a horrible mosquito problem here (south Louisiana).


  12. Rachel says

    We are trying to plant more than tomatoes this year. We are adding zucchini, cucumbers and herbs. I just have a small problem with rabbits and possums. I have been eying the gardening and preserving e-book for some time. Thanks for the tip on the cinnamon. It comes just in time! Blessings


  13. Jennifer says

    Dying to have your ebook…would love to win it. Laughing about the “free horse manure” comment…I about died the first year my husband came home with horse manure…but it works!


  14. Rebekah says

    I’m hoping to win your e-book. I’m growing a garden for the first time this spring/summer and could use a lot of help! :-)


  15. says

    Hi! Nice to “meet” you. :-) I linked to a post of mine from last year that talks about using coffee grounds to keep flea beetles at bay. I also use catnip to keep off mosquitoes, and plantain for mosquito bites (in case I forgot the catnip).


  16. says

    I would love to win your e-book and I apologize for being off topic with the carnival this week. I did not know about the carnival when I was writing my post and I am just so grateful and excited about my Mother’s Day weekend that I didn’t want to change the post. That being said, on my list of to-do’s in the coming year is greening my thumb by working on a home garden project with the kids. Plus, we are very into trying to be green with home cleaning. Lots of vinegar and whatnot for us. The kids love helping with vinegar-water spray bottle dusting and cleaning!

    Have a blessed week!


    Laura Reply:

    No need to apologize…I was hoping everyone would post their normal Gratituesday posts as always! Thanks!


  17. Cathy says

    Thanks for the chance to win the e-book! This topic is one of great importance to me as I look to improve my gardening skills and increase our organic food consumption that way.

    To Ami who asked about egg shells for tomatoes, it helps supply the calcium they need. Plenty of calcium helps prevent blossom end rot.


  18. says

    Enjoyed this post very much! How do you use the cinnamon oil? Just dab it on or dilute first?


    Laura Reply:

    Just dab it on here and there!


  19. Jennifer says

    I’ve love to have your gardening e-book. We’ve had one successful year of gardening and one that basically a failure. :) I’d appreciate all the tips I can get. Plus, I’d appreciate the ideas for preserving.


  20. Brittany says

    I love the cinnamon oil tip! No chemicals, and it has to smell so much better than regular insect repellent! :)

    I’d also love to win a copy of your gardening book. I’m still new to this whole gardening thing!


  21. Amanda says

    I’d love to win your gardening e-book. I can’t grow a garden this year (moving), but I have overly ambitious plans for next year already.


  22. Rebecca K says

    Winning a book on organic gardening sound fabulous! flea beetles (we think) have already eaten all of our raspberry plant leaves.

    I’ll have to look into the coffee grounds suggestion.


  23. says

    Oh, yeah, another chance to win your e-book! Pick me! Pick me! Our CSA starts in two weeks, and I’m going to have a lot to can and preserve… :D


  24. mdvlist says

    I’m going to try that borax tip– the ants moved into my kitchen a few months early this year!


  25. jean gill says

    We planted our tomatoes upside down in the new containers that are sold at Walgreens, and they are hanging up.


  26. Janelle says

    Last year I didn’t use any pesticides, fertilizers, etc. on my garden. It did OK. Probably wasn’t the best…but it was my first try at gardening.


  27. says

    We are planting our first garden this year, so I hope to be able to keep it organic! On another note, I’m wondering if you have any advice for getting rid of dandelions organically. We have SO many on our lawn (just moved to this house) and I’d love to get rid of them if possible.


    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Two things:
    1. My friend has a manual tool that he uses to pop the dandelions out of his lawn, but I don’t know what it’s called exactly. I think he can do it while standing though.
    2. You won the giveaway! Congrats, and enjoy the eBook!
    :) Katie


    Greta @ Mom Living Healthy Reply:

    Awesome! My first giveaway win :) Thanks!


  28. Melissa W. says

    We planted a garden this year and are trying to move towards being organic. We recently bought a worm farm to add “black gold” to our soil.


  29. MomOfFour says

    I have been gardening for awhile, but can always use great tips. It is very important to me to keep chemical free and that can make gardening a challenge, especially as I try to enlarge my garden – it gets harder to keep up with all those bugs, especially green bean bugs and squash family bugs (not there real names).

    Also, thanks for the cinnamon oil tip. I wonder if that will work on pets….


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