Re: [gardeners]Cabbage Loopers [was: Seeds]

Marianne Lepa (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:52:50 -0500

At 12:45 PM 1/16/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Just when I think I know what is meant by organic someone or 
>other comes along and surprises me.  This is also what concerns 
>the hell out of me about the Federal Organic Certification 
>Program (as opposed to state certifications).  
>I have to ask:  what is the problem with using some plastic in 
>the spun row covers?  
>Frankly, I can't imagine what other effects that density of 
>muslin would have, like shading the plants and blocking air 
>I am using standard row covers and so far, the state organic 
>cert folks haven't complained about it.

I don't think his preference for the muslin has anything to do with
certification standards, more from just his own personal beliefs. A lot of
the long standing organic types have developed their own standards from a
time before there was such a thing as certification. This guy makes a
reasonable living selling shares to like-minded people who support him in
his efforts, so I only wish him well. 

As far as the viability of the muslin goes, I had a similar question about
air circulation and damp. It seems to me that muslin would stay very wet
for a much longer time than the spun bonded polyester, and I, personally,
would be leery of using it too. He said the cost wasn't too much more than
that of the row cover fabric and that it worked just fine. (To be sure,
this area isn't known for it's summer rainfall). I didn't question him any
closer on the topic, as his politics are about as rigorous as his
practices.  :-o

To his credit though, he and his wife do a lot of experimenting with
different things with the eye towards damage-free organically grown fruits,
vegetables and herbs. I learn a lot from their experiments so I just take
away what I can from their experience.

Southeastern Ontario AgCan zone 5b