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Today, very late in the summer season, I would like to express my appreciation and profound gratitude to all of the terrifying creatures who make gardening without chemicals possible.

(Forced, nervous smile) Without you, dear beneficial insects, pesticides would lead to a perpetuating downward spiral of increasingly toxic strength, ultimately eliminating the weaker pests and culling out the strong to survive. Without you, I would have to handle and inhale these chemicals, or even ingest them in my food, and regardless of labels that advertise safety, my personal experience is that these “safe” chemicals cause itching, rash, and welts. Thanks to you, dear creepy beneficial insects, I no longer have to endure a pesticide pox.

So let’s show some love for the larvae! (Awkward, stilted hand clapping) Yeah, that’s right! Give it up for the Ladybug larvae! You awesome little dudes can eradicate aphids and asparagus beetles in no time flat. You’re actually kind of cute, the way you guys look like tiny little alligators running all over the fronds in a feeding frenzy. Just stop reproducing on my food, okay? Keep it real, but keep it on the foliage. That’s right, little dudes.

Black wasps! Hell yeah! I’m not sure if Giant Black Wasps are beneficial, but if they look like something Sigourney Weaver couldn’t kill after four blockbuster movies and three DVD’s of special features, I’m taking their side in any argument…(backing away, slowly)…gee, you wasps sure have pretty blue-ish black body segments and enormous wingspans…oh my, aren’t you pretty! Nice wasps! (Run!)

In closing, my deepest gratitude goes out to the invisible microbes who appear only in spirit, who appear only in sunshine as healthy flowers, robust chard, plump tomatoes, and everlasting eggplant. You invisible angels of flowers and fruit form a circle of light that has the strength of iron, the stability of stone, the beauty of fresh air. Without the unseen miracle of microbial balance, all gardens fall to ruin and become so much dust, so much desert. Let us always be mindful of the unseen beings who sustain our everyday life.

Namaste, ya’ll.