The Marblehead Organic Lawn Videos: The Ones the Chemical Industry Never Wanted Anyone to See
STORY OF FIRST U.S. TOWN TO BAN PESTICIDES NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE
It was, nearly a decade ago, one of the transformative moments in my personal career as an organic lawn care advocate. When the crew for our HGTV television show, People, Places & Plants, visited Marblehead, Mass., to profile the coastal town’s transformation to organic lawn care on all publicly owned property, it appeared to be the grand opportunity we were waiting for to spread the word far and wide.
Folks would watch the two episodes about Marblehead’s Living Lawn program and they’d then decide to take similar action in their own towns, on their own lawns. The anti-pesticide movement that began in Hudson, Quebec, back in the 1980s would finally take hold here. That was our dream.
Except that HGTV wanted none of it.
Fearing pushback from sponsors like Miracle Gro, Bayer and others, the HGTV producers rejected the Marblehead episodes and they were never aired during our show’s three-year run on the cable network.
Those episodes are available on-line, however, and serve as an excellent tool for communities considering legislation to prohibit pesticides:
The episodes center around Pat Beckett, above, a mother of two, who took up the pesticide fight after questioning the ubiquitous yellow lawn signs around her neighborhood, as well as Chip Osborne, the local greenhouse grower. Osborne, who now makes his living as a consultant to municipalities that are making their own transition to organic protocols, tells a deeply personal story that led to his own transformation away from synthetic chemicals.
Check out the episodes, that run approximately 6 minutes apiece, and then send them around to folks who hope to reduce pesticide exposures in their communities. All these years after Marblehead’s example, we still have far too many toxic substances getting released into the landscape.