Getting back to Good

Today I am brewing a plant quarantine recipe I found in my grandmothers things. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I most likely inherited my green thumb from my Grandma Billy. This particular recipe is from Jerry Baker, via Kmart. 

Cut a fresh, or not so fresh cigar (not one that has been smoked) into quarters. Place a quarter of the cigar into a pint of boiling hot water and one tea bag and allow to marinate and cool. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of Listerine [I assume the old ucky brown kind], 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap [like Dawn], as well as 1/2 teaspoon of Kelthane.

Now I had to stop here and Google ‘kelthane.’ What is it? According to Wikipedia it is Dicofol, “an organochlorine pesticide that is chemically related to DDT… a nerve poison…can be stored in fatty tissue.”


I have to wonder, especially as Grandma Billy was my family’s own Master Gardener, did earlier generations actually know how harmful these chemicals were? No wonder cancer is so heavy on the scene. I can envision millions of housewives being so enamored with the convenience of chemical living that, like today, no one really took the time to learn what they were exposing themselves to. Prefab insect spray on the houseplants once a month and voila! Poisoning yourself! 

Today, I’m leaving out the heavy chemicals in my life, in baby steps. I’m no master gardener, just trying to get rid of the whiteflies that have invaded my potted houseplants. Jerry recommends using the aforementioned recipe as a spray, but I’m going to try pouring 1/2c -1c into the plant soil, depending on the size. I’m hoping the tobacco won’t hurt any of my newly adopted tropicals.


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