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Mice: A Farmer's Best Friend - The Josephine Porter Institute

Mice: A Farmer's Best Friend

Rudolf Steiner speaks in passing about mice being a "farmer's best friend" -- a rather surprising statement. Many farmers harvesting and storing grain find mice to be a nuisance. Some historians reason that Egyptians venerated cats for their protective role around their granaries. 

If we take a step back and consider the relationship of predators in the garden, we see that ladybugs eat many harmful pests. But when we see a spider's web, we notice that the spider catches not only harmful bugs but also some beneficials. Some people therefore want to exclude spiders from the garden. This is a mistake because spiders tend to catch most whatever is superabundant which tends to be the source of a problem in the garden. Yes, there will be some random beneficials caught, but, on the whole, spiders tend to catch whatever is superabundant, which has a balancing ecological activity.

If we keep that balancing image in mind, mice likewise eat the seeds of whatever is most abundant in the garden. As such, they are eating the seeds of the most prolific weeds. 

When we consider Steiner's indications on "pest peppers" (remedies made to combat pests and weeds), you take the weed seed and destroy them either by fire or by rotting. Consider the rodent: the rodent lives primarily off seeds and yet, due to its incredibly inefficient digestive system, the rodent must consume its own feces to extract nourishment. What this really means is that rodents leave behind much of the vital potential of seeds when they eat them. The manure of rodents in the garden are nature's pest peppers

If you were to wish to make your own weed pest peppers, all you would need is some mice in a suitable living chamber and feed them, say, all your thistle seeds. The thistle manure would be an organic weed "pepper" specialized to your farm. No need for fire, you can use what Nature herself does every year! 

Read more here.

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