Economic Multipliers (97)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

It’s possible to accidently be a negative economic multiplier for your neighbors.


The last couple years as part of a gardening project, I planted a bit of zucchini, squash and cucumbers. Planted in non-traditional ways (upside down in hanging baskets, a big bucket surrounded by mesh, etc.), I wanted to see how ‘easy’ it is to grow food since I have never believed that it is particularly ‘easy’ to produce anything: The ease is always in the ‘harvest.’

As part of the projects, I got savvier about all the different kinds of ways bugs could damage and destroy plants and their ability to produce a crop. It’s nice that I got that knowledge.

What I did not realize though until toward the end of the growing season last year was that by virtue of planting those few plants and creating a ‘feeding environment’ for those bugs, I may have put my neighboring gardener’s plants at ‘future risk.’

The bugs that ‘attack’ those kinds of plants can travel long distances. They produce larvae which can lay dormant through the winter months, just waiting to ‘attack’ next year’s crops.

As a non-gardener who was not tilling the soil around the plant roots to uproot larvae and who was not applying any (or very limited) pest control, my simple lack of knowledge regarding keeping those ‘pests’ contained may have made gardening just a bit harder for my gardening neighbors in the future. I hope not but I cannot be sure.

I did my best to kill off any ‘pests’ that I saw:

    • I captured and killed hundreds of bugs as the growing season progressed,

    • I dissected the plants and killed off the larvae that I found in the stems of the plants before I disposed of them, and

    • I dried out the soil from the buckets on a tarp before I set it aside for later use (larvae need a moist environment to survive).

I was able to do all these things because it was a small project. Likewise, if the pests themselves had originally come from neighbor’s crops (they came from somewhere), I may have actually helped them get rid of bugs.

I cannot know.

The only thing that I do know is that lack of knowledge can cause a person to accidentally be a negative economic multiplier for their neighbor … and that is something that I would never want to be.


Economic Multipliers 13 ( ) is also a piece on ‘neighbors.’