We have been in a constant battle to defeat the efforts of several chemical companies who have been sending out their sales reps disguised as agricultural engineers to neighboring farms in northern Baja California and are giving out “recommended formulation” worksheets listing their pesticides and chemical fertilizers to the unsuspecting farmers.
Sometimes the best strategy is to set up an experiment and prove to the farmers how to get better yields using less or even no chemicals and only natural fish fertilizer. We chose 2 identical olive trees on a neighbor’s farm in January, growing side-by-side. For one tree we applied the Fish Fertilizer. On the other tree, we had the farmer apply the chemical-based fertilizer from the sales rep’s company. By the 19th of April, after almost 4 months we recorded the following results:
In the top photo, the olive tree has produced a lot of buds which will soon begin transforming into new olives. In the bottom photo (the tree with the chemical fertilizer application), it is difficult to find a single bud on that tree.
Chemical fertilizers just like pesticides tend to weaken the plants and trees making them even more susceptible to drought and insect plague. In this case, the healthy tree that was fertilized using natural fish was in much better condition and much further along to producing a healthy crop of olives.
Farmers are so worried about possible crop losses during the summer season due to insect or fungus infestation that they apply chemicals in anticipation of these problems. However, what they do not realize is that these chemicals will weaken the plants and make them more susceptible to attack which in turn causes the farmer to apply even more and more chemicals to try and eliminate the various plagues. Bad for the plants, bad for the farmers. Good for the chemical salesman. Plants that are fed natural fertilizers are much more resistant to attack by insects and fungus and will show much stronger growth and fruit or vegetable production.
We leave this one shadowy industry and submerge 80 feet inside the wreck of the former U.S. Naval Vessel Kittiwake. This vessel served as a support vessel for our submarine fleet for many years after it was launched in 1945. It had one major accident during its career when collided with a ballistic missile sub when her engine controls were mistakenly wired incorrectly during a shipyard repair — her forward control actually made the Kittiwake go into reverse. After the refit, when the crew put the controls into forward, the propeller actually turned backwards, pushing the ship back into a ballistic missile submarine. A prouder mission was its 1986 recovery of the black box from the Challenger disaster. This ship was purposely sunk along the coast of the Grand Cayman Island as a dive attraction in shallow water.