Glyphosate-Roundup/possible harms and alternatives

Recently our new President Joyce Johns received an email from Ella Mfene of Drugwatch with links to information about Bayer’s herbicide Roundup whose active ingredient is glyphosate. According to Ella’s guide (linked below), sometime in 2023 Roundup will be unavailable to residential users and only available commercially. But the EPA has yet to update the Roundup label warning of possible harm to health, even though Drugwatch claims recent studies indeed show harm. At Valencia Community Gardens, we do not use Roundup or other commercial weed killers but rely on mulching and good old-fashioned weed pulling and scuffle hoeing.  Even the alternatives Drugwatch describes have limited effectiveness, come with caveats, and can be unsafe to apply without protective gear.

Here are the links Ella sent, the first updated October 30, 2023, and the second dated September 5, 2023: and

And here is the body of Ella’s email:

. . . My name is Ella, and I work with Drugwatch; a free web resource committed to ensuring the safety of families and providing vital health information. As you may know, pesticides can pose risks to both humans and animals. To address this concern, we have created a comprehensive guide that provides information and resources about Roundup, and its potential health effects. Additionally, we have created a guide that offers organic, homemade, and agricultural alternatives to mitigate these risks. Please feel free to explore them: I believe that these pages would make a valuable addition to your website. . . .

You can reach Ella at

Her second link gives information on Integrated Weed Management, and both links offer details of lawsuits against Bayer (formerly Monsanto).

Garden update 20 October 2023

Greetings from Deb

Gorgeous October days we’re having with no freeze yet, though a frost has blackened some plants.   Time to put the garden to bed.   We are harvesting all the green tomatoes, taking them home to ripen slowly in sheds and garages.  Those of us who took them home will share–just  ask.  Vines and plants are pulled and piled up to dry before we chip them.  (Tomato vines, unless good and dry, are notorious for clogging the chipper.)

GARLIC:  2 plots in the big fenced area were planted last week.  We watered the rows previous to planting and will continue watering for the next few months.  We should see them poking up by November.   It’s a favorite crop and so nice to see green growing things in February and early March.  We harvest in June.  The bulbs came from the Mennonites and from organic grocers.   Though we may plant a couple rows of conventional grocery store garlic as an experiment.

The Greenhouse is closed up tight for the winter and Fran has lots of seeds starting there.  Lots of leafy greens–spinach, lettuce, chard and some herbs like thyme and tarragon.  Should make for good eating this winter.  There are beautiful chard and collard greens to harvest.  They should be good for another month.  Will they return in the spring?

Putting the Garden to bed means pulling up plants, covering soil with mulch/manure, digging up Bermuda grass which has encroached, rolling up hoses and doing whatever projects to improve the space we come up with.  Ron has good ideas for projects.  We’ll be at it through November and maybe longer into the winter.  It’s been a great year at VCG.

In case you missed it, at the Oct. 7 Board Meeting Joyce was elected President and Patricia was added to the Board.   

New VCG President Fall 2023

Joyce Johns has agreed to take over duties as President following a board-meeting vote on Saturday, October 7, 2023. Outgoing President Deb Christensen agreed to continue making garden reports (though reluctant to accept the title Garden Manager). Thank you, Deb, for your dedicated service as President, and thank you, Joyce, for stepping up. Claudia will continue as Secretary.