Rich Lassor cont.
"I think sometimes the impression is that organics is a watered down version of the conventional approach; that over time science has found better more powerful products to control and treat our landscape problems. But that couldn't be farther from the truth," he said.
"To me, working with organics, and this incredible system of soil and plants and sun and air, is very powerful. But that's the catch, working "with," -- we're not controlling it, we're working with, aiding in plant and soil health."
Lassor said that conventional agriculture is focused on profit margins and fast, short-term results, and that it ignores the "intricate and amazing" relationship between soil and plants. "All life on this planet is based on this. All life!"
Nature Works is exclusively organic, offering Berkshire clients full service organic land care. "Organics is an approach, an understanding, so I want to be able to provide that to my customers in every element of the care of their landscapes," said Lassor, who has recently begun to focus on helping his customers grow food, offering raised beds and orchard installations and care.
As Nature Works grows so does his family. His two boys: Gabriel, 6, and Julian, 3, are learning the importance of organics to their health. "Gabriel knows plantain lily and will apply it to a sting or bruise. They know a 'weed and feed' lawn doesn't have that medicine."
Lassor is in the process of developing an organic fertilizer called Midnight Magic, to provide a workable product for people looking to use organic methods.
He has written articles for the Berkshire Botanical Gardens on organic fertilization, taught a four-session workshop in organic land care to homeowners at the Springside Garden Club in Pittsfield, and is helping the Richmond Consolidated School with a community gardening project that broke ground in April.
He will teach one of the NOFA/Mass homeowners' workshops during "Statewide Organic Lawn Days" in April 2011, as part of a TURI-funded project, and looks forward to educating homeowners and professionals alike throughout the Berkshire region.
"It was a huge risk for me, quitting my job, and I put a lot of faith in this natural system. But it's rewarding to feel like you're doing something because you know it's right, regardless of the dollar. It is incredible how energizing it is to be able to do your own work and have passion with your work. I always enjoyed working outside, which is a tremendous benefit, but now what I'm doing is helping people heal themselves and heal their homes and their soil, and that's what's most rewarding of all," he said. "It's about health, and it's about life."