“I’ve been involved in the polo world my whole life,” Harris said. “I’ve played professionally, instructed others in the game, and worked extensively with horses and on farms for decades. That means I’ve had to use RoundUp and other toxic chemicals along fence lines to keep weeds under control. When I heard about a product that was safe and effective, I was anxious to try it. I wanted to eliminate my personal exposure to the chemical solutions.”
Harris took a sample of EcoMight is a non-selective natural herbicide that contains only ingredients on the U.S. EPA’s minimum-risk exempt list, to his home in The Villages in central Florida. The Villages is the world’s largest over-55 community and the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States with more than 115,000 people.
“At first, it looked like it wasn’t working, but a few days later, everything was dead…
I had some areas that stayed clear for 90 days”
“I sprayed it along my home’s fence lines,” Harris said. “At first, it looked like it wasn’t working, but a few days later, everything was dead. I was used to spraying glyphosate every three weeks or so, but when I went back out to check on the areas sprayed with EcoMight three weeks later, they were all still dead. A few weeds popped up after two months, but I had some areas that stayed clear for 90 days.”
After his successful personal experience, Harris brought the product to The Villages Polo Club. Paige Boone, Director of Polo, saw EcoMight as a natural addition to its ongoing initiatives to be as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible.
“We operate about 200 acres here at the Polo Club,” Boone said. “We’ve been trying to approach the care of our property in a natural, organic way. For example, we started composting all our horse manure, and we use sludge instead of conventional fertilizers on our property. Implementing EcoMight was a very natural next step for our organization.”
The ranch hands and grooms at the Polo Club are responsible for spraying all the fence lines for the paddocks, around the barns, and in the outdoor arena for weed control.
“We had been using glyphosate or other broad-spectrum herbicides, but we really wanted to move away from chemicals to reduce our staff’s exposure,” Boone said. “It’s worked wonders for us; we love it.”
“I’m spraying every three months instead of every three weeks”
Harris agreed that the individuals who were spraying herbicides at the Polo Club were the first priority in terms of reducing exposure, but he cites all the others who benefit as well.
“The highest priority at the Polo Club was to protect those handling the herbicides on a daily basis,” Harris said. “However, our kids, dogs, and horses all come in contact with toxic chemicals when they are used. In the equestrian world, we care deeply about our horses. They are our life, and we spend a lot of money to look after them. We don’t want the toxic chemicals washing into our water system and in our environment. Once we used it, it was a no-brainer.”
Harris has continued to spread the word through his own network to help educate others about the problems with glyphosate and to share the solution he’s found.
“I think there are two misconceptions out there,” Harris said. “First, people believe that natural products don’t work, and second, that they are too expensive. EcoMight dispels both of those issues. Although it does cost more initially, the fact that I’m spraying every three months instead of every three weeks means that I’m spending about half the amount, which makes EcoMight cost-effective. And, it works. In fact, it works better than anything I’ve ever used.”
If you like this article, please Spray It Forward…