Thursday, May 28, 2009

A must-see movie for lawn care business owners

You won’t be seeing this movie in the local cinemax, but you might get to see it at a regional or state conference. Or maybe even on PBS, who knows? I’m talking about a 1-hour documentary entitled “Hudson: A Chemical Reaction.”

We haven't seen it yet, but we understand that it chronicles how Hudson, the small town in Quebec Province, successfully implemented restrictions within its jurisdiction on the use of traditional lawn care chemicals. The town cited health and safety concerns in taking the action, and battled several lawn care companies, eventually winning its case in the Supreme Court. That event, occurring a generation ago, has now been committed to legend, and is viewed as a milestone victory by anti-pesticide forces.

Since Hudson’s successful effort to ban pesticides, the Canadian Provinces of Quebec and Ontario have also essentially banned the sale and use of these products, and other provinces are expected to follow their lead.

Paul Tukey, who is emerging as North America’s organic lawn care guru, is the force behind production of the movie. He is the founder and editor of the magazine “People, Place & Plants,” author of the book, “The Organic Lawn Care Manual,” national spokesman for and co-host of a HGTV program . . . and now he’s into cinema.

Tukey collaborated with filmmaker Bett Plymale in making “Hudson: A Chemical Reaction,” which reportedly will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival this coming September. (Plymale is also listed as director of photography on Tukey's "People, Place & Plants," website.)

From a business as well as a health standpoint, Tukey's decision to switch from operating a traditional lawn care company (which he claims seriously harmed his health) to emerging as perhaps the most recognized proponent of organic lawn care in North America, appears to be working out very, very well for him. — Ron Hall

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