I’m a gardener and a cook as well, so I have thought about this quite a bit:
DN2:46.0: 184.108.40.206. The Middle Section on Ethics
DN2:46.1: There are some ascetics and brahmins who, while enjoying food given in faith, still engage in injuring plants and seeds.
DN2:46.2: These include plants propagated from roots, stems, cuttings, or joints; and those from regular seeds as the fifth. They refrain from such injury to plants and seeds.
DN2:46.3: This pertains to their ethics.
As a layperson, I would not be included under “while enjoying food given in faith”. However, it’s still a deep issue even for laity.
I notice that after studying DN2, I am much more careful about gardening. Before reading DN2, I would weed-wack with abandon. After reading DN2 my approach to gardening has changed from “desire/aversion based” to “permaculture”. So the health and happiness of the garden itself (with insects and soil and birds, etc.) becomes paramount to align my actions with “non-injury”. For example, with this new context, careful pruning actually helps prevent injury in plants by eliminating dense foliage that would harbor pests.
The result of this change of view has been dramatic. The garden is messily vibrant. Yield is also reduced, since intercropping decreases growing area that would otherwise be dedicated to monoculture.
And if the garden was ever invaded by something monstrous like the Giant Hogweed, I sadly would indeed do my best to make it disappear from the garden. Even then, the intent would be to protect the garden from injury since Hogweed is quite invasive and harmful to people and native species. But even in dealing with such an invader, the intent would be “please return to your home”, rather than “be gone from the world”.
I also found the following helpful in gardening:
DN34:2.3.82: After appraisal, a mendicant uses some things, endures some things, avoids some things, and gets rid of some things.
Ethics requires appraisal. Constantly.