This Article is About
organic farming
soil fertility
food crops
plants and animals
visionaries
gardeners
sustenance
weeds
Organic Farming – Feed The Soil, Feed The Plant
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Organic Farming – Feed The Soil, Feed The Plant

What Is Organic Farming?

Whenever you talk about farming there is one word that always pops up, whether talking about contemporary or organic farming. Chemicals. The difference between the two ways of farming is their stand on chemical usage on the farm or garden. In contemporary farming, chemicals are seen as a necessity, without which the crops maturity, yield and disease resistance are greatly compromised.

In organic farming it is the complete opposite. Organic farmers, known these days as gardeners to most, strongly oppose the use of chemicals in any form in farms and gardens. Whether the chemicals are for fertilizing the soil, controlling pests or strengthening the crops or crop seeds (like in the creation of GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms), gardeners have re-discovered ways of doing without them.

How Do You Go About Farming Organically?

During crop propagation of food crops on a farm or garden, there are a number of obstacles that need to be addressed to ensure success. These include ensuring sufficient yield, soil fertility, pest control and weeds to name a few. These are usually addressed by buying chemicals in one form or another to apply of the farm. But as I mentioned earlier, chemicals are a major No in organic farming.

Gardeners globally have come up with very ingenuous ways of overcoming such obstacles. Let me show you a new way of looking at crop propagation. Before science, before technology, even before civilization, there were plants and animals roaming free in the world. Generation after generation they self propagated themselves better than we ever have since, and it happened without the use of chemicals. There was an abundance of flora that provided more than just sustenance to humans. What gardeners are doing is learning from this complex system that Mother Nature put in place, and we try to replicate the system.

During observation, visionaries like Bill Mollison, Dan Jason and many other gardeners found that Mother Nature had a lot to teach us about feeding ourselves. One such lesson was in regard to soil nutrition. There are a number of plants that absorb nutrients from the air, process and release them into the soil for other plants to use. A few good examples are beans and lemon. Both of these plants absorb nitrogen from the air through their leaves, process it and release it into the soil through their roots. So instead of using nitrogen fertilizer, why not grow beans and lemons strategically, to fertilize the soil? For example, you could inter-crop beans and maize so that the maize benefits from the nitrogen released into the soil by the beans.

In times preceding the beginning of the dry season, trees shed their leaves. This is not an accident. The trees are using their leaves as natural fertilizer and mulch at the same time. The organic matter in the leaves decomposes into nutrients that go into the soil while reducing the amount of water that evaporates from the soil by condensing the water that is evaporating and returning it into then soil, all at the same time. Gardeners now use organic mulch on plants to fertilize the soil and reduce energy costs of irrigation.

Most pests that destroy crops can be kept at bay using very simple and safe techniques, For instance, to keep pests away from tomatoes you can use a blended solution of either tomato plant leaves, garlic, chili or a combination of the three. This blended solution, once strained, can be sprayed on the tomato plan to keep away harmful pests, and you will have effectively kept your tomatoes safe. Isn’t this a better way of pest control compared to spraying the plant with pesticides that are harmful to us when consumed?

Organic farming techniques, such as permaculture, are being tested, taught, employed and modified by farmers the world over in the effort to produce healthier food for ourselves and restore Mother Nature to her former glory. These methods are not for use only in the farm. There are domestic activities, such as backyard composting that you can employ in your kitchen or small veranda of your flat to provide you with fresh produce to use in your kitchen. One can place items like window boxes to grow fresh spices, red worm boxes for composting organic kitchen waste and many more in your town flat. These small steps make a world of difference collectively.

So let us do our part, to eat better, live easier and create a better world for coming generations. Merv The Gerdener.


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