Archive for the ‘Organic Gardening’ Category
Organic food products are the trend these days after studies have shown that the age old practice of using fertilizers and pesticides happen to be harmful to our health. This means that we have to change our approach and try something else.
The concept of organic vegetable farming is not new given that ancient civilizations have been doing it for years. We somehow forgot that thinking that modern science could help us produce better crops.
But if we go back to the basics, we realize that the resources need to make this work is right before our eyes.
First is the soil. Although 2/3 of the Earth is made up of water, the remainder is what we use for infrastructure while a certain percentage of that is devoted to agriculture.
The second thing you need is water. The ancients used an efficient irrigation system so that water from the rivers would go to the land they planted on. These days, we have the technology to divert water to these areas using pipes. When it has not rained for a long time, we are able to make artificial rain.
Third is sunlight. We may not control its movement but if we are able to plant our crops in an area that has sufficient exposure to the sun, whatever we plant will grow.
But between the period of putting the seeds in the ground and before these are harvested, farmers have to be on their guard. The crops are threatened by insects. This is why people are advised to use other insects, birds and toads.
Organically made fertilizers also come to play here and some examples of them include the application of compost, manure and cover cropping.
The soil where the vegetables were grown and harvested may not be ready to plant the same crops so maintain its fertility, farmers are also encouraged to rotate their crops.
To make sure that farmers who practice organic vegetable gardening are doing it right, the Department of Agriculture together with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture or IFOAM that has been in operation since 1972 sees to it that certain standards are in place.
Some people will argue that organic farming is not able to produce the same amount of yields as compared to those who use fertilizers and pesticides. This is true however, in times of drought, these crops are still able to survive because there is still enough water underground. This means farmers will still be able to harvest and there is a steady supply of goods in the market.
It is expected that the demand for organic vegetables will grow in the future. This is as more people become of food safety issues and how this affects the environment.
You can do your share by trying organic vegetable gardening in your backyard. The things you need are very affordable. You just need to practice what farmers do in the fields.
In fact, such information can now be found in books and online so do some research and put this into practice. It is fun and rewarding to see that what you worked on for weeks is now being served on your dinner table.
Back then, you have to remember that there were only a few skilled jobs and one of them was being a farmer.
Organic vegetable gardening has many advantages than conventional farming methods. This article will discuss that in the hopes that more people will realize that it has a lot of health benefits. First, organic vegetable gardening does not use any fertilizers or pesticides. The ingredients used in making these products are harmful to humans and though they have been washed, people are still at risk of absorbing them when they are eaten. A study shows that organically grown vegetables have 50% more nutrients and vitamins. This means that you are lesser at risk of developing certain health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Also, organically grown vegetables taste much better because it is not tainted with antibiotics. Think of it like powdered juice versus the kind that is naturally squeezed. The first one is mixed with a lot of artificial ingredients while the other is straight from the source. It should be pointed out that fertilizers and pesticides makes the soil unfertile. If this happens, we don’t get the right number of vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables we consume. If this is true, why did people use fertilizers and chemicals? Because back then, the use of such methods was thought to help increase food production but studies later on have showed there was a flaw which is why this is being corrected. You can easily spot organically grown vegetables and other food items in the grocery as they are placed in a separate area. You will notice that compared to other products, they cost a bit more but don’t you think it is better to buy such products that are healthier? Organic farming is not only practiced for vegetables. This is also being done for fruits and animal livestock as well as research has showed that milk from organic cows contain more anti-oxidants, CLA, Omega 3 and vitamins compared to those that use hormones, antibiotics and the remains of other animals. Given that, people should pressure their government representatives and even those who have not yet shifted towards organic farming to do so immediately. The government for its part has done their part by offering incentives and subsidies to farmers in exchange for no longer using genetic engineering, irradiation and sewage sludge. This changes how the game is played because the goal here is sustainable development and the only way to make sure the soil used is always fertile is through crop rotation. This means planting one variant this season and changing it with another in the next and so forth. It isn’t hard to implement. Farmers just need the willpower to open their minds and make the change. You can also get into organic vegetable farming yourself by doing this in your own backyard. You just need to buy the supplies, prepare the land, protect it from insects and other threats so you will be able to harvest it in the next few weeks. Whenever you buy organically grown vegetables, don’t forget to wash them before it is cooked. Although it is chemical free, you don’t know what kind of compost was used to help it grow. You hit two birds with one stone when farmers and you decide to go into organic vegetable farming. It keeps both the people and the environment healthy.
Anybody can do organic vegetable gardening at home because the principle behind this is not that different from what they do in the farm. The only difference is that you work in a smaller area and you get to choose what you like plant.
The first thing you have to do is find an ideal location. A lot of people do organic vegetable gardening in their backyard. To make it work, whatever you are planting should get at least 6 hours of sunlight everyday and access to water.
Just like the ancient civilizations that relied on an efficient irrigation system, you too should do the same by making sure there is adequate drainage because if you don’t, you will have to do organic vegetable gardening using a raise bed.
When your ideal location has been found, it is time to cultivate the land. For that, you will need your gardening tools and a pair of gloves to pluck out the weeds on the ground. This might take a few days to make sure the area is ready for planting.
You will only know if the ground you are going to plant your vegetable is a good spot by testing it with some compost and mixing this with the soil. Should it be able to integrate and stabilize itself with the soil, this means that you can start planting your crops and see it grow in the succeeding weeks.
If you don’t like to buy compost from the gardening store, you can make your own using coffee grounds, dead leaves, grass clippings, food waste or even manure. They also serve as excellent fertilizers.
As for your vegetables, take note that some of these may not be suitable in the land you are planting these on. This is because of several factors that are beyond your control such as the weather, pests and other plant borne diseases. You can avoid making this mistake by doing some research on what vegetables are ideal to plant in your area and asking fellow organic gardeners.
One way to protect the organic vegetables you are planting is by planting a variety of them at a time since some of these protect each other from pests. Such practice is better known as crop rotation especially when you want to adapt with the weather in your area. Another defense system that works is getting the help of Mother Nature as birds, certain insects and even toads have proven to be useful.
If you live in an area where wild animals may eat your vegetables, you should put up fences so they are not able to get through. Other tools you can use are animal hair, baby powder and deodorant soaps.
Part of preparing the land is removing the weeds. But remember that new weeds grow after some time so you have to inspect the area from time to time.
Planting your own organic vegetable garden at home will surely save you money as these are quite expensive in the supermarket. If you have some excess stocks when it is time to harvest them, maybe you can give some to your neighbors or make some money by selling it at the local market which isn’t that bad given that you don’t shell out that much cash for this investment.