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13/12/2012 at 18:06

Dear gardener, 

I'm sad that I can't write about anything now, because of your small or bigger problems of winter time and frost in many of your areas We have not a winter. So I was inspired by a friend in New Mexico to look at the fact why we growing organic?
I can't imagine this hasn't been addressed here before, but I don't remember it and couldn't find an old thread. It would be great to hear as a new thread :why we all do this thing called "organic gardening/farming".

I am an organic gardener/farmer for:
* health for me, my children, the future
* environmental/ecological concerns- to help protect the soil, our water supply, beneficial insects. Keeping our Mother Earth safe, vital and healthy.
* living in harmony with Nature and our Earth
* economic- we can't afford to destroy the Earth

Not to mention it is cheaper when I don't have to buy chemicals, pesticides, etc- just gather and recycle leaves, garden debris, kitchen scraps and an occasional load of manure.
Organics is a way of life for me.

Sometimes I make my way carefully through my land. Dragonflies and moths fly up in a flurry. Honeybees buzz from blossom to blossom. Part the leaves and I see insects, spiders, frogs, lizards, and many other small animals bustling about in the cool shade. Moles and earthworms burrow beneath the surface.

This is a balanced crops-field ecosystem. Insect and plant communities maintain a stable relationship here. It is not uncommon for a plant disease to sweep through this area, leaving the crops in these fields unaffected.

And now I look over at the neighbor’s field for a moment. The weeds have all been wiped out by herbicides and cultivation. The soil, animals, and insects have been exterminated by poison. The soil has been burned clean of organic matter and microorganisms by chemical fertilizers. Often, I see gardeners and farmers at work in the fields, wearing gas masks and long rubber gloves. These lands, which have been farmed continuously for over 1000 years, have now been laid waste by the exploitative gardening/farming practices of a single generation.

With the best organic greetings, ThaiGer.

"To know what we know, and know what we do not know, that is understanding."(Confucius)  Eco Thai German Farm ,  farmersvoice , My album (password ThaiGer)

 

 

14/12/2012 at 13:55

My vegetable garden is organic for the same reasons as you. My main fertiliser is horse manure from my and my daughter's horses which live in my field. People have talked about organic gardening on this forum, but under other headings. People say they don't use insecticide sprays as they can harm good insects like bees and ladybirds. People have written about wildlife and birds, feeding birds and leaving places in the garden for small animals and insects. But it hasn't appeared under an "organic heading".

14/12/2012 at 15:41
I think many of us try to garden organically, as much as possible anyway. I pick up snails etc instead of using pellets, use organic fertiliser, refrain from chemical sprays ...mildew prone plants for example have been replaced, water sprays for spider mite, etc. I'm increasingly aware of hedgehogs, foxes, insects too. Thaiger, I read your post with great interest ....it's the way we must go. Not sure about separate heading for organic growing, busy lizzie. Let's just advise, encourage and practise growing naturally as though there is no other way.
14/12/2012 at 15:55

Not sure that growing naturally has to be considered the only way or the way we must go-I would agree that most of us do not want to reach for the chemical bottle at the first opportunity but if we are to wait for natural predators to do the job for us we may have a long wait

There is nothing wrong with chemicals solutions-and I have said this so often -if they are used sparingly and in accordance with the instructions

What am I to do?-use a slug killer or wait for Mr Hedgehog and his mates to do the job for me-I would prefer the latter but often have to use the former.

For me it is all about balance-my feeling is that most gardeners are a mixture of organic and non -organic if you like-I doubt there is a gardener who just resorts to chemical controls .

I have never seen a farmer or gardener in  this country wearing rubber gloves and gas masks-I have to say that sounds a bit of an extreme description

14/12/2012 at 17:35

Hello,gardeners, I wanted to provoke a little (in the positive sense). Golf King say "There is nothing wrong with chemicals solutions..." I say yes! That's my deepest conviction.Golf King say "what am I to do?-use a slug killer or wait for Mr. Hedgehog and his mates to do the job for me..." I say it's wrong! That's my deepest conviction.Golf King say "for me it is all about balance..." I say, what ballance you mean? 50% chemistry and 50% organic?

Hi, Golf King, not angry me,please! But this is the discussion,I want provote. I not intend to talking bad about you (100%sure)!  O.k.,this forum is not only exact organic/natural. But I think that a reflection should be worth to us, which ballance is morally and ethically justifiable. Can it be not a worthy goal to strive for a healthy ballance between intervention and non-intervention in the natural processes? I am also a practitioner and not an idealist. I also know that a chemical pest control is easier and faster to produce a result. But also every worm or larva has a specific purpose. They eat not only our sheets. They live in our Habitat and provide for a balance in this. There are yet purely organic ways to regulating a balance between what we want to achieve and what the animals are doing. Or a natural ways to find, the actions of the "vermin" (and plant diseases) to curb. Golf King, I want no instruct you, no, but sometime it is good to think about one aspect, and to do not always, what it has always don, just because you have the best results achieved this. You understand, please? Best regards, ThaiGer (hope, nobody bann me)
Eco Thai German Farm , farmersvoice , My album
14/12/2012 at 17:52

You are entitled to your opinion as I am mine

You garden your way -I'll do it my way-the problem I have with totally organic gardening is yes it is fine on paper-but practicalities means it is not always possible

I am not going to get into a long discussion about "bad chemicals" or percentages of what I do-it is not as simple as that.

What I do have a problem with is being preached to as if all I am such a bad person for using slug pellets or a spray to kill greenfly and what about chemical weed killers?-are they bad to?-often you will see glyphosate mentioned on here to get rid of perennial weeds or are we to live with bindweed,couch grass,ground-elder etc

And I feed the birds,have nesting boxes ,keep chickens,spread compost around the garden-so do consider myself as helping things along

I think what you are seeing with your neighbours gardens is extreme-cannot say I have seen the same conditions here in the UK.

14/12/2012 at 19:42

Hi Golf King, fine,that you not angry me! Thanks. I understand you 100%, but I not agree 100% :"What I do have a problem with is being preached to as if all I am such a bad person for using slug pellets or a spray to kill greenfly and what about chemical weed killers?-are they bad to?-often you will see glyphosate mentioned on here to get rid of perennial weeds or are we to live with bindweed,couch grass,ground-elder etc".

But now we have 2.40 in the night time (early morning)-I think about and answer you tomorrow...good night,ThaiGer.

15/12/2012 at 12:22

Hello King of golf, I'll never call you a bad person killer because you sometimes use chemical pest control and weed.

I wanted only, perhaps, that you seek out a small piece of your garden, to try out an organic method. Not more and not less.Maybe you only think about my following tip.

Are you clearing up a wild weedy patch. It's tempting to use weed killer. But to stay organic you need to consider the alternatives to weed killer. So here's some information about reclaiming those wild plots that have been taken over by perennial weeds and trees. There's actually a range of organic weed controls here for you to use.

Of course you will need to balance the size of the job with the number of hands you have to work and the time you have. Sometimes it can be a daunting task. But weed killer can beexpensive, especially on larger areas. And of course - weed killers arepoisonous.

There are two approaches if your ground is going to take some time to clear.Do smaller manageable pieces: Keep at it, give yourself a pat on the back when a piece is done - you'lleventually get there.
A fast trackmechanised approach: Perhaps you want to use a garden tiller to break in a new plot.

Weed Barriers And Sheet Mulch : First you need to remove any debris from the site - building rubble and rubbish. Then cut the weeds down to the ground.
Choose from:a scythe –orshears –or a powerful enough rotary mower – a sharp spade ( because densely weedy ground is often dry, roots snag a fork & tap rooted weeds e.g. docks & thistles, are best dug up whole) to help you get this job done.Now lay down over all a light excluding barrier such as P.V.C. sheeting, or one of several porous light excluding mulches.

Weed barriers may need to be left in place for 6 months to 3 years. After that they should be removed so that your ground can be improved organically. But weed barriers willlook good whenyou:cover the barrier with ornamental mulch, plant through the weed barrier, or you can even grow on top of the sheet by using containers or, edging the surround and covering with compost. The weed barrier is a temporary solution and you will look forward to laying out and cultivating permanent beds for your flowers, vegetables and herbs.

Best organic greetings, ThaiGer

"To know what we know, and know what we do not know, that is understanding."(Confucius)  Eco Thai German Farm , farmersvoice , My album password ThaiGer

15/12/2012 at 12:35

You seem to have missed my whole point-I am not talking about clearing large areas of land-just a few pernicious weeds that can't be controlled just by digging out-there are no organic weed treatments to my knowledge that will do this job

I do actually know how to clear/clean land thankyou

Modern chemical weedkillers are not poisonous -well only to the weed

I assume you use modern medicines,petrol in vehicles and garden machinery ,paint on buildings?-all acheived by a chemical and scientific process.

You lost me on the rest of your posting-just kept being repeated-perhaps something shorter and more concise next time??

 

15/12/2012 at 12:41

...have understand, sorry, Thaiger

15/12/2012 at 12:49

In my view one of the difficulties about being organic in the UK is the small size of garden plot that most of us have to work on.  I gather that perhaps ThaiGer is working with a larger plot than the average UK garden.  

It is very difficult to encourage sufficient  wildlife (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as insects) to control pests in a naturall and sustainable way if the gardens surrounding you are not practising wildlife-friendly techniques too.  I am very fortunate at this garden as my immediate neighbours encourage frogs, toads and hedgehogs as well as birds and insects.  

In my previous home the neighbours' gardens were all paved over or gravelled and regularly sprayed - there was no way that there were enough birds living there to keep pests under control.  No way for hedgehogs to roam from garden to garden as all fences were hedgehog-proof and neighbours used copious sprays and slug pellets.  The only way for me to keep slugs off my lettuces was to do the same, or not grow any at all.No ponds or damp ditches for frogs and toads to hide. 

15/12/2012 at 13:40

HelloDovefromabove,This fact (It is very difficult to encourage sufficient  wildlife (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as insects) to control pests in a naturall and sustainable way if the gardens surrounding you are not practising wildlife-friendly techniques too.) I have not considered! Now I understand something more.Thanks, ThaiGer.

 

15/12/2012 at 14:57

I think ThaiGer you are trying to relate what sounds like a small arable farm in Thailand to gardens in England-and the two probably don't relate-the seasons, the conditions,the plants we grow,the gardens we have and the attitudes are just not the same

But don't give up on discussing things-what happens in other parts of the world can still be interesting.

15/12/2012 at 15:03

Thank You!,ThaiGer

15/12/2012 at 15:08

The question Thai has asked is 'why should anyone be organic'. I can't see any rational reason why anyone should be.

I don't use any chemicals in my own garden. Because I don't grow any vegetables.

My garden is devoted to idle pleasures. I grow a few beautiful flowers, and I like to watch the bees and butterflies, and other animals. I'm not motivated by the idea of flogging myself to death to grow some potatoes, that someone else is happy to grow for me, at a fraction of the cost. The most efficient (and economical) way of producing food is by allowing experts (farmers and market gardeners) to do it for you, commercially.

If someone lives in a place with abundant sunshine (certainly not here), then they have the opportunity to become a farmer, to create a business, and to grow food to trade with the rest of the world.

There was a wonderful program on BBC last week about The Salad Bowl of Europe. It's a region in Spain where most of Europe's salad crops are grown in vast greenhouses, on an industrial scale. The program is actually being repeated on BBC HD at 5.30pm tonight (Saturday):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p9f4n

You may not be able to see that link outside the UK. The BBC website says: "This episode examines what it takes to keep seven billion humans alive with food, energy and water. 40% of the Earth's surface is now devoted to growing food... the south coast of Spain, what was once an arid landscape is now home to the world's largest greenhouse array"

15/12/2012 at 15:53

 I have a vegetable garden because it makes me feel excited at seed time and happy at harvest time and home grown tomatoes taste better - don't know why. Also, where I live in France runner beans and purple sprouting broccoli are unheard of and bought broad beans, peas and sweet corn are tough. Frozen peas are tiny hard bullets, not a patch on Birdseye.  

But, I must admit to using weedkillers on paths and drives. But the drive is not growing anything that anyone is going to eat. I have a flower garden as well which I weed by hand.

15/12/2012 at 16:00

http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y487/Busy-Lizzie/IMG_4017.jpg

My flower garden. Hope it downloads. It's been a bit difficult recently.

15/12/2012 at 16:10

http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y487/Busy-Lizzie/IMG_3975_zps68d95e21.jpg

My vegetable garden. I prefer to use weed supressing material, it also keeps water in in this hot summer climate. My horse manure is full of weed seeds that still grow after a year on the manure heap! The little plants next to the tomatoes are French marigolds to repel insects.

15/12/2012 at 16:21

...I'm jealous of your nice garden, well done! - A big different to my "garden of wilderness"

15/12/2012 at 16:26

Thank you Thai Ger. Your garden is lovely too, but different because you live in a differnt country with different growing conditions. It's very interesting to read about gardening in another part of the world.

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