Posted: 06/05/2012 at 10:34
From the earliest forms of forrest farming tens of thousands of years ago right up to the turn of the 20th century, man has managed his crops employing various organic growing techniques, living harmoniously with the environment around him, without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides
Throughout history ancient peoples have used organic farming systems to support advanced civilisations. The Akkadian farmers of Mesopotamia were composting in 5000 BC and legend has it that King Nebuchadnezzar organised the collection of vegetable waste to turn into compost to feed the hanging gardens of Babylon!
The Inca's collected guano from the coastal regions of Peru to enrich their soil and were able to support a population in the areas they inhabited far beyond that of today.
Chemical fertilisers and pesticdes are toxic and harmful
In the 1950's big oil companies discovered they could make a whole bunch of new chemical based petroleum products and sold everyone on the idea that we needed them.
Unfortunately they didn't tell us that the harmful and toxic chemicals they were selling us, that we spray on our produce, that we put into the ground, would have massive detrimental effects on the ecosystem and human health.
Chemical fertilisers and pesticides kill vital microorganisms in the soil and insect life and find their way into our water supply via sewers, lakes and streams. Ultimately they end up in the oceans poisoning the sea life. Studies show that many pesticides used not only on your fruit and veg but on clothing fibres and other materials can cause cancers, neurological disorders, weakening of the immune system, asthma, allergies, infertility, and the list goes on and on.
Thankfully the powerful interests that have pushed these products did not succeed in eradicating organic farming completely and since the mid 1990's it has seen a massive resurgence in popularity as more and more people have become aware of the adverse effects of using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Organic growers work in harmony with mother nature
Instead of destroying the environemnt around them, organic growers work with the ecosystem and are constantly aware of minimising disturbance to the Earth's natural balance. They use various techniques to achieve this, including:
- Building the soil by adding compost, manure, mulch and other organic fertilisers adds organic content to the soil and helps limit soil degradation and erosion.
- Crop rotation, where crops are rotated season after season including fallow periods and crops like clover or rapeseed being planted as they draw nitrogen from the atmosphere and put it back into the soil.
- Biological pest control. By developing nutrient-rich soil to grow strong, healthy crops and encourage wildlife to help control pests, animal welfare is at the heart of the system and a truly free-range life for farm animals is possible.
- The use of artificial chemical fertilisers, pesticides and genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned.
Organic produce is more nutritious and tastes better
The benefits of organic growing techniques are not only to our environment and health but also to the food that is produced! Organic fruit, vegetables and herbs have better taste and aroma, contain higher levels of vitamin C, B12 and other important nutrients, and stays fresh for longer!
Organic growing is the only way to grow!