Organic Farming Reaching New Heights

Organic Farming Reaching New Heights

As more people are realizing the importance of becoming environmentally friendly, organic farming is reaching new limits. An increasing amount of the population are demanding that their food be free of additives and genetically modified organisms, and this growth has triggered a need for more organic farmland and products.

With the onset of organic farming, products were sold for higher prices at the markets, and people were forced to pay exuberant fees in order to be environmentally friendly. Over the last few years, this has slowly changed, as more farmers are opting to use green products to grow their crops. This has resulted in a significant drop in prices, and making organic products readily available to more people.

Many individual people have turned to organic gardening in order to grow their own organic products in their gardens or plots of land. For example, growing tomatoes is relatively easy and many people are convinced that fruit and vegetables grown without the use of synthetic materials are much tastier and better to eat.

Many people believe that the lack of synthetic fertilizers and insecticides used for organic gardening is also much healthier for people. It is also a common belief that livestock on a diet of organic materials are healthier and happier than animals that are not, and more people are opting to buy meat from animals that have been on an organic farm.

As weeds and bugs are allowed to return to their natural habitats, their aid in enriching soils and encouraging growth are becoming more apparent. Whereas before they were considered to be the pests, they are now proving beneficial to the growth and promotion of new crops.

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Is Organic Food & Organic Farming the Future?

Is Organic Food & Organic Farming the Future?

Businesses such as GuideMeGreen green directory and the co-op offer a real alternative for people concerned with these issues and with businesses that combine a strong ethical dimension in tandem with making profits.

Here are some of the main features of organic farming:

• Organic farming severely restricts the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

• Instead, organic farmers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.

• Animals are reared without the routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers common in intensive livestock farming.

Synthetic dyes and ingredients such as Sudan1 were in the national news in February and can cause cancer. See for further details. Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.

Why Buy Organic?

It has never been easier to shop for organic food, and there has never been so much choice. Every food category now has an organic alternative. Its also common sense; organic food is good food. Good to eat, good for the environment, good for the small-scale farmers and the farm workers who produce it.

Chefs across the country are committed to using organic ingredients because plants from healthy soils and organically fed livestock provide us with more flavorful food. Organic foods allow true flavour to shine through unlike other non-organic foods that look and taste good but are often full of E numbers and artificial flavourings and ingredients.

By supporting local, sustainable and organic farms in your local community you also support the larger community of which we are all a part. By eating organic food you are providing the healthiest choice for your family and supporting the farms that provide us with healthy and ecological neighbourhoods.

The ‘go local’ food movement is flourishing – over 15% of people buy organic food locally and this number continues to rise as the number of farmer’s markets, box schemes, cafes and restaurants serving organic food increase. GuideMeGreen helps you to find locally produced foods which are fresher, healthier and more economical. It cuts down on transport costs and ‘food miles’ where an average shopping basket can include fruit and vegetables transported from all over the world.

The big supermarkets in the UK are about to introduce there own vegetable box schemes. This is good because the supermarket schemes should encourage more people to buy organic food and are likely to raise the profile and public awareness of the benefits of organic box schemes in general. These new organic consumers will hopefully become convinced of the benefits of organic food and become more interested in and aware of the advantages of buying local too. The supermarket schemes could therefore be a positive first step on people’s journey to buying organic, local food generally and perhaps moving on to subscribe to independent box scheme businesses – as well as supporting other local food outlets like farmers’ markets or independent retailers.

The supermarkets themselves may find their businesses becoming subject to more far-reaching changes, as their customers are exposed to the principles and practices which inspire the original local food and grassroots box-scheme movement.

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Why Is Organic Farming Bad – If It Is?

Why Is Organic Farming Bad – If It Is?

Why is organic farming bad, if it is? We have been told that organic farming is good for our health. Proponents have trumpeted the message that organic farming is good for the environment. How could it possibly be bad?

It seems that, increasingly, life is being divided into traditional and alternative. Each side claims their methods to be better than the other’s. Each tries to win people to their side. Traditional schooling fights alternative schooling. Conventional medicine fights alternative medicine. Mainstream culture fights alternative subcultures.

Farming, too, is involved in a battle, conventional farming against organic farming. Environmentalists and those concerned with their health assure us that organic farming is preferable in many ways. But others argue that organic farming is bad.

Why is organic farming bad?

Research Results

In 2002, Swiss scientists at the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture published in “Scientist” a highly publicized study. Their study, which covered 21 years, compared four types of farming. Two of those types were organic farming. The other two types were conventional farming.

Reporters quickly stated that the study proved organic farming was more efficient. Organic farming’s advocates said the study showed that organic farming uses 50% less energy. The facts?

1. Conventional farming is 20 percent more productive than organic farming.

2. Crop yields were significantly lower in organic farming.

3. The above two facts meant energy savings in organic farming were actually only about 19 percent per unit of crop produced, not 50 percent.

4. The study did not test organic farming against the most current methods of conventional farming. If it had, experts say, the 19 percent advantage of organic farming would disappear.

5. Current conventional farming matches organic farming when it comes to environmental advantages. Both have beneficial insects, produce less pesticide and fertilizer runoff, and reduce soil erosion.

6. Food quality was almost identical in conventional and organic farming. Advocates of organic farming had long claimed their food was far superior.

7. Current conventional farming methods produce the same or greater yields mentioned in number 1 above.

This research does not, of course, conclude that organic farming is bad. On the face of it, the conclusion is more that organic farming is not very different from current conventional farming. There most be other reasons for people believing organic farming is bad.

Organic Farming Can Kill

Many took from the Swiss study a realization that, as Cambridge chemist John Emsley said, “the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’- [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”

Organic farming may supply food for small markets, but how can it feed starving nations? Its adversaries claim that current conventional farming is the only hope for these people. If we turn entirely to organic farming, they say, we will doom billions to die of starvation.

Challenging Organic Farming

Alex Avery, Director of Research and Education for the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues, recently published a new book, “The Truth About Organic Foods.” (2006) In this book, Avery offers an unemotional look at the odd origins and unscientific basis for organic farming.

Nobel Peace Prize Winning Agricultural Scientist, Dr. Norman Borlaug, says about this book, “The Truth About Organic Foods gives consumers a thorough and straight-forward explanation of why organic foods offer no real health or safety benefits. More importantly, Avery communicates why organic farming’s lower yields and reliance on scarce organic fertilizers represents a potential threat to the world’s forests, wetlands and grasslands. The book offers scientifically sound evidence that more-affordable conventional foods are healthy for families and also good stewardship of nature.”

Skimming Mr. Avery’s book, one finds statements that indicate:

1. Organic farming started in the 1920s when a German mystic advised use of only animal manure because synthetic fertilizers had no cosmic energy.

2. Soon, the wealthy decided manure-fertilized produce was better.

3. J.I. Rodale first published his “Organic Gardening Magazine” in 1942, and the organic farming / organic gardening movement was named.

4. In 2007, organic farming advocates still have no credible science to support their beliefs.

5. Organic farming does not avoid pesticides. About 5 percent a vegetable’s weight is natural pesticides, some of which are cancer-causing.

6. Foods from organic farming have more illness-causing bacteria. (The January 2007 issue of “Consumer Reports” showed that chicken from organic farming has 300% more Salmonella than that from conventional farming. University studies have found more bacteria in vegetables from organic farming than in vegetables from conventional farming.

7. If organic farming, which decries synthetic fertilizer, was chosen over conventional farming, we would have a choice. We could kill millions of people to reduce global food needs, or we could sacrifice wildlife habitat in the amount of millions of square miles so we could produce more manure.

Why is organic farming bad? Mr. Avery believes he has the answer.

Notwithstanding Mr. Avery’s new book, I am not sure whether organic farming is bad or not. It is often difficult to sort through rhetoric and find fact. I do know that my forefathers had large organic farms. The produce was good and it was nourishing. Before I can turn my back completely on organic farming and organic gardening, I need clearer evidence. You probably want to do more research, too.

© 2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about organic farming on a small scale at Anna is posting new articles regularly, each one dealing with some facet of organic gardening. If you want to know how to make your own organic fertilizer, you will want to read Anna’s article on the subject.

Compost Tea For Organic Farming Or Gardening

Compost Tea For Organic Farming Or Gardening

The most important part of organic gardening is to nourish the soil. Your plants will take their nourishment from the soil, and will only be as healthy as the soil is. The healthier your plants, the fewer of them will fall victim to garden pests. The soil, therefore, is the most important part of organic farming or gardening. Feed the soil, and the soil will feed the plants. Fee the soil compost tea, and you will have healthy, productive plants.

Compost tea for organic farming or gardening is easily made. You won’t need a teapot or hot, boiling water, but you will need the best compost you can purchase or make.

Compost is organic material produced when bacteria in the soil cause garbage and biodegradable trash to decompose. It is an organic fertilizer. Making compost requires regular turning of the pile, mixing the materials in it, and exposing them to air. It is an ongoing process, and is a good way to recycle kitchen scraps and other vegetable matter.

Compost tea for organic farming or gardening will only be as good as the compost you use to make it.

Reasons for Making Compost Tea

There are a number of organic fertilizers you can use on your organic garden or farm. Why would you want to get involved in brewing, straining, and spraying compost tea? Why not just work fresh compost directly into the soil?

The main reason for making compost tea for organic farming or gardening is that it helps you increase compost’s benefits. Compost tea can be sprayed on your plants’ leaves to reduce leaf disease. Sprayed compost tea can give your plants additional nutrients besides what they absorb through their roots.

Studies have shown that compost tea can increase the nutritional value of the vegetables that come to your table. It can also improve their flavor.

Compost Tea Recipe

Compost tea for organic farming or gardening can be mixed in large or small quantities, as needed. Our compost tea recipe is for a small quantity – about 2.5 gallons.

You will need these “aquarium” items from a pet store:

* 8 to 10 feet of air tubing
* 1 gang valve
* 3 bubblers, i.e. air stones
* 1 pump, large enough to run the 3 bubblers
* 2 5-gallon plastic buckets
* 1 stirring tool or stick
* 1 small bottle of organic unsulfured molasses
* 1 Tablespoon measure
* 1 old pillowcase or half of pantyhose for straining

Water: Well water may be used as is for compost tea, but water from a municipal supply contains chlorine, which will kill the beneficial organisms you need in your compost tea. Run the bubblers in municipal supply water for at least an hour before using it for compost tea.

Directions for Making Your Compost Tea

1. Hang the gang valve on the rim of one empty bucket.

2. Arrange the 3 bubblers on the bucket’s bottom. Cut 3 lengths of air tubing long enough to connect the bubblers to the gang valve. Leave an inch extra on each so they will not be dislodged when adding compost. Connect one end of each tube to a bubbler, the other end to the gang valve.

3. Add compost loosely on top of the bubblers (don’t pack) until the bucket is about one half full.

4. Cut a piece of tubing long enough to go from the gang valve to your pump. Attach both ends.

5. Add water to the bucket of compost until it is between 2 and 4 inches from the top.

6. Turn on the pump, and watch to be sure the bubblers are all activated.

7. When all 3 bubblers are working, add 2 Tablespoons of the molasses, and stir quickly. The molasses will feed the organisms you want to grow. After stirring, reposition the bubblers to be sure they are spaced evenly and sitting on the bottom.

8. Stir your compost tea several times each day. After each stirring, check the bubblers to be sure they are spaced evenly and sitting on the bottom.

9. Your compost tea will be done in 3 days. Turn off the pump, and remove the bubblers, etc. If you cannot use your compost tea immediately, continue aerating, but add 2 more Tablespoons of molasses to keep good organisms active.

Let the finished compost tea stand until the compost is well settled to the bottom. This should require 15 to 25 minutes. Strain the compost tea into your second bucket. Pour into a sprayer and apply.

© 2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about organic gardening at Anna is posting new articles every week on that site, each one dealing with some facet of organic gardening. If you want information for yourself or someone else on how to make an organic gardening compost pile or pit, you will want to read Anna’s article on the subject.

My Organic Garden – Advantages Of Organic Farming

My Organic Garden – Advantages Of Organic Farming

Nowadays, there are many illnesses that are being discovered by doctors. Many say that these were caused by the natural evolution of disease-causing organisms. However, they also do not deny the argument that consuming pesticide- and chemical-laden farm products increases the risks of contracting these illnesses. This is the reason why there is a growing community of farmers who are embracing the advantages of organic farming.

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Organic farming is a farming method that embraces a natural approach in growing plants. It discourages the use of pesticides, chemicals and inorganic fertilizer. Instead, it promotes the use of compost as fertilizer and using other insects to control pests.

One of the advantages of organic farming is that you will not be affected by the harmful chemicals in the pesticides that were usually used in conventional farming methods. These chemicals cannot be eliminated by our body’s natural processes. Instead, they accumulate over time and raising our risks of suffering from cancer.

Another advantage is that it lowers the operating cost of the farmers. This is because they don’t have to spend money anymore in purchasing chemicals and fertilizers. This would enable them to expand their operations because of bigger profits. Furthermore, it would also mean additional employment for others in the community.

The debate is still raging between the disadvantages and advantages of organic farming within the agriculture industry. However, no matter what others may say, wouldn’t you have peace of mind if you know that what you are eating is not laced with poisonous chemicals and was packed with disease-causing substances?

This author loves reading articles with topics related to organic farming and My Organic Garden.

My Organic Garden – What Is Organic Farming

My Organic Garden – What Is Organic Farming

Crop rotation, compost, green manure, mechanical cultivation and biological pest control. These are only a few terms that you would usually encounter when you try to look for answers on what is organic farming all about.

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Organic farming is a farming method that harnesses the natural processes of growing plants. It focuses on farming technologies that are able to get high yields from your farm without the negative effects to the environment. They oppose to the use of chemicals and inorganic fertilizers in growing the crops. This usually results in healthier farm products. This is because they are free from chemicals and other harmful substances used to make these pesticides and fertilizers.

Unfortunately, there are still many people who still have little idea on what is organic farming and its benefits. Perhaps this is because of the massive advertising campaign done by companies who would gain profit from manufacturing and selling products used in conventional farming methods. You could probably only find 2 out 10 articles about organic farming when you pick up an agricultural magazine.

This is quite disappointing considering that there is too much to gain in practicing organic farming. I’m not only referring to the health benefits that the consumers will get but also the economic potential that is being deprived to our poor farmers.

There is therefore a need for us, our government and agriculturists to actively promote and disseminate information on what is organic farming, its methodologies and benefits. It is still not too late for us to take on this advocacy. This is for us, our loved ones, our environment, and our future.

This author really finds organic farming and Advantages Of Organic Farming sensible.

Biodynamic Farming in Maintaining Vegetable Gardens

Biodynamic Farming in Maintaining Vegetable Gardens

Biodynamic farming is one popular agriculture technique that is used by more and more farmers these days. It calls for organic and natural techniques to farming and maintaining health of plants and of course, the soil. Instead of investing in chemical sprays to keep vegetables healthy, there is a need to consider doing natural activities in doing so. Plucking pests and small insects that ruin vegetable leaves is one way.

There are numerous plant pests that you should prevent from thriving in your vegetable garden. For all you know, these pests are depriving your vegetable crops of the right and necessary nutrients and elements essential for growth and health. Your ultimate goal should always be to make your vegetable garden free from any of these pests:

Aphids – These are small, soft-structured insects feeding on vegetable growth tips and buds. They are responsible for making leaves curl and wither. These insects attack almost all kinds of vegetable crops. Insecticides are effective in killing and controlling them.  

Beetles – Yes, these insects can be interesting and appealing. They come in hard and colorful shells and at different sizes. They produce irregularly-shaped and unnecessary holes in the leaves of the plants. They can be controlled manually by picking out, though, this can be a tedious and nerve-wracking activity.  

Borer – These are insects responsible for wilting an entire vegetable plant. Borers can produce small holes in vegetables where wilting could uncontrollably begin. Borers usually attack melons, pumpkins and cucumbers. Controlling means there is a need for insecticides and for cutting affected parts or even destroying the whole plant.  

Cabbage worms – The name is misleading because cabbage worms are not actually worms. They are caterpillars and are thriving underneath the top leaves of cabbages. They produce holes in foliages, which can startup withering and malnutrition in the plant. They usually attack cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.  

Cutworms – Like cabbage worms, cutworms are not technically worms. They are another kind of caterpillars. They can wilt an entire vegetable plant. To control their infestation, there is a need to cut off the plant at the base to prevent contagion. Cutworms usually affect pepper, tomato and cabbage.  

To correct any misconception and wrong beliefs, earthworms should not be included in the list of vegetable garden pests. That is because they actually are not. On the contrary, earthworms have been found to be helpful in making vegetable crops healthier and more disease and pest resistant.  

Earthworms help boost air and water circulation in the soil through their constant burrowing activities. When they do so, they even transport nutrients from the topsoil down to the subsoil where vegetable roots are. Worms eat decaying organic matters, breakdown chemicals and synthetics in the soil and excrete castings and slimes that further fertilize vegetable crops. This way, the creatures have been proven to be helpful in making plants stronger, healthier and more resistant to ailments and pests. Through controlling plant stress, pests are driven away.

If you want to make use of the effective biodynamic farming style in agriculture, you should learn to consider earthworms as your best friend. They may be creepy and disgusting in appearance, but they bring no harm, especially to your vegetable garden. Instead, they bring life.

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The Benefits of Organic Farming For Small Farmers

The Benefits of Organic Farming For Small Farmers

Organic farming refers to means of farming that does not involve the use of chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Numerous small farmers have been practicing organic farming; however, since they are unaware of the market opportunities, they are not able to reap the benefits of organic farming.

According to a research conducted by the Office of Evaluation and Studies (OE), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), small farmers in Latin America, China and India can benefit drastically from organic farming and will help in alleviating poverty in these countries. Organic farming is being groomed to end modern farmers’ struggles resulting to various debts and farming land mortgages.Below are some of the benefits of organic farming for small farmers:

Higher Premium – Organic prices of organic foods are usually 20-30% higher than conventional food. This higher premium would meant fair and better returns for the small farmers, many of whom are still struggling with trying to achieve better returns from their farms.

Lower Investment – Organic farming do not require high capital investment as compared to other farming methods.With the soaring costs of chemicals and fertilizers used in the farms,many farmers has now realized the benefits and financial rewards of organic farming as they use natural made compost which are free. In cases of natural calamity, pest or disease attack, and irregular rainfall, when there is a crop failure, small farmers practicing organic farming have to suffer less as their investments are lower.

Lower Operating Costs – Further, since organic fertilizers and pesticides can be produced locally, the yearly costs incurred by the farmer are also low. Agriculture greatly depends on external factors such as climate, pests, disease. Further most of the small farmers are dependent on natural rain for water.

Lower Financial Burdens – Many small farmers worldwide are now in greater debt due to the soaring prices of chemicals,fertilizers,animal fees and fuel.Many are debt ridden.However,an organic farmer which relies on natural and self made natural fertilizers and farming methods have lesser financial burdens and risks.The increasing demand for their organic products will further strengthen their financial position.

Greater Knowledge – Small farmers have abundance of farming knowledge with them and within their community.Most of these knowledge backdates to the time when their ancestors were farming using traditional and natural ways.

Organic farming is not a new method, but one which predates to thousands of years when each family has their own land to farm and produce food.Just a century ago, there are no large scale commercial farming and there are no chemical plants that produces chemical fertilizers.

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Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

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Rodale was founded on the belief that organic gardening is the key to better health both for us and for the planet, and never has this message been more urgent. Now Maria Rodale, chairman of Rodale, sheds new light on the state of 21st century farming. She examines the unholy alliances that have formed between the chemical companies that produce fertilizer and genetically altered seeds, the agricultural educational system that is virtually subsidized by those same companies, and the government

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Related Organic Gardening Products

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

The farming in old fashion which is known otherwise as non organic farming, consisted of using various chemicals and pesticides to fight against various pest infestations as well as for the production of better crops.

The aim of organic farming is to produce livestock and crops by making use of economic, humane and environmental systems that are available naturally to the maximum level. For organic farming to function, we need two things. One is the presence of a land which is very fertile and which will aid in the healthy growing of various crops. The second factor is the availability of people who will be working on the land which has been chosen.

The following are the major factors to be considered if you are choosing to go ahead with the concept of organic farming:

1. The land which has been chosen for organic farming should contain soil that can be utilised for long periods of time without the usage of artificial fertilisers which are normally used while non organic farming.
2. The crops which are produce by organic farming must be given care in a very careful manner by avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides.
3. The residues of the organic materials as well as the livestock must be recycled so that these can be used as manure for the crops grown via organic farming.
4. The growth of weeds as well as infestation of insects needs to be given proper control by employing the technique of crop rotation in organic farming. This indicates to avoiding the usage of scientific methods which are normally employed in non organic farming.
5. Do not opt for using the genetic engineering method for growing animals on the organic farming method.
Finally, the various effects the organic farming will have on the environment must be assessed thoroughly.

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