Scientists have developed complicated systems to describe different soil qualities. These systems are often foreign and can cause confusion for anyone who simply wants to create a backyard farm or beautiful garden.
Creating and caring for the soil is not a complicated science, but a relatively simple activity that can produce healthy and productive gardens without confusion of chemicals.
For centuries the cultivation of food was natural. The dramatic changes came around 1900, when agriculture began to modernize, causing rapid damage to the environment.
In 1920, in response to chemicals being used in farming, an Englishman named Sir Albert Howard created the word organic in an attempt to preserve the ancient forms of gardening. He described organic farming as having a sense of wholeness, unity, integration, and natural balance. His message to the gardeners was:
“Let the garden be your teacher. Lessons are learned at ground level, not at university. We need to develop much greater powers of observation and seek small changes that are a result of gardening techniques. Our improvement in the garden is primarily with the soil, not so much with the plants. It is the soil’s responsibility to take care of the plant. “
His vision was popularised and today is understood by organic farmers/gardeners. All plants should be free from residue of artificial fertilizers, synthetic chemical sprays, insecticides and pesticides.
Caring for our bodies and the planet is not as difficult as it may seem. The solutions are very close to home. In fact, in the kitchen!
1. Organic farmers/gardeners do not destroy the soil, they create soil. Ecological farms use manure to create compost as a natural fertiliser. Industrialized farms usually use excess chemicals that can even affect our health.
2. Organic farms create habitats for wildlife diversification. Most conventional farms use pesticides that, in addition to killing “pests”, kill butterflies, dragonflies, birds, and frogs. Fungicidal treatments reach the soil and kill earthworms and other soil organisms. Organic gardens are refuges for wildlife.
3. Organic products are not covered by chemical cocktails. The conventional method of growing tomatoes uses 30 different types of chemicals. This is absorbed into the fragile skin. Cherry tomatoes are the easiest organic tomatoes to grow.
4. Eating organic is the only way to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO) in your food. When you buy organic foods, you demonstrate your disapproval of growing GMO crops.
5. Fresh organic products have up to 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than those produced in conventional agriculture.
6. Organic products are better for your health, the health of your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren. In fact the next seven generations!
7. Organic products are simply tastier. Fruits and vegetables are full of pulp, color and flavour. Try them today!
8. If you are a meat eater, organic meat is best. Animals are free ranged and not full of hormones. The chicken industry treat the birds as objects, shoved in small, tight cages without any form of movement. Buy organic meat knowing that they have had a happy life.
9. Organic farmers work for a healthier and happier world. Conventional crops can destroy the health of the farmer. Research shows that there is a higher rate of cancer, respiratory problems and other diseases in conventional farmers.
While no-one can do everything, everyone can do something.
If you have your own backyard farm, then there is no doubt of the origin of the vegetables.
Wendell Berry, farmer, environmentalist and poet said “We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
If you are caring for the environment, your children will receive a powerful message. Your family will be happier and healthier with nutritious foods.
Believe that you can make a difference for the future of your children. This gives people around you hope. Share the wonders of nature. Learn to observe nature through the eyes of a child. All children are your children. Think Globally. Your actions make the difference!