So what is organic vegetable farming? In our previous post on organic farming you would have acquired some awareness of how organic farming follows environmentally responsible principles. It works not just to provide better nourishment to our bodies, but to protect and preserve the planet as well:
Organic Farming in General
– Organic farming avoids interfering with the ways of nature. It steers clear of artificial techniques to speed up growth and rush the ripening of produce. It also selects crops for planting and harvesting based on types and times that can best keep in tune with the cycle of the seasons.
– You’ve found that organic farming skips the use of harsh chemical fertilizers and hazardous, non-renewable fossil fuels – which can seep into the soil, contaminate the water, and even permeate the air. It favors utilizing natural fertilizers like plant-derived compost. It performs more labor-intensive, less machine-dependent tasks in most areas of farm work – such as tilling land (by employing the good old animal-pulled plow, for instance) and harvesting crops (by wielding the simple yet effective scythe or sickle, for example).
– You’ve discovered that organic farming opts for nature’s own, time-tested methods for thwarting pests over synthetic pesticides that have been proven to be harmful to our health, increasing our risk of developing some serious conditions – including asthma and cancer.
So What Is Organic Vegetable Farming Exactly?
Invariably, vegetables that are nurtured via these sorts of ecologically sound practices are able to grow at their proper pace, absorb more nutrients from the soil, and arrive on your plate free of residues from harmful pesticides or traces of unsafe chemicals. In this context, you may have heard of things like “crop rotation”, “green manure”, and “biological pest control” – and you might be wondering what these words mean. Let’s take a quick look at each of these terms, and familiarize ourselves with some of these concepts that are so crucial to organic vegetable farming.
as the name indicates, involves varying and alternating the crops that are being planted – a farming system that enhances soil quality and protects plants against illness and infestation. Because they so often fall victim to the same kinds of ills, the same vegetables – or families of vegetables – should not be sown in the same spot season after season, so as not to keep attracting the same pests, weeds, or diseases that affect not just the plants, but the soil they grow in as well.
includes plants, usually legumes such as beans and grains such as oats, that are grown for the purpose of being mixed into the soil to enhance its fertility; as well as low crawling plants known as cover crops, which help block the spread of weeds. Apart from imparting rich nutrients to the soil and impeding the growth of pesky weeds, green manure also works as a barrier against soil erosion.
Biological pest control
utilizes beneficial organisms – usually insects, sometimes even small animals – that are natural predators of the pests that threaten the crops. Ladybugs and lacewings chomp on aphids; birds and frogs devour slugs, snails, and insects. These creatures feed on the pests and keep their populations in check, preventing them from inflicting serious damage on the plants or decimating the crops.
You might have noticed that all of these methods are interdependent, just like the many complex processes that we see at work in our ecosystem. If applied correctly – and in effective combination with other agricultural practices aimed at restoring and maintaining balance to the environment – these techniques are sure to spell sustainable success in organic vegetable farming, delivering the best of what the earth has to offer. And if that’s something you’d like to have a taste of, then head on out to your local market for some fresh organic produce. Or you could also stay at home and have a box of organic fruit and or vegetables brimming with the bounty of nature brought straight to you!
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Organic farming”.
How Stuff Works. “How Organic Farming Works”.
GrowVeg.com. “GrowGuides: Natural Pest Control – the Organic Way to Control Slugs, Aphids etc”.