- To Preserve the Ecology, by Sam Cohen
Organic farming is as close to what Mother Nature intended as possible. Did you know that the soil is an ecosystem in and of itself? In organic farming, you feed the soil so it will in turn feed your plants. Farmers who have pledged to go organic do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides to grow their vegetables and fruits. Instead, they make use of compost for fertilizer and also use a cover crop that is tilled into the soil to add nutrients, also known as green manure. They control any pests and also keep the soil productive by rotating their crops and using mechanical cultivation practices. This keeps any chemicals from finding their way into the air that we breathe, helping to cut down on air pollution.
No chemical fertilizer also means healthier soil. Good soil attracts worms, and worms attract other animals, some of them helpful predators which will further reduce the need for any sort of chemical additions. The amount and variety of chemicals added to produce grown in a non-organic manner is truly staggering.
The buildup of chemicals over a period of time is very detrimental to the condition of agricultural soil. Vital nutrients that are necessary for growth of the plants and are also normally present in our vegetables and fruits are crowded out by this buildup, resulting in produce that is lacking in vitamins and minerals. Also, these toxic chemicals can slowly leach out of the soil and into our municipal water supplies; polluting them and making the water unfit to drink. This means more people buy bottled water, and our landfills are cluttered with the empty bottles! These take forever to break down, and are becoming a real problem due to their sheer volume. Organic farming is helping to rebuild healthy soil in our country. It helps to keep topsoil erosion in check, and also protects our groundwater. This in turn will help our water supply return to normal as the contaminants are filtered out naturally and with man made devices.
Our organic farmers believe strongly in working with nature and not against it. Nature provided our soil with microbiotics, which make the soil fertile and can be considered as a natural fertilizer. When chemical fertilizers are applied to the soil, this kills off the microbiotics. Organic farmers prefer to fertilize their crops in a different way. First of all, they feed their animals a natural food which contains no hormones or antibiotics. The animals consume this feed, and the farmer takes their manure, which still has around 75% of the original nutrients, and returns it to the soil. This feeds the soil and help to keep the macrobiotic process going.
Conventional agriculture takes the nutrients out of our soil at a rate that is up to 80 times faster than nature can replenish it. Too much soil depletion would mean that we would be eating vegetables and fruits with almost no natural vitamins and minerals other than the synthetic ones added to make up for the loss. Organic farming helps the foods we eat to retain their nutrition while at the same time allowing the all important soil to remain sustainable so that we can continue to enjoy nutrition the natural way.
About the Author
Sam Cohen (also known as Sam - The Fruit Man) is the owner of Organic Fruit & Veggie Club - organic produce delivery company providing hundreds of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents with fresh and healthy organic fruit and vegetables.
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