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Organic Farming 101
Organic farming management relies on developing biological diversity in the field to disrupt habitat for pest organisms, and the purposeful maintenance and replenishment of soil fertility.
Organic produce is grown without the use of:
- synthetic fertilizers
- sewage sludge, or
- genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Conventional agriculture relies on synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, many of which are unhealthy and all are made with fossil fuels.
How do organic farmers fertilize crops and control pests, diseases, and weeds?
- Organic farmers build healthy soils by nourishing the microbial life inside the soil that release, transform, and transfer nutrients.
- Organic farmers build soil organic matter using cover crops, compost, and biologically based soil amendments (e.g. rock phosphate, calcium carbonate, etc.). These produce healthy plants that are better able to resist disease and insect predation.
- Organic farmers' primary strategy in controlling pests and diseases is prevention through good plant nutrition and management. Organic farmers use cover crops and sophisticated crop rotations to manage the field ecology, effectively disrupting habitat for weeds, insects, and disease organisms.
- Weeds are controlled through crop rotation, mechanical tillage, and hand-weeding, as well as through cover crops, mulches, flame weeding, and other management methods.
- Organic farmers rely on a diverse population of soil organisms, beneficial insects, and birds to keep pests in check. When pest populations get out of balance, growers implement a variety of strategies such as the use of insect predators, mating disruption, traps and barriers. As a last resort, certain botanical or other non-synthetic pesticides may be applied.
Why does organic cost more?
- Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.
- The intensive management and labor used in organic production are frequently more expensive than the chemicals routinely used on conventional farms.
- Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing.
- Organic farms are usually smaller than conventional farms and so do not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.
contact us at:
Good Roots Garden
Larry & Jerri Berry
8204 FM 1857 S
Rusk, TX 75785
j e r r i @ g o o d r o o t s g a r d e n. c o m
l a r r y @ g o o d r o o t s g a r d e n. c o m