Organic gardening and farming is designed to ensure the health and sustainability of our ecosystems.
Toxic pesticides, herbicides, growth boosters and other synthetic additives used in conventional farming and gardening are harmful to humans, local wildlife and beneficial insects and soil microbes. They affect not only the property on which they’re applied but surrounding areas through the movement of water, wind and local wildlife.
By choosing to garden and farm organically, you help avoid the unnecessary destruction of our ecosystems.
Let’s take a look at each in turn.
As a gardener, your main challenges are to provide appropriate plant nutrition, control pests and ensure the long term health of your soil. Fortunately, there are effective organic options for each of these key tasks.
To see a range of products available to address these areas, visit Organic Crop Protectant’s online store Eco Organic Garden. As an example of using organic mechanisms to control pests, one of Organic Crop Protectant’s products, Eco Oil, attracts natural predators such as lady beetles to attack plant pests such as scale, aphids, mites and leafminers. Harsh chemicals used in conventional products may have the same deadly effect, but they also leave toxic residues that are a threat to people, pets and other wildlife.
Fertilisers based around seaweed, marine waste, blood and bone and other natural formulations allow plants to grow more vigorously and produce healthy fruit. Have a look at Seasol’s highly effective range of products based on seaweed. You can also provide nutrition to your plants by using composts based on kitchen scraps, grass clippings and fallen leaves.
Soil conditioners using lime and dolomite boost levels of trace elements such as calcium, while ensuring optimum pH levels and soil structure.
As an organic gardener, you should also use crops that are suited to the conditions in your garden. Naturally, the more suited the plant is, the less external intervention it will need. Also, use companion planting to support the plants in your garden. For instance, tall plants can offer shade to shorter plants, while garlic and onions can drive away certain pests. Other companion plants can be used to lure away pests from more important elements of your garden. By learning how to garden effectively, you reduce the need for chemical additives.
Consumer demand for organic produce is growing rapidly. Consumers are increasingly aware of the harmful effect of toxic chemicals in their food, backed by growing research from university studies, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other credible research institutions. With this rising demand, organic farming is enjoying a commensurate surge in popularity.
Organic farmers follow a range of principles aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of people, wildlife and the land:
- No synthetic herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones or antibiotics
- No animal cruelty
- No genetic modification
These practices ensure the long term health of the soil and waterways, are healthier for consumers, farm workers and local wildlife and are more humane to livestock. You won’t find caged chickens or live exports associated with an organic farm.
By delivering a superior quality, more humanely made product, organic farmers are able to command a premium price, making it an appealing prospect for those prepared to make the transition. However, securing and maintaining organic certification is not easy. To assist farmers, Australian Organic offers an Onboarding Program to guide them through the transition process.
Arahura Farms in NSW have been growing certified organic carrots for over 14 years.
Look for the Bud logo
So when you’re at your local master or nursery and gardening store, look for the Bud (shown below) and registered trademark number. This is your guarantee that the product is registered by Australian Organic as an Allowed Input. This product therefore complies with the Australian Certified Organic Standard and is safe for you and the environment.
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Want to start planning an organic garden? Find out what to plant and when here.