Organic systems recognize that our health is directly connected to the health of the food we eat and, ultimately, the health of the soil.
Here are some of the main features of organic growing:
- Organic growing severely restricts the use of artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Instead, organic growers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
- Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.
Going organic may mean that you have to make a trade-off between glossy, same same supermarket looks with better tasting crops that aren’t perfect in shape or size, but many gardeners think this is a price worth paying. You’ll be able to grow different crops that are always relatively expensive to buy in supermarkets and at farmers markets and, growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding.
Among the many things an organic vegetable garden may offer towards a satisfying experience are fresh air, exercise, sunshine, knowledge, supplemental income, mental therapy, and fresh food, rich in vitamins and minerals, harvested at the best stage of maturity.
You can easily make compost from garden and kitchen waste, although this is a bit more time consuming, you will also make cost savings, because you do not need to buy costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides with organic gardening.
Where animal manures are available, they are probably the best source of fertilizer and organic matter for the organic gardener. Use manure which has been aged for at least 30 days if possible, or composted. I am often out in the road if any horses have gone past gathering the manure for the garden. Its looks a bit odd to the teenagers on the street but the dung is worth it!
If you have space for a few pots, or a small space in the garden or even an allotment, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. To better care for your health, grow your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need at a minimum.
If you have a surplus you can sell these and you will be contributing to the ‘go local’ food movement which is flourishing – over 15% of people buy organic food locally and this number continues to rise as the number of farmer’s markets, box schemes, cafes and restaurants serving organic food increase. There are guides which can help you to find locally produced foods which are fresher, healthier and more economical. It cuts down on transport costs and ‘food miles’ where an average shopping basket can include fruit and vegetables transported from all over the world. Even in the UK or USA food is transported from the farm, to the packing centre, then to distribution centre before arriving at the supermarket to be bought which is then transported by car home!