The real meaning of organic farming

We need to go back to what nature intended and that is what Organic Farming is all about. It is to grow crops and raise animals on land that is enriched with compost and mulches that are well rotted because this is the most paramount of stages in organic farming. The aim is to get as much humus into the land as possible, and this includes manure, compost, seaweed, leaf-mould, spoiled hay, and anything of vegetable or animal origin, including blood and bone, that can go into making a compost heap. The keyword here is recycling. There is the old adage; “Waste not, want not” and never so true in farming organically.

Any left over crops or wood should never be burnt on a property. This is an absolute waste of potential compost, and it is also a pollution contributor. Why burn it when you could use it and it isn’t costing you anything? Why burn those vine cuttings and those orchard prunings? Invest in a chipper to reduce the bulk and add these to your compost heap.

What happens to your soil when it is healthy? It is filled with micro-organisms and those beautiful earthworms that delight the heart of those who care. Once you have earthworms in your soil you know that you are doing something right.

Remember too that you need to rest your soil and to use crop-rotation effectively. When you have a field at rest plant a cover crop, such as rye grass as a temporary planting in autumn. This protects the soil from wind and water erosion and adds organic matter. You can also grow crops such as legumes for soil improvement, called green manure crops, and are often left in place for six months to a year. Legumes are especially efficient because they “fix” nitrogen from the air into the soil.

In England more and more farmers are replanting hedgegrows on their farms as they now realize how important they are. Many animals and insects use these hedges as part of their ecosystem, therefore when the hedgegrows were removed, these little animals and insects then lost their natural shelters and an imbalance on the ecosystem resulted in an influx on insects that were unwelcome. They are also excellent wind-breakers and hold the soil in place to prevent soil erosion.

The Principle of Fairness