(OrganicJar) Organic refers to the way agricultural products- food and fiber- are grown and processed. It is an ecological system that at its core relies on a healthy rich soil to produce strong plants that resist pests and diseases. Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic and persistent chemicals in favor of more “earth-friendly” practices that work in harmony with nature. In the case of livestock, antibiotics are prohibited, opting instead for preventative measures for keeping animals healthy and productive. Organic production also prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).
Organic practices include:
* Crop rotation- alternating the types of crops grown in each field, which in turn prevents the depletion of the soil. Pests are also managed through crop rotation by eliminating breeding grounds built year after year with a continuous crop.
* Planting cover crops, such as clover adds nutrients to the soil, prevents weeds, and increases organic matter in the soil. Soil with high organic matter resists erosion and holds water better, requiring less irrigation. Studies have shown that organic crops fare better than non-organic crops in times of drought and stress.
* Releasing beneficial insects to prey on pests helps to eliminate the need for chemical insecticides that can remain in the soil for years or leach into our water supply.
* Adding composted manure and plant wastes helps the soil retain moisture and nutrients. Just as falling leaves return nutrients to forest soil, composting replenishes the soil.
* Preventing illness and maintaining strong animals through good nutrition and minimal stress are key to successful organic livestock farming.
Organic Practices mean:
* No pesticides to contaminate our soil and water or injure farm workers!
* No chemical fertilizers to runoff and contaminate our rivers, lakes, oceans and drinking water!
* A healthier and more sustainable environment for us all!