The Organic Farming Process: How Does it Work?
Organic produce is popular for many reasons, including its sustainability and the boost to your health. However, few people understand why organic is better, to do so we need to understand the organic farming processes that go into producing the food.
In this post, we’ll talk about six popular methods of organic farming. It’s important to remember that factory farming has its pros and cons. Still, most experts agree that the treatment of animals and the use of pesticides make factory farming negative for everyone.
Ready to learn about the six methods used in organic farming? Read on.
Years ago, crops were continuously grown in one place, which was called Monoculture. Today, organic farmers use Polyculture to grow multiple crops simultaneously. Crop diversity has many benefits, including, it improves poverty levels and promotes sustainable agriculture.
Crop diversity means farmers can grow a more extensive range of crops and not have to worry about damaging the environment. These resources can be applied to third world countries so they can grow vegetables and reduce poverty.
If you want your crops to grow, it’s essential to take care of your soil. A lot of farmers struggle to carry out soil management because it’s such a complicated process. However, organic farming is about analysing the quality of the soil and ensuring that natural resources are used to improve quality.
Organic agriculture is about keeping things as natural as possible, so no pesticides or toxins should be in the soil. Instead, most organic farmers use minerals found in animal waste to cultivate the growth of their crops.
Weeds are annoying, aren’t they? When you see them in your garden, it’s natural to pull them out. Organic farming focuses on lowering the occurrence of weeds by using a range of methods, including caring for the soil, so weeds don’t have a chance to grow. You can learn more about organic weed control here.
Zero Genetic Modification
Genetic Modification is also known as Modern Biotechnology, and there is a lot of conflict over its existence. GMO’s are any living thing that has its genetics altered. Some people believe that GMO is a good idea because it helps to feed people in developing countries and is generally safe, while others believe that changing nature’s processes is a dangerous idea.
In general Genetic Modification is thought to be a safe practice, but there are concerns about the long-term health effects of altering the DNA of plants and animals. Organic certification doesn’t allow GMO.
Treatment of Animals
Organically reared animals have a much better quality of life than factory-farmed animals. If an animal is considered organic, it must be allowed to go outside and have access to pasture during the grazing season. The animals must also only be fed on organic food and cannot receive antibiotic treatment or growth hormones.
Factory farmed animals are often kept inside, in crowded and cruel conditions. If a farm is certified organic, it must prove that it avoids factory farming processes and focuses on a higher quality of life for animals.
The PAMS Strategy
Organic farmers use the Prevention, Avoidance, Monitoring, and Suppression strategy to ensure their crops can survive without harmful pesticides:
Farmers must prevent pests from damaging their crops, but they can’t use synthetic pesticides. Most farmers do this by ensuring weeds don’t reproduce, crop rotation, irrigation, and using an organic herbicide to protect their crops. The process is complicated, but it’s central to organic agriculture.
Crop rotation is the key to avoiding damage to organic produce. Pests may exist in a field, but cultural practices lessen the impact they have on crops. For example, by rotating crops regularly, farmers can protect them by ensuring that the pests in each area can’t reside on their host of choice.
In some cases, prevention and avoidance strategies aren’t successful, which means that organic farmers must try to suppress pests. Cultural practices are often the first port of call, including narrow row spacing. In some cases, farmers must employ other tactics such as mowing for weed control, mating disruption, and chemical controls as a last resort.
If organic farmers must use pesticides, they need to ensure that the ones they choose have the lowest negative impact on the environment and consumers’ health. They also use vegetative buffers so that chemicals do not move to surface water.
In the UK, farmers can only be certified organic if they follow the process correctly. There is also a law to protect genuine organic producers from fake ones, so farmers must make sure they receive certification from an official body before they call their produce organic.
There are three tests before a farm can achieve organic certification, including application, inspection, and certification. The tests are there to protect consumers, and you should always check if a product is certified before buying it.
The Bottom Line
So, now you know more about organic agriculture, it’s clear to see why so many consumers choose only to eat organic. It’s kinder to animals, the environment and it uses natural processes wherever possible.
Organic farming processes have been common practice since ancient times, and many modern farmers realise that while we have more technology, sometimes the most natural methods offer the best results.
Choosing to eat organic can be tricky, especially if you’re short on time. There are plenty of meal delivery companies that do not offer organic meal delivery. At Skim, we aim to combine natural organic ingredients with healthy recipes to create delicious meals for all diets.
Organic farming processes will continue to grow in popularity as we become more health-conscious. You can choose from our selection of meals or contact us for more advice. We’re always happy to help!