Can biological / sustainable / organic farming increase real production to keep up with the growing world population. Over the next 20 years we will need twice as much food as we do now. We need honest real solutions to meet this challenge.
What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.
The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.
The key characteristics of organic farming are:
- Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
- Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
- Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
- Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
- The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
- Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.
This is Gary Zimmer’s part of the two up tour he did with Graeme Sait a few year back. There is some really good practical information for sustainable farming contained in this manual. We all hope Gary can do another tour of Australia someday.
To view this manual click on the link below or right click and choose “save as” to save a copy to your computer.
Amyjo Johnson speaking on how organic farming works and why it is so good from a nutritional aspect.
This video shows how increasing oil prices will make suburbia too expensive. Sustainable farming and living are required to solve this problem.
Nutrition by Natalie
What is the difference between organic food and conventional food? Is organic really more healthy for you?
The USDA lays out certain guidelines that farms have to follow in order to be able to claim the food is organic. In this video Natalie discusses what each of those guidelines are.
What is surprising to learn is some of the growing practices of conventional farming and food processing. As an example, chemical plants and waste water treatment facilities will actually sell their toxic waist to conventional farms to use for fertilizer.
What you eat is an important part of health and nutrition.
Straus Family Creamery has been focused on sustainable business practices since its early beginnings in 1994. With a family history dating back to 1941, the family has always been a strong advocate of farmland preservation. Family farms are the backbone of the food supply, and organic farming is the most productive and least damaging of all techniques.