Not all farmers farm the same way. For years chemical practices have been the standard for many farms, especially as farms have gotten bigger. The natural knowledge of farming from the past has been forgotten or thought irrelevant. But, the farm is not a factory; instead it is a human management of soil organisms of the natural world.
Soil fertility in the natural world is maintained and renewed by the recycling of all plant and animal residues that create the organic matter in the soil. In the natural approach, the farmer adds organic material to build the soil and nurture the hard-working soil organisms. In the chemical approach the soil is bypassed and plants are fed directly with synthetic plant foods.
Plants may grow well and look healthy but are they nutritious? The thought that we could ever substitute a few elements for a whole living system is like thinking an intravenous needle could deliver a wholesome delicious meal.
Not all organic farms have the same practices. Organic farming cannot be held captive in a rigid set of rules. It depends essentially on the attitude of the farmer. Deep-organic farmers, in addition to rejecting the ‘just feed the plant’ system, look for better ways to farm by mimicking the patterns of the natural soil-plant economy. Like farming in the past that used natural soil foods we also grow legumes, green manures, and add compost to create a vigorous soil life.
Shallow-organic farmers, on the other hand, after rejecting harsh chemicals may look for a quick fix and use ‘safe’ or organically acceptable chemicals. Trapped in a belief that the natural world is inadequate, they end up mimicking the patterns of chemical agriculture. The goal of shallow-organic farming is to follow the approved guidelines to keep their certification.
This is our 4th year that we achieved our organic certification and we are proud of that. But, even more important than being certified is our commitment to engage in old fashioned deep organic practices. Always learning and working to make our soil healthier every year.
Healthy soil = Healthy produce which = a Healthy YOU!