Organic food has increasingly become more popular but is it truly worth the hype? Beyond the money one saves from growing your own food, there are numerous other benefits to choosing organic food (even if you do not grow it yourself). For instance, organically grown food minimizes pollution as it is grown without the use of any chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, or genetic modification. It promotes health and optimises biological diversity while protecting the environment and maintaining long-term soil fertility. This all boils down to the simple fact that it is better for us, and the planet in general, to eat organic.
Why organic food is the logical option:
- Organic farmers and gardeners avoid the use of artificial chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. This causes less pollution to air, water, and soil.
- Studies have shown that organic food contains on average, 20% more nutrients, vitamins, and cancer-fighting antioxidants than non-organic food.
- Organic food is free from genetically modified organisms. There have not been enough studies on GMOs to determine what the true side effects on human and animal health are.
- Non-organic meats and dairy products have up to 20 times more pesticides than non-organic food.
- Organic farming places great emphasis on animal welfare. This, in turn, has a positive effect on you when you eat natural grazed or pasture reared rather than feedlot or grain fed meat.
- There have never been any cases of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or Mad Cow Disease) in organically managed farms.
Use these 10 tips for growing organic vegetables:
- Vegetables are sun lovers. Choose a spot that gets full sun all day for best results.
- Vegetables are seasonal. Select vegetable varieties according to season and climate of the area you live in. Most seed packets detail prime planting periods.
- Plan staged planting to ensure variety and a continuous supply for the kitchen. Plant a few seeds of each variety every week to ensure harvests over the full season.
- Prepare beds and dig in compost before going to the nursery so that you can immediately plant them when getting home. Seedlings lose vigour and health if they stay unplanted.
- Old seeds expire. Thus purchase fresh seeds each season or harvest your own from heirloom plants to ensure successful germination.
- Plant edibles that you and your family like to eat.There is a lovely variety of novel, tasty, and colourful vegetables to choose from, but if your family do not eat frilly kale or purple carrots do not plant it.
- Fertilize vegetables according to variety.
- Root and Bulb vegetables need good phosphates to develop strong roots and bulbs so plant with Vita Grow 2:3:2(16)
- Leafy vegetables need nitrogen and potassium for green growth so feed with Vita Veg 6:3:4(16)
- Fruiting vegetables need nitrogen and more potassium to stimulate flower and fruit so plant with Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) . feed before flowering with Vita Fruit & Flower 3:1:5(18)
- Water vegetables regularly. In dry, warm weather water at least three times per week and preferably in the morning to protect against the heat of the day.
- Mulch vegetable beds after seeds germinate. To prevent weed growth, retain soil moisture, and maintain a constant soil temperature.
- Do not spray poisons on vegetables. The Talborne Biogrow range of non-toxic organic pest and disease solutions stocked by Garden Shops are gentle on nature and effective without using poisons on food.
Do yourself, your family and the environment a favour and plant a garden of edible treasures!
– Article courtesy of Jenny Slabber form Talborne Organics