Organic Farming and Fruits: Which Can Be Grown?

Organic Farming and Fruits: Which Can Be Grown?

Introduction

Organic farming refers to a spectrum of farming techniques which involves the exclusion of application of herbicides, pesticides or any other known synthetic fertilizer. It also entails crop production without the use of certain growth hormones like Auxin which play a crucial role in the development phases of crops by promoting its growth to a relatively large extent.

Which fruits can be grown organically?

Through thorough agricultural research, it has been proven that there exists a spectrum of fruits that can be produced using the organic farming techniques. These fruits are rich in nutritional content but the truth is they have been formed by farmers who exclusively use the principles of organic farming and organic farm plans in their systems. Thus, they can be consumed as raw or can be used to make corresponding juice. In particular, juicing plays a critical role in ensuring that one’s health needs are met.

Apples

Organic Farming and Fruits: Which Can Be Grown?Apples, known scientifically as Malus sp, are known to be very vulnerable from pest attacks, as a result pose a big challenge when grown organically. However, through experienced organic farmers growing apples are just a walk in the pack. One of the unique benefits of apple juice is that it helps in prevention of Asthma. This is made possible due to the fact that the apple contains a mineral element called flavonoid. As some people opt to take an apple as raw, some choose to drink the apple juice, but it is worth knowing that the nutritional value is the same, content kept constant.

Grapes

There exist different types of grapefruits that an organic farmer may opt to choose to grow. These types include seedless table grapes, Labrusca grapes, Muscadine grapes, White wine grapes and Red wine grapes. All these species have different characteristics and also growth requirements. For example,whereas Muscadine grapes require warm and humid climate Labrusca grapes have proven to thrive best in cold winter temperatures. Hence, it goes without saying that grape juice exists in different tastes as attributed by different types of grapes used.

Strawberries

It is worth knowing that there exist three types of strawberries that can be grown organically. These types include June-bearing strawberries, Ever-bearing strawberries and day neutral strawberries. June-bearing strawberries produce relatively higher yields as compared to Ever-bearing strawberries. It is important to note also that strawberry juice exists also in different tastes as it depends on the type of strawberries used.

Citrus

Citrus trees produce fruits that are best known to be rich sources of Vitamin C. There exist a list of citrus fruits than can be grown organically, namely: Lime, Lemon, Orange, Satsuma Mandarin, Meyer Lemon and Kumkuat. Thus, juices of citrus fruits exist in different types depending on the citrus fruit used.

Coffee

There is a non stoppable debate whether you should drink organic coffee or non-organic coffee. Obviously, organic coffee is better for health according to many researchers.

What are the General Health Benefits of Organic Farm Fruits?

Organic Farming and Fruits: Which Can Be Grown?By compassion, organic farm fruits are generally relatively safer to consume as compared to the controversial synthetically produced. Prof Carlo Leifert, at Newcastle University, conducted a research that concluded that there existed a significant difference between organic and inorganic farm products.

A rich source of vitamin C

Fruits like oranges contain in abundance vitamin C. This vitamin is one of the essential vitamins that our bodies require most. One of the roles of it is that it helps to reduce strokes and heart attacks by a greater extent. As a result the vitamin guarantees longevity in the vascular health of an individual. One study revealed that organic strawberries contain a relatively larger content of vitamin C as compared to the synthetically produced.

Lower the levels of cholesterol

Due to the fact that synthetic fruits and foods contain a relative high level of cholesterol, organic fruits are thus recommendable since they contain little or no cholesterol. This will increase the longevity of the lives of human since lower cholesterol levels translates to less risk for heart diseases.

Lower Cancer cases

The funny thing is that despite the move by people to wash synthetic fruits with water, they usually don’t wash away the harmful chemicals that were used to produce them. These chemicals will ultimately lead to high Cancer cases. In sharp contrast, fruits from organically produced fruits are free from those heavier and harmful chemicals.

Free from poison

Synthetic fruits are harmful and by extension poisonous. That is the indisputable truth but the good news is that organic fruits are not detrimental and are fit for human consumption. Unlike the synthetic fruits which have some traces of chemicals that may make the body cells toxic.

Conclusion

Organic fruit farming is, indeed, a very important line of work to embark on. This is because despite the fact that it has lots of nutritional and health values, it also ensures ecological balance and harmony. Times is ripe and the stakes superlatively high for farmers to practice the controversial organic farming.

What Is Biodynamic Farming

What Is Biodynamic Farming? Practices and Principles

Overview

There are fresh and packaged products in stores worldwide with a ‘biodynamic’ label inscribed on them. Although it started almost twenty years ago, it has picked popularity and flourished more in recent years. Biodynamic farming is the result of scientific work carried out by an Austrian scientist, artist, and educator known as Rudolf Steiner. In biodynamic farming, the farm is viewed as a self sustaining and self-contained organism.

The whole system is composed of the health of the farm animals, the farm, the farmer, and the earth. Biodynamic farmers avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, transgenic contamination and focus on farm generated solutions to increase fertility and control pests. They also set aside a minimum of 10% of their land for the purposes of biodiversity.

Biodynamic practices and principles

Biodynamic farming involves farm management through the principle of living organism. A good example of the concept of a living organism is in a forest ecosystem. Recycling of the organic material and matter generated by the system provides fertility and feed. Biodynamic agriculture follows such principles.

Biodynamic farming involves creating of a farm system that does not rely on imported or external inputs. Its needs are met from within the living dynamics and organisms on the farm. Waste from one section of the farm produces energy from the other thus ensuring sustainability and increase of the capacity of the farm to self-renew. Biodynamic farming has several advantages.

Enhanced quality of vegetables

What Is Biodynamic FarmingAdopting biodynamic agriculture ensures that the crops which are grown are of higher quality on top of benefitting the environment. Biodynamic produce has higher vitamin levels, better flavor, and overall higher nutritional value.

Farmers who practice this form of agriculture realize higher yields per acre. On top of that, there is a difference in taste between organic produce and that produced using chemicals. There are available figures provided by Demeter USA to show a significant difference in nutrient content.
Better mechanisms for improved quality.

Intensive agriculture which involves the use of synthetic and monoculture leads to soils having poor quality. Good quality vegetables cannot be grown in such poor quality soils. Farmers using such practices end up adding more fertilizers to enhance production which only makes the situation worse.
However, with dynamic farming methods, such as the use of organic preparations and compost manure, soil is fertilized naturally and revitalized in the process.

This is achieved through the addition of bacteria and humus to the soil. The nutritional value and structure of the soil is improved with the plants becoming more resistant to diseases and draught. Vegetables thus have the optimal conditions to grow and produce to their full potential. The choice of crops and the methods used to grow them also improves the quality of biodynamic crops.

When legumes are grown, they add the soil extra nitrogen. Crop rotation helps to control pests and pathogens and improves the fertility of the soil. Timings of planting and harvesting can also be used to effectively the crops’ resistance to pests and diseases.

Improved nutrient quality

It is a common fact that foods high in nutrition prefer nutritious soils. According to a study conducted in 2007 by researchers in the United Kingdom, vegetables that had been grown organically showed up to 40% higher levels of vitamins as compared to those produced through conventional methods.

Results quoted in the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association of Australia indicated that biodynamic produce has higher levels of zinc and iron compared to those grown using synthetic fertilizers. With higher levels of nutrients, people are able to live healthy lives and boost their immune systems through consumption of vitamin c and zinc to fight common diseases.

Enhanced flavor and higher yields

According to a study carried out in California and published in the American journal of ecology, grapes that were produced through biodynamic farming methods showed better taste quality than those produced through normal farming methods. This was based on their sugar content. Although farmers who use intensive farming methods boast of high produce, biodynamic farming also has the potential and ability to match those quantities with its produce having higher quality.

Conclusion

Unlike conventional and intensive farming methods that exploit the earth, biodynamic agriculture emphasizes contribution back to the earth. By using available means from within and avoiding external farm inputs such as fertilizers, biodynamic farming is fully sustainable. It has the ability and potential to produce enough food not only for the American population but also worldwide.

Is Organic Farming the Future

Is Organic Farming the Future?

Overview

Organic farming is a technique that involves animal rearing and cultivation of plants using entirely natural methods. These methods make use of biological materials while avoiding synthetic substances. The soil fertility is maintained, ecological balance is achieved, and there is minimal pollution and wastage.

It is heavily reliant on agricultural principles that are ecologically balanced such as green manure, crop rotation, and biological pest control, organic waste and mineral additives. The only fertilizers used in organic farming are those that are considered natural. Petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides are avoided completely.

With the drastic increase in world population and food provision for the world become more difficult, sustainable farming is the answer. Climate change and pollution are negative effects of using chemical based fertilizers. The market for organic farming and products has been steadily growing and it was reported at $63 billion worldwide by 2012. Mainstream agronomist have also acknowledged that intensive farming methods generates run off with poisonous chemicals and results in irreversible soil erosion which can create problems to the ecosystem.

Organic farming practices

Is Organic Farming the FutureIn organic farming taking care of the soil involves planting cover crops such as rye or clover in between harvests to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Another benefit of using cover crops is that they retain moisture, keep down weeds, and prevent soil erosion. If they are ploughed back into the soil at the end of the season, they boost the nitrogen content of the soil. This eliminates the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Low tillage

There is also a low-till approach based on organic farming practices. In this technique, farmers plant nitrogen fixing crops in between seasons and between their rows of cash crops. This ensures the soil is not left exposed to erosion. However, low-tillage crops still rely on pesticides and nitrate fertilizers to boost production. Before they do any planting, they control weeds using broad spectrum herbicides. Seeds are then sown directly into the ground without having to do much tilling.

Low till approach has been adopted in both poor and rich countries. According to Pat Wall who is the head of Conservation at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre in Mexico, almost 2% of global farming land is using this method. Most of it is in the United States. Farmers who use low tillage purport that it conserves the soil structure and reduces inputs related to energy.

Although they are still used, low tillage reduces the quantity of fertilizers used in farming. The cover crops planted in between fix nitrogen into the soil and with the buildup of organic matter, nitrates and nutrients are slowly released back to the soil. This reduces the need for fertilizers further.

However, for farmers who believe in pure organic farming, any approach in improving production with the use of synthetic chemicals is retrogressive. According to Peter Melchett, the policy director at Britain Soil Association, you can only use low tillage methods for weed control for up to three years. The weeds will then become resistance to the chemicals used. The farmer will be then left looking for stronger chemicals or do ploughing. As such low-tillage is not a long term or viable solution for farming.

Organic farming and high yields

Is Organic Farming the FuturePeople who oppose organic farming argue that it cannot produce sufficient amount of food to feed the globe. They purport that organic farming is meant for kitchen gardens and lots since it produces low yields. This could not be further from the truth because there is evidence available to prove that organic farming is fully able to produce food sufficient for all. It can be done from one generation to the next without harming the environment or depleting natural resources.

New research has proven that organic farming does not result to lower yields. Field specialists visiting farms in Germany have noticed that to have a higher yield during the initial years of organic farming, it is good to start off with a cover crop with high levels of nitrogen instead of a grain crop. The inference to this is that organic farming can match the quantities of food produced through chemical means.

Conclusion

There are some grocery stores which have started insisting that produce sold there has to be organically produced. Organic farming also goes a long way in protecting the environment. Although research in this field has not been adequately funded compared to the chemical based farming, organic farming remains the most viable and sustainable option for the future.