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  • Category: Gardening

    What is organic farming or gardening? Tell me the pros and cons of it in detail.


    Do you want to adopt organic farming in your garden? Want to know the pros and cons of organic gardening? Your search ends here. Know all about organic farming from farming expert here.

    I am pursuing gardening as my hobby. I am sowing spinach, tomato, aloevera in my small garden and I have to supplement the nutrition of the soil with fertilizers and sometimes I have to use pesticides to keep the plants free from fungus or leave worms. I am reading in print and online media that product from organic farming is the best. I want to know in details about organic farming or gardening to have the best results. Kindly also tell me all pros and cons of organic farming in detail.
  • Answers

    5 Answers found.
  • Organic farming/gardening is one of the best way to grow and eat healthy, chemical-free vegetables and fruits. You have taken a good decision to grow your garden organically. In simple language, organic farming is the technique of building up a farm or a garden without using any chemical or synthetic materials. Everything, from manure to pesticides and insecticides are natural materials or organic in nature.

    Pros for opting for organic farming/gardening:
    1. First and best advantage of organic farming is that it is environment friendly and we do not harm nature in any way by producing crop plants or vegetables in this way.

    2. All bio-degradable waste of our home goes into the soil for its beneficial purpose. This way we are helping in recycling of bio-wastes and degradable materials produced in our home without worrying about anything. This waste may include vegetables and fruit peels, leftover food items, leaves of trees etc. In this way, we are manuring the soil without paying a cent and also getting rid of home-garbage without a haze.

    3. Bio waste such as animal dung and human excreta is a very good manure to be used in farms. If you want you can also use it. You can even go for a small bio-gas-plant, in which all such excretory waste can be dumped and processed. Finally you will get a supply of free and clean bio-gas for home cooking and active manure for organic garden. Government pay a huge subsidy for such bio-gas plants and also guides people in its installation. The gas produced is so much that you can even sell it to your neighbors through a gas line meter.

    4. The vegetables and fruits produced as a result of organic farming are chemical free and thus best for our health. When farmers use chemical base fertilizers and pesticides, these substances gets absorbed by the plants and gets in our food chain, which is responsible for a number of ailments in us.

    5. With a long use of chemical fertilizers, soil looses its natural fertility and starts becoming barren. In this case, an organic farming comes as a boon for all of us.

    6. Organic gardening is safe in case you have small kids and pets in your home who might accidentally consume the chemical based fertilizers and pesticides sprayed on plants.

    7. When we are using chemicals in our garden, it may get absorbed by the soil and get mixed with the under-ground water and effect our health severely if that water is used for cooking and drinking.

    8. Organic farming is cheap compared to chemical farming as chemical based fertilizers are much costly in the market.


    Disadvantages of Organic Farming:
    1. Organic farming requires more labor from your side.

    2. Organic farming is time-consuming. It means you need to put up longer hours of working with your plants when you are opting for organic farming in processing of organic fertilizers and pesticides.

    3. There is still not much awareness for organic gardening and thus sometimes lack in knowledge makes us to go for chemical based products.

    4. Natural pesticides are usually not as effective against pests and insects as the chemical based pesticides and insecticides.

    5. To remove weeds, we usually use chemical weedicides , which is easy to use but when you are going for organic farming, you may have to hand pluck or use simple tools for removing weeds from your garden.


    Hope you have good production with your organic farming/gardening and let many more people get an inspiration from you.

    ________
    Regards,
    JS.

  • Hi Ashok,

    It is interesting to know that you grow spinach, tomato, aloevera etc. in your small garden. You hae also stated that in order to make the soil nutrient you make use of the chemical fertilizers. You also use pesticides and insecticides to keep the plants free from fungus and other worms and insects. This means that the method used by you to grow vegetable and other plants in your garden is not organic but inorganic.

    What is organic farming.

    Opposed to what you practice, the organic farming envisages production of crops without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or any other artificial chemicals to enhance growth of crop yields. Organising farming is a farming that comprises of methods that use natural and organic materials in the process of crop production. No chemicals or hormones are used, especially in the production of food crops by the organic farmers. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not used at all in organic method of farming. There is no use of irradiation, industrial solvents and chemical food additives in aiding the growth or ripening of food products. Organic farming is that form of agriculture where farmers make use of varying techniques like crop rotation. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers like green manure and compost. The biological methods are used for pest control. Organic farming methods, of course, to not use fertilizers manufactured synthetically or herbicides, insecticides and fungicides manufactured artificially in the factories. Hormones and food additives, which help to regulate the growth the plants and artificial ripening of the crop product are also prohibited in organic farming. There is an international regulation on methods to be used in the organic methods of farming and these have been legally enforced by many nations. International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) set up in 1972 has defined the objective of organic farming as "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved...". However, the agricultural farming today consists of only a very minute portion of organic farming.

    Brief History of organic farming.

    We should remember that the organic farming was practiced in almost all the parts of the world throughout centuries before invent of industrial revolution, which resulted in drastic changes in the methods of agriculture due to invention of several farming machines. These machines reduced the use of farm animals which were the main source of natural manure and compost. In the wake of industrial revolution, not only the machinery but synthetic fertilizers and insecticides came to be manufactured which had their unhealthy side effects when the products were consumed by the humans. Due to this fact, organic movement began in 1920s in central Europe. Growing reliance on synthetic fertilizers by the farmers and its side effects, made the English people realize the importance of organic farming in the 1940s. However the modern organic farming was only a minute part of the total agriculture.

    Processes involved in organic farming

    Organic faming methods have to look after almost every process involved in farming like soil management, weed management, controlling growth of other organisms like pests and insects, genetic modification of plants, growth, productivity and profitability etc. Soil needs enough Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and other minerals for proper growth of plants. The organic farmers have to get these by use of methods like crop rotation and application of green manure, compost and animal manure. Inter cropping patterns have to used not only for supply of soil nutrients ut also for insect and disease control. Organic farming will require soil organic matter to be increased in the soil to destroy common weed seeds. For the purpose of removing weeds, the processes of tilling, cultivating and mulching have to be carefully organised. The modern organic farmers use integrated biological pest management to control pests and diseases. Organic farming includes rejection of genetically engineered plants and animals.

    Advantages of organic farming :
    • Food products grown by organic farming are tastier and healthier sine only natural fertilizers are used to grow them.

    • Since the machinery is not used much in organic farming, there are more job opportunities for the farmers.

    • Organic farming is environmental and echo friendly.

    • The re-use of soil is better in organic farming.

    • Organic farming saves energy.

    Disadvantages of organic farming:
    • Cost of production is more in organic farming so the products are also costly. It is difficult for the people below poverty line to buy the organic products.

    • The production is less since the crops are grown and harvested by hand.

    • Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution and Nobel Peace Prize winner and some other critics have criticized the programme on the ground that organic farming cannot serve the food needs of billions of people of the world.

    "Teaching is my passion and sharing knowledge is my motto"
    Regards,
    Sukhdev Singh
    Lead Editor Forums Section

  • The best way to maintain a small garden in the yard:
    As it is a fact that plants take up the nutrients from the soil for their growth and development, the soil need to be refilled with the required nutrients in order to keep the supply of these required nutrients uninterrupted. The reason in a small area of land when a number of plants are grown, the available nutrients will not be sufficient for the plants that are grown in the small area of plot. In such a case, we need to continuously supply with nutrients from time to time. The best way to supply such nutrients to the soil is not by adding fertilizers but by adding organic matter to the soil. Now the question is where from you can get such an organic matter. It is very simple. Follow these simple tips of gardening and see how healthily the plants in your garden grow:
    • When you are growing these plants in a small area of land make sure that there is some air space between the plants instead of clustering all the plants without any breathing space as this would act as a hindrance to the healthy growth of the plants.

    • The other important thing is to make sure that the soil is not tightly packed so keep loosening the soil from time to time to allow the free flow of air.

    • Last but not the least you can use the waste generated in the kitchen as an organic matter which helps in the rich supply of the required nutrients to the soil. Wastes like peels of various vegetables like carrot peel, cabbage waste, tea or coffee residue which is very good for flowering plants like rose, chrysanthemum etc, potato peel, cucumber peel, beet root peel which is good for both for plants in the kitchen garden as well as flowering plants, peels and wastes of fruits. Besides these peels and wastes of fruits and vegetables you can even use the water used for cleaning rice or daal or vegetables which can be collected in a container and then later use this water for watering the plants in the garden. All these organic wastes generated in the kitchen help in providing excellent nutrients to the soil and thereby enable the continuity of nutrients to the soil. Plants can take the nutrients from the soil without any interruption and thus these can grow healthily. This is what is called organic gardening. Instead of giving such high scientific terms it is the simple age old way of gardening which was in use and followed by our forefathers few decades back.

    As far as know the disadvantages of such an organic gardening is almost negligible except for the thing that it consumes our time and sometimes we forget to collect the kitchen waste. If we are habituated to such a way of gardening we don't find it difficult.

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    Thanks & Regards
    Kalyani

  • Organic farming is an agricultural system where crops are produced without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms. This refers to the typical practice of cultivation adopted by our forefathers where there was no machines to reduce Human efforts. Every activity right from plaguing of land till harvesting of corps was done with Human efforts. However with the advent of various techniques of cultivation, invention of seeds for higher output (Genetically Modified corps) etc. the concept of organic farming have evolved to take the current shape.

    The Main motive of organic farming is to maintain healthy soil to produce fresh, tasty and authentic food following the natural life-cycle systems.

    Some advantage of organic farming is:
    1. Crops which are produced by organic farming are free from harmful chemicals such as pesticide, insecticide, fungicides and herbicides. Here only natural elements such as cow dung and manure produced through compost heap are used to enhance the fertility of soil. Thus products are very free from chemical fertilizers. In a one word we may call organically produced food are healthy for human beings as well as mother Earth

    2. Organically grown foods contain more nutritional elements as compared to the foods that are produced by adopting modern cultivation methods. Due to presence of harmful toxins in the pesticides, most of the vegetables found in the market are harmful for health. The harmful toxins may create complexities within the human body due to mutation of gene. Thus it is always better to eat organically produced food.

    3. Another noteworthy benefit is that the crops which are produced adopting the ways of organic farming can be preserved for a long time. They are naturally rich to meet with environmental adversities. Moreover, they are much more capable to fight with the natural risks such as flood, drought etc. Normally farmers choose the best among the better while selecting the crops for the next season. Organically produced crops very healthy and have the ability to sustain by competing against those harmful weeds that are present in the paddy field.

    4. Organic farming system is environmental and echo friendly. Great environmental benefits may be achieved through organic farming. It maintains ecological balance through simple and environmental friendly approach. It maintains soil fertility through rotation of crops and the ground water remains pure and usable without the need of further processing due to absence of chemical substances. It also helps in mitigating big environmental threats such as climatic change etc. due to its property of retaining more carbon into the soil. As the proportion of environmental carbon is reduced through organic farming, it will help to a great extent, when acted collectively, in minimizing environmental risks which at present is looming largely on the whole mankind.


    Disadvantages of farming:
    1. Organic farming takes more time as compared to inorganic farming. It requires a lot of attention in terms of keeping the crop from insects and harmful weeds. It is less economical as the output normally low as compared to modern techniques. It is not the best technique to grow crops commercially. You may not be making good money through organic farming

    2. Organic farming takes more time as compared to inorganic farming. It requires a lot of attention in terms of keeping the crop from insects and harmful weeds. It is less economical as the output normally low as compared to modern techniques. It is not the best technique to grow crops commercially. You may not be making good money through organic farming

    3. As organic farming is totally dependent on the natural conditions, the output is normally unpredictable. For example due to change in climatic conditions, the plants don't get the required conducive environment the output may be less than desirable.


    How to become effective in organic farming:
    Produce bio fertilizers naturally at home: You can produce natural fertilizers by using natural wastes. You can collect the wastes produced from day to day activities and dump them in a pit. You can also put cow dung and other organic matter to increase the fertility. After some when the wastes decomposes naturally, it will become a compost heap and you can use them in your garden.

    Follow crop rotation: One has to follow crop rotation technique to become effective in organic farming. You should know the kind of crop you may grow in different seasons during the year. Crop rotation involves growing of crops with different life cycles (crops that grow with the cycle of nature) which retards grow of particular harmful weed. This is a natural way of inhibiting the growth of harmful weds.

    Pest controlling naturally: There are natural ways to keep away the insets those are harmful for growth of crops. From the old age times farmers use natural substances such as extracts of neem and other essential oils. Moreover, there are bugs which are found to help the farmers by eating the harmful insects.

    Regards,
    Tulika Devi Nath


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