Ap­pre­ci­at­ing or­ganic farm­ing

Agriculture - - Contents -

AF­TER Ap­pre­ci­at­ing Cli­mate Change (1st of a se­ries), we are now tack­ling Or­ganic Farm­ing be­cause, sci­en­tists tell us, and I, as a dis­ci­ple of or­ganic farm­ing for 50 years, am con­vinced my­self, that or­ganic farm­ing has a big, big role to play in what cit­i­zens can do to fight cli­mate change, and in a man­ner, that is very much in­tel­li­gent.

I first learned about or­ganic farm­ing more than 50 years ago when I read about trash farm­ing. I be­gan writ­ing about or­ganic farm­ing in the mid-1960s —the very first in­di­vid­ual to do so in the Philip­pines, in­clud­ing in the Philip­pines Free Press. UP Los Baños pro­fes­sors only be­gan men­tion­ing it many, many decades later.

To­day, many are talk­ing about or­ganic farm­ing – but not quite knowl­edge­ably. Or­ganic farm­ing ap­plies to Agri­cul­ture and the re­lated sci­en­tific fields of Forestry and Hor­ti­cul­ture. To sim­plify: Agri­cul­ture is grow­ing field crops; Forestry is grow­ing tree crops; and Hor­ti­cul­ture is grow­ing farm &gar­den crops; ex­cept for An­i­mal Hus­bandry in Agri­cul­ture, they all con­cern the grow­ing of crops.

You re­ally have to ap­pre­ci­ate the phi­los­o­phy of or­ganic farm­ing to help you grow an or­ganic farm or gar­den pro­duce, teach or write about the sub­ject with con­fi­dence.

“What is the essence of or­ganic farm­ing?” What fol­lows are sev­eral tech­ni­cal an­swers; we will study them to come up with our own clear un­der­stand­ing of the sub­ject. It can­not be that you will un­der­stand im­me­di­ately; you have to think through. Here are the re­sults of my Google searches:

About ma­te­ri­als used Es­sen­tially, or­ganic farm­ing makes use of com­post, ma­nure, peat moss, and other nat­u­ral fer­til­iz­ers in the cul­ti­va­tion of farms or gar­dens (Anony­mous, 19 Jan­uary 2003, “Or­ganic Farm­ing,” PhilS­tar Global, phils­tar.com).

Yes, or­ganic farm­ing in­volves both farms and gar­dens. But, no, Sir! The nat­u­ral fer­til­iz­ers do not con­sti­tute the es­sen­tials of or­ganic farm­ing, no mat­ter how good those nat­u­ral fer­til­iz­ers are. Next ref­er­ence, please.

About qual­ity of the ecosys­tem Or­ganic farm­ing is a farm­ing tech­nique that sus­tains, en­hances and main­tains the qual­ity of the ecosys­tem. Con­se­quently, or­ganic farm­ing does not have harm­ful and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing ef­fects on the ecosys­tem ( toppr.com).

Among other things, the au­thor does not ex­plain what is meant by the “qual­ity of the ecosys­tem” – what is the “ecosys­tem” any­way? For the mo­ment, let us use the word “en­vi­ron­ment” as equiv­a­lent to “ecosys­tem” – now, what are those harm­ful and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment? Not listed. Next ref­er­ence, please.

About health of the land Or­ganic agri­cul­ture orig­i­nated as a re­sponse to a grow­ing aware­ness that the health of the land is linked to the health and fu­ture of the peo­ple. It is a holis­tic

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