The Holistic Approach of Organic Farming
What we think of as “organic farming” originally came from India. (like just about everything else that has ever been invented!) Although Sir Albert Howard is considered the “father” of the modern organic movement, he observed and learned from traditional Indian farming techniques. Howard spent 25 years conducting agricultural research in India and ultimately transmitted his experiences to a Western audience. Yet no one person can lay claim to practices that were in use for thousands of years prior to Industrialization all across the globe from China and India to the indigenous people of North and South America.
It was the invention of artificial fertilizers during the 18th century, and subsequently their use after World War I and World War II , which brought about the mass production of toxic, chemically based artificial fertilizers that were incorporated into modern agricultural practices.
Organic farming, on the other hand, takes a holistic approach to the production of food and fiber. The aim is to protect soil vitality and to promote biodiversity by taking a sustainable approach to agricultural practices.
On organic farms, methods such as crop rotation, environmental management, biological pest control, composting and mulching are utilized to grow crops in a sustainable manner. Artificial fertilizers and pesticides are not used, and instead soil organisms, insects, and birds are utilized to keep pests at bay.
This sustainable form of agriculture prohibits the use of hormones and GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms. It also restricts the use of fossil fuels or methods that contribute to the pollution of the soil, air, and water supply. In this way, natural ecosystems are able to be maintained and preserved, rather than exploited and destroyed.
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