Growing Organic Food: The Facts
Growing organic food is something that in the past few years, has been becoming more and more popular. All around the world, local backyard gardens have been sprouting up, and households everywhere are becoming more self-sustaining. Organic gardening is the practice of growing healthy foods without the use of additional chemicals that enhance the product. Even the fertilizers that are used in the garden come from an organic source; it could be something as easy as throwing old food scraps out for extra nutrients, or keeping your own compost heap and using that are methods that people use when they are growing organic food.
The turn from the synthetic chemicals and herbicides that have become so common among food production has been triggered by the higher importance that has been placed on environmental sustainability. By growing organic food and reducing the use of these harmful fertilizers and pesticides, the negative results are being diminished. The environment is suffering from toxic spills, waterways being polluted by chemicals and contaminating the water we use for drinking, and global warming is a term foreign to nobody. Growing organic food is just one single step that can lead to all of these effects becoming less prominent.
Along with the environmental impacts that come with growing organic food, there are also a multitude of health benefits. The relationship between your health and what you eat is becoming a topic of scrutiny as more and more preservatives and chemicals are being pumped into food. Growing organic food has been shown through research to provide food that is higher in minerals and vitamins than food that was grown using inorganic methods. By growing organic food, we can start to take the steps necessary to improving the condition of both the earth, and ourselves.
Benefits to Growing Organic Food
- Soil: Growing organic food starts with the soil. Making sure that you use organic fertilizers, like compost or manure, to keep your plants full of nutrients and energy is incredibly important. Any waste that is taken out of your garden should be recycled back into the garden in any way possible so as to keep the process pure. Leaves, grass clippings, and even food leftovers from the kitchen can be used in compost when you’re growing organic food.
- No Chemicals: Herbicides, pesticides, and any synthetic chemicals and fertilizers are the antithesis of what it means when you’re growing organic food. Getting rid of chemicals is also an additional benefit if you have children of pets- no chemicals means that you don’t need to worry about anything getting into any dangerous chemicals and getting hurt. When you’re growing organic food and not using these dangerous chemicals, you get additive-free, nutritious food that you can share with your family.
- Sustainability: Growing organic food is a highly sustainable process. Sustainability is defined as the ability of a society to function and sustain themselves without leaving future generations at a disadvantage or with a shortage of resources. When you’re growing organic food in your own garden, you are creating a sustainable method for food production that can be built upon for as long as you desire.
- Environmental Stewardship: Because growing food organically involves a reduction of harmful chemicals, the result is that the surrounding environment and ecosystems are less affected by pollutants. Contamination of water and air is reduced when you begin growing food organically, which benefits the surrounding wildlife.
- Intensive Planting: Intensive planting is a method used to help simultaneously conserve water and reduce weeds from growing. It’s a helpful practice when growing organic food, because it helps on an environmental level of reducing water use, and it also keeps weeds from sprouting up and harming your garden. All you do is simply space your plants closer together.
- Watering and Weeding: When you’re growing organic food, other sustainable practices are also involved, such as retaining water from rain storms and using that to water your garden. Drip irrigation and watering by hand are also great ways to save water when growing organic food, and it will also cut down on bills! Using mulch can also help with water conservation, which you can read more about in this article.
- Saving Seeds: One of the biggest reasons that growing food organically is so sustainable is that once you get a solid crop going, you are able to harvest seeds from what you’ve already planted, and use those to start your next year’s crop.