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Organic Farming

Environment | 6-12 yrs | Interactive, Learning Pod

Organic farming is a method of farming where natural waste is used to create fertilizers and natural methods used to protect the farm.

Some of these methods are:

soil management
weed management
biological pest control

SOIL MANAGEMENT

By soil management we mean maintaining the health and nutrients in the soil. Plants absorb these nutrients and give back nitrogen to the soil. This in turn, enriches the soil. Each species returns a different quantity of nitrogen to the soil. Thus crop rotation is a naturally good idea, so if one species has taken more, then another, say legumes, can give back more to the soil. Soil quality can also be enhanced by ploughing back weeds, crop residue into the soil.

Genetic modification is not used.

WEED MANAGEMENT

Weeds are handled in a gentle manner; strong chemicals shuold not be used. They harm the crop while killing the weed, and also damage the soil. Weed management may be done in any of the following methods –

  • Planting certain plants that are toxic to weeds
  • Trimming weeds from the top
  • Destroying weeds with heat
  • Mulching – blanketing the crop from the bottom. Mulching can also protect from lice, ticks, weeds etc.
  • Mixed farming –raising animals alongside plants to get rid of many weed species

NATURAL PEST CONTROL

Biological pest control – Burning dry garden waste and sprinkling it over the plants is also a good insecticide.

The farm structure, as is seen in the picture, is all about planting crops in a pattern that preserves maximum nutrients on the soil. The hedgerow (thick row of thorny bushes, usually) prevents soil erosion through wind and on the ground level. It would also deter larger animals from foraging on the farm.

Organic farming methods are wholesome because it takes away very little from the land and gives back what it can. Thus organic farming does not oppress and strip the land of its mineral riches. It also gives a tastier product. It is cheaper and has a higher crop yield year after year.

Here’ s a table that illustrates the benefits of natural or organic farming of bananas versus the conventional method –

TYPE OF FARMINGCrop 1Crop 2Crop 3Crop 4MARKET PRICE/kgPROFIT
NATURAL CONVENTIONAL18kg30kg25kg15kgRs. 2.5Rs 154
CONVENTIONAL25kg30kg20kgCrop diedRs.1.75Rs26.25

 For more environment related articles and videos, visit: Environment for Kids category.

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