Before I ever started gardening I had complete faith that I could garden organically in spite of what I was told to the contrary. And from the stand point of using only organic “stuff” in and on my garden — I was organic.
But looking back I see that at least for the first 5 years I had the same approach (or attitude) as any conventional gardener — I was addressing symptoms — rather than studying nature and addressing the main reason or cause for the symptoms. I was looking for quick-fixes — which is just what chemical agriculture does. And quick-fixes don’t really “fix” the problem they just cover it up by helping temporarily.
I fell for all the marketing hype that said adding a little bit of this would solve one problem and a little bit of something else would solve another.
Didn’t use too many organic sprays since I didn’t have the money to buy them, but had I been able to afford it I’m sure I would’ve had them all.
What made me realize that all I needed to do was mimic nature and work in harmony with her — I’m not sure.
Organic is now Big Business
As you know “organic” is becoming big business. If you’ve lived any length of time and/or have studied human nature and/or history you also know that the companies and merchandisers who make a fortune selling goods to conventional farmers can and will use the same strategies to sell goods to organic farmers. They promote Nature as being something you conquer and work against rather than with and use chemicals to supposedly subdue her. In other words one “bad” chemical is often exchanged for another that is considered “organic”.
Their effort to brain-wash the public has been for the most part very successful.
The Real Truth — the Way to Successful Gardening
The real truth of Nature and basic tenets necessary to be successful in gardening are unknown to almost all modern day conventional chemical gardeners and many organic gardeners.
The gardener who works with nature feeds the soil because he/she knows that the soil feeds the plants.
- He/she uses natural soil food like cover crops (green manures) and various forms of compost rather than bagged fertilizers (organic or otherwise) to increase soil fertility. They know that most problems can be avoided by feeding the soil well and increasing organic matter.
- Organic matter in turn creates better soil structure and drainage.
- Working with nature also means paying attention to good air circulation.
Diversity has a profound effect on success:
- Rotate your crops the best you’re able. It can be difficult in a small area but do it to the best of your ability. Avoid planting the same crop over and over in a given area. Use cover crops to help you break the monoculture pattern. And diversify your cover crops as well.
- If certain varieties are prone to certain diseases choose another variety.
Principles to Successful Agriculture known for Thousands of Years
In my study of the history of agriculture this year, I have found — but not surprisingly — that all these tenets were known thousands of years ago. The knowledge of them began to be suppressed when chemicals came on the scene over a 100 years ago. So as time passed what was promoted (the use of chemicals) and then considered the “in thing” became what was accepted as truth. And the real truth about what causes good garden health was almost lost except to the few.
Improvements to Optimum Conditions take Time – but they’re worth it!
Depending on the soil and garden environment we started with — it can take a while to achieve the goal of giving our plants the optimum conditions for growth. And the best way does not always give the most production from a plant — but rather a better quality fruit.
The best way is not always the quickest and easiest way. But the rewards of that way are tremendous!
- It’s low cost,
- low maintenance,
- pretty much self sustaining, and
- crops are more nutritious (which means better health for us)
One of the biggest rewards is that we end up with a healthful product that is not available on a wide scale — and certainly not available in big food stores even if it’s marked 100% organic. (There’s an exception to every rule, but I’d bet an exception to this one would be rare.)
The Cause of Problems
If something is “out of balance” with nature — it puts stress on plants and that’s when you have problems — be it pest or disease. Even when I’m out there picking squash bugs in the summer, I know that handpicking bugs is only a temporary way of dealing with the problem. As I continue to improve the condition of my soil the bugs will decrease as will early blight and any other problems that show themselves.
When you’re dealing with various problems this coming growing season I urge you to look for the underlying cause of the problem and keep striving to give your plants those optimum growing conditions. You may be a while in reaching that goal, but I can guarantee that if you do everything you can to attain it — each year your garden will be far better (and more enjoyable) because of it.
Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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