As we all know, organic farming involves growing crops in an environmentally-friendly manner. With this method of farming, no chemical or synthetic pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers are used.
Because of the organic farming benefits, more and more people are becoming interested in trying this form of gardening either for business or for personal pleasure. In fact, according to IFOAM (the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), the agency in-charge for the world-wide organic farming activities, organic farming has become so prevalent that 32.3 million hectares of agricultural land in the world are utilized for this venture.
Anyone who is planning to grow crops naturally knows that there are several methods of organic farming that can improve crop productivity, and three of the most common ways to improve yield are incorporation of organic fertilizers, implementation of polyculture cultivation and administration of pest control.
Methods of Organic Farming #1: Incorporation of Organic Fertilizers
Organic fertilizers or composts are incorporated into the garden soil to enhance the soil’s fertility. When the soil is fertile, it means that it contains all the nutrients needed to grow plants healthily. These are purely biological and eco-friendly in nature. Although there are several natural components which can be added into the compost, it is the vermicompost that is commonly used nowadays. Vermicompost is actually the end-product of breaking down organic materials with the help of fungi, bacteria and worms. Through incorporating this in your natural soil, you are speeding up the natural process of decomposing organic matter. Aside from this, urine, humus and animal manure can also be mixed together to become a compost as well.
Methods of Organic Farming #2: Implementation of Polyculture Cultivation
The trend in organic farming cultivation nowadays is the implementation of polyculture system rather than the use of the traditional monoculture system. With monoculture, only one crop is planted at a time. This has been practiced in the past because farmers then believed that planting a single crop could save on pesticides, seeds and fertilizer costs; however, it was found that it also promoted soil erosion and reduction of soil fertility in the long run.
Polyculture is different, in the sense that it cultivates various kinds of crops in one plot; hence, it will help in attracting numerous beneficial soil microbes. In addition to this, some of the planted crops have natural pest repellent characteristics which will naturally eliminate the need for synthetic pesticides.
Methods of Organic Farming #3: Administration of Pest Control
This remains the most important part of the process of cultivation. With organic farming, the administration of pest control is through natural means without having to use synthetic insecticides, pesticides and chemicals. Natural pest control is done by way of planting crops that the useful insects find attractive. These beneficial insects are predators which will keep the harmful ones away from the plants they call home. In addition to this, the plants that are cultivated should be of varieties that are disease resistant to be able to avoid incurring additional costs.
Organic farming is both exciting and challenging. With the knowledge we have about how plants naturally grow as well as how the methods of organic farming help in the cultivation and propagation of crops, we are increasing becoming aware of the importance and benefits of sustainable agriculture, most especially, in the production of a safer all natural food resource.