Farming as an industry is a two-edged sword. It may sustain life or kill it. It sustains life by providing us our daily food. It can destroy life by providing us with chemical laden produce as well as killing the entire micro-organism population in the soil. If we want to cultivate healthy food in a sustainable way, we need to employ natural farming methods.
The destructive effects of poisonous chemicals in farming are concerns that we cannot ignore. Though a lot of the general public do not to realize the magnitude that these destructive chemicals have brought to the farming industry, it will in due course be felt by consumers through the ill effects of unsafe food consumption.
The process of farming with chemicals may initially lead to bumper crops, but these are not sustainable. Once the natural soil condition is destroyed, production will decline and the cost of production rises. Instead of increasing in production, agriculture based on chemical assistance eventually leads to the reductions in yield.
This being said, natural farming is the only viable way to sustainable farming. With natural farming, all farm inputs come from natural materials. Aside from that, natural farming takes the law of the nature into consideration to attain bountiful harvests. Natural farming is the constructive face of science. It heals the soil which has been abused by chemicals, and the natural ecosystem has the ability to recover.
Natural farming operates on the principle of environmentally-friendly practices. It respects the life of crops and livestock by giving them a healthier environment to thrive on. Plants and farm animals raised naturally also exhibit stronger resistance to diseases. This results in high quality yield, which then farmers can sell at higher prices.
Here are some reasons why growing crops with natural farming methods is the best way of producing food:
- No chemical fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers are known to cause a lot of illnesses, not only to humans but also to farm animals. Studies have shown that direct exposure to these harmful chemicals can lead to serious diseases such as cancer. Likewise, regular consumption of chemical residue found in the skin of fruits and vegetables can lead to cancer, birth defects and infertility.
- No pesticides. Studies have shown that pesticides as well as other poisonous farm inputs found in fruit and vegetables may put young children at risk of developing cancer in later life. According to study leader Dr. Rainbow Vogt, “We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes”.
- No herbicides. Herbicides are not only toxic to weeds, but to plants, animals, and humans as well. Skin rashes, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer are just some of the health issues linked to herbicide exposure.
- Farm inputs are made by the farmers themselves, so they know exactly what they are putting into their plants and the environment. Everything that goes into the soil such as fertilizers, pest controls, soil conditioners among others, is made using natural and organic materials. A true farmer understands that his surroundings can be a treasure chest of useful materials that will help him in farming. Composting is one of the more popular methods employed. Others also use fermented plant juice and wood vinegar.
- Natural farming does not rely as much on machines to till the soil. Instead, worms and small animals are used. Natural farmers believe that worms are better than machines and rightly so. Do you know that machine can plow 20 centimeters while a worm digs 7 meters? Add to that the bonus of worm excretions going into the soil.
- No pollution. This is the best part of natural farming for me. Since we do not apply all those harmful chemicals, we do not subject our plants and ourselves to pollution. We live in an environment of clean unpolluted air which is also an important factor to health.
We cannot deny the importance of natural farming as a sustainable food system. It ensures not only a continuous supply of safe and healthy food but also a more balanced ecosystem. Employing natural farming methods is a good way of making a difference. Agriculture is a living science, and we can only truly call it this when it is able to sustain itself, the people and the planet.