For a long time organic gardening had a kind of “Hippy” connotation it – the kind of thing people grew in communes.With a growing awareness of the dangers of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and the effect they have on the human body, this perception has undergone a rapid change over the last few years.
What this means is that we are now returning to times past when garden bloomed without the help of any artificial materials to promote their rapid growth, protect them from insects and, in the process, pollute them.We are now returning to an appreciation of the benefits of using only what exists naturally to grow our gardens and, in the process, once again become one with nature.
In modern usage, organic does not mean simply using what is openly available in nature but also being able to use current technology to find more natural materials to support plant growth and make in more convenient to use them.
This involves not just using modern scientific methods to enhance what nature already gives us but to also appreciate the natural logic of using nature to regenerate the soil and protect the crop from predators as well as planting crops suitable for specific environments rather than trying to change growing conditions.
Today we are once again beginning to appreciate that removing seemingly unpleasant things like manure and insects from our gardens so that the chemical fertilizer replaces the manure and dangerous chemicals are used to kill off the often beneficial insects is not just counter productive but also dangerous.To understand the basics about organic gardening and appreciating why it is essential in the long term, there are two aspects of the issue that need to be understood.
- The first issue is of soil conservation and regeneration where organic materials, usually in the form of compost, are added to the soil to replenish it and enable it to support larger crop yields.
- Secondly is the use of naturally occurring substance to protect the plant from attack from insects and disease.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables not only taste better but are more nutritious than, those supported by fertilizers and insecticides, although they may not have the artificial near perfect appearance that chemicals may provide.
The use of fertilizers has also lead us to expect unnatural growth rates and crop yields that are not what nature intended and which, by adding artificial chemical ingredients to the soil, do more long term harm than is often immediately appreciated.