Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Natural Gardeners Unite > Organic Gardening

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
Big Fat juicy WORM
 
doccat5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default What is Organic Gardening?

Well the
The USDA Definition of organic "farming":

Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives.

To the maximum extent feasible, organic farming systems rely on crop rotation, crop residues, animal manures. legumes, green manures, off-farm organic waste, mechanical cultivation, mineral-bearing rocks, and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients, and to control insects, weeds and other pests.
doccat5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 09:17 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Fearless Weeder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

New to organic gardening but are there any other widely accepted definitions of organic gardening?
Fearless Weeder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
Big Fat juicy WORM
 
doccat5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default

Well that's the classic definition and the yardstick by which the criteria to have an organic "farm" or "garden" is measured. There are rules you must follow if you want to sell as your produce as organic, there is a process in place with criteria that must be met before you can use that term.

If you check the USDA site, you'll find more detailed information of exactly what is required and what rules you must follow.
doccat5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
WG Guardian Spirit
 
JennyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The South
Default

That covers the legal definition for the USDA "organic" label, but I have seen people complaining that there's little oversight once the label is earned.

I'd say that organic farming, sadly, has become just a marketing label in most cases. Organic gardening is often the same; with people who don't know better buying high-priced products that are really no better than the standard commercial soils, fertilizers, etc.

What organic gardening could be, and what it once was, I think, is a philosophy. A sort of hippocratic oath to the earth -- "first, do no harm." The sort of gardening that plans for what this garden will be like in twenty years just as much as it plans for this year's harvest.
JennyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
Unicellular Fungi
 
TheLorax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

Quote:
What organic gardening could be, and what it once was, I think, is a philosophy. A sort of hippocratic oath to the earth -- "first, do no harm." The sort of gardening that plans for what this garden will be like in twenty years just as much as it plans for this year's harvest.
Accolades JennyC. Very well stated. Not all that dissimilar to what happened to permaculture philosophies in this country.
TheLorax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
Big Fat juicy WORM
 
doccat5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but many of the people I know who practice organic gardening techniques and have been certified have gotten out of the cert business because the requirements have become so difficult to maintain. Volumes of gov't paperwork, etc, and inspectors who are clueless about what "organic" is. Btw, if you sell using the title "organic" you had better have those certificates to back it up. Some serious federal fines and penalties are involved in misrepresenting the produce if you have not met those guidelines.
doccat5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
Unicellular Fungi
 
TheLorax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

Figures.
TheLorax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 08:54 AM   #8
WG Guardian Spirit
 
JennyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The South
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by doccat5 View Post
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but many of the people I know who practice organic gardening techniques and have been certified have gotten out of the cert business because the requirements have become so difficult to maintain. .
Doccat, you're absolutely right about the expense and trouble of getting and maintaining the certification. But here's the big problem (with my emphasis added):

Quote:
Originally Posted by doccat5 View Post
Volumes of gov't paperwork, etc, and inspectors who are clueless about what "organic" is.
It's become more about government paperwork and getting checkmarks in the right boxes than about growing food organically. So, the "organic" label has become a marketing device for those who are good at dealing with bureaucracy or who are large enough to hire someone who is, and the smaller or less savvy growers are shut out. I'm sure some of the big farms really are dedicated to truly being organic, but I'm also sure that others are dedicated to doing the minimum to avoid getting caught while selling their produce at the higher prices the organic label can command. And the ironic thing is, if they'd invest the time in building up their soil and finding the best varieties for their area, they could get the yields they want organically and save even more money by not buying all the chemicals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doccat5 View Post
Btw, if you sell using the title "organic" you had better have those certificates to back it up. Some serious federal fines and penalties are involved in misrepresenting the produce if you have not met those guidelines.
One of the reasons I don't sell any produce, though I don't think I'd have time or the inclination anyway. We eat our produce ourselves, and when I give jellies, etc. as gifts to friends or family who care, I tell them the fruit is organic. Frankly, I think growing it yourself or working with a local farmer or gardener you trust is the only way to be sure you're eating organic produce, anyway. I know what went into my tomatoes
JennyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 09:17 AM   #9
Big Fat juicy WORM
 
doccat5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default

Same here, and I do a lot of work with the local farmer's market. One way small growers get around the "organic" label is to simply say they grow their produce using natural methods. We are fortunate to have the majority of the growers at the market who only use those type of methods. Including a couple that sell meat and baked goods. And they are using organically grown wheat etc, hooked up with an old hippie type and have a small mill where they grind their own flour. It's pretty cool to talk to these people. I have a line on a gal who grows some rare heirloom tomatoes and peppers from seed and will pass out her seedlings to anyone who is interested! I'm on the list for next year. I had very good luck with my heirlooms this year, good production and bountiful crops. Of course some of that I credit to good soil prep and using bokashi juice on the plants. It was amazing.

Large growers are discovering that "cheating" will really cost you. This law does have some "teeth" and enforcement is getting stronger as more and more attention is directed toward this problem. It's not enough to "just get by" anymore. That's one of the reasons some of the big fertilizer companies are trying to get the law "tweeked". Major fight going on over that one. They also want to include the genetically altered food crops under this. That isn't going over well.
doccat5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 09:27 AM   #10
WG Guardian Spirit
 
JennyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The South
Default

Glad to hear about the large growers getting in some trouble. I'll wait and see what happens with the fight over the regulations.

Do tell about the bokashi juice. I don't know what that is.
JennyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gardening, organic

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2