First of all, ‘Organic’ vegetable gardening has been around since the beginning of time evidenced by the “Garden of Eden” as well as ancient civilizations who cultivated more and more local plants for food to eat. Ancient peoples essentially fed their families from hunting, fishing and vegetable gardening.
The fact is they developed natural, what we call ‘Organic,’ ways to feed their gardens and remove pests. It was a time long before pesticides or fertilizers. As the world’s population and the demand for food continued to grow people continually looked for new and better ways to increase the yield of their garden crops.
Then in the 1900’s science began looking for ways to increase production and protect gardens and farms from pests. Simply put, they created chemicals to kill the bugs, synthesized fertilizers and genetic propagation to cut the harvesting time and make the vegetables bigger and more standard in shape and size.
These synthetic chemicals became widely used around the mid 1940’s and continued for years and years with great success. The sad fact is that no one could even imagine that these chemicals and fertilizers would affect humans, animals, beneficial insects as well as the environment. Further they didn’t realize these chemicals and over-harvesting procedures would tax our soil so harshly that many of our nutrients would be lost for future crops.
Let’s face it, people were so enthralled with the beauty and wonder of the mass production of veggies, and, that they could live bug free; that no one was prepared for the fact that many of these chemicals and fertilizer toxins would be absorbed by the human body. Now science tells us some of these very toxins have been linked to Alzheimers, leukemia and other diseases. Finally people realized it was time to take more care and control of what they were growing and eating.
Even so it was not until the 1980’s that Organic vegetable gardening made a comeback. It was when the US department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow organic by giving them incentives. This stimulated more farmers join the Organic bandwagon both here and in Europe.
Make no mistake, organic vegetable gardening is much more than merely removing synthetic or chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is the replacement of the method of “treating the symptom” with a method of treating the cause which is a “whole process method” from start to finish to create a balanced system in our farming.
Let me explain, today’s Organic Farmers have returned to many original techniques used thousands of years ago in growing garden crops. These techniques of using natural compost, crop rotation, using beneficial insects in pest management and sustainable cultivation, preserve and rebuild the soil, stimulate garden productivity as well as combat garden pests without harmful chemicals or synthetics. Over the years Organic vegetable gardening has proven to be effective.
Now listen, among many studies about this, there is one in particular which was a six year study regarding apples. About apples, many health experts claim conventionally grown apples are often treated with chemicals directly onto the fruit and are therefore unhealthy for us to eat, but the organically grown are clean from this. Which is the reason to highlight this study as it showed that a working organic apple production system has similar yields to conventional non-organic farmers who used fertilizers and pesticides.
It is most important to realize that the organic crops achieved this without the risk of harmful chemicals and this process is actually rebuilding the life, the sustainability, in our soil, and environment for the future.
Consider this; there is an increasing percentage of vegetables consumed in the US which are imported from other countries. Do you know where your veggies came from? It is vital to take control of the foods you are putting into your body.
The good news is, because organic vegetable gardening is so easy, almost anyone can do it. Yes, you can plant your own vegetables at home instead of buying them from the supermarket. Or, if you don’t have a green thumb there are hundreds, if not thousands, of local farms and farmers markets you can buy organic from.
Get this: Buying local not only helps you and your family to eat more quality foods, it also promotes and sustains our local farms, which in turn, improves the local economy, your health, the environment and our soil. This fosters self-sustainability which is something we all need to consider these days.
Now for those who are ready to grow your own organic garden, the key to a successful harvest is planning. You will need the land, or proper containers to plant in, adequate sunlight and an effective drainage so that your veggies are able to get the right amount of water.
Next, it’s time to choose what to plant. Different vegetables have different needs, you know, conditions attributed to the climate and the type of soil you are planting in. You can discover most easily what grows well in your area by visiting local nurseries and even some home improvement stores with large lawn and Garden departments.
Most of these have experts who can help you select organic plants or seeds for your locale as well as how to get or create the right soil and water needed for your veggies. Also, fun and beautiful to visit, are local arboretums or botanical gardens that are open to the public. Many of these have master gardeners and true gardening experts who can explain how, when and what grows best in your area.