Organic food is one that is grown using eco-friendly methods. Its growth does not involve the use of synthetic chemicals that are used in conventional agriculture such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. It is thus safer and more nutritious than conventional food.
Growing organic food in your backyard.
Obviously, the first and most important step in doing organic farming in your backyard is planning. Select the best location and prepare your backyard for farming. This may be a labor intensive and expensive venture, and you need to be prepared from the outset.
If you want to go organic, you need to start applying organic methods from the word go. Choose natural seeds and avoid the genetically modified ones. Choose organic crops that can easily be grown using organic methods. There are some crops that are known to contain a lot of synthetic chemicals when grown using the conventional methods, such as potatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale/collard greens and spinach, to name but a few. These are some of the crops that you should consider growing in your backyard. As you choose your crops, strive to preserve diversity. Grow the unusual varieties of food crops if you can, and collect seeds of various plants that have been ignored by conventional agriculture.
Use natural methods to control herbs, pests, and diseases. For instance, mulching, hand weeding, tilling and crop rotation can help you control herbs instead of using herbicides. Use insect traps, predator insects and beneficial microorganisms to control pests. There are some birds that feed on the common insects that affect crops, and you can make use of them. Alternatively, you can use the so-called good insects that feed bad insects which destroy crops.
Use natural fertilizers. Do not use the synthetically manufactured fertilizer. Instead, go for compost manure or domestic animal waste to enhance the fertility of the soil. You may also need to apply organic livestock management practices so that you can make use of the livestock waste in your backyard farm. Keeping livestock will also make organic meat and dairy products available if you want to go organic all the way. This livestock should also be fed on organic products. You may also use domestic waste instead of animal waste as manure.
Conserve water and soil, and work in harmony with Mother Nature. Water and soil conservation will ensure that your crops grow in a natural environment that maintains the natural eco-system. This helps in ensuring that the crops remain as healthy and nutritional as they should.
Once you have harvested your food from the farm, do not use synthetic preservatives. The food materials should also not be processed using practices that go against organic food principles. Use or sell the food in its natural form. You will realize that organic food has a better taste than conventional food, as well-balanced soils produce healthy and well-rounded plants.
Organic farming is labor intensive, but it pays in the end. We are living in a world of lifestyle diseases where what you eat today determines how healthy you will be in the coming few days, and it is important to go the organic way if you want to remain healthy. Global warming and environmental friendliness are also major concerns in all parts of the world and everyone is encouraged to employ organic agriculture that conserves water and soil, although it has its own shortcomings.