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Natural Agriculture Concepts.
Easy to understand. Easy to learn. Easy to apply! Easy to Teach!L. Rieber No Spray Staff Writer
Concepts Not Recipes
Where does your food come from? Please don’t say ‘the grocery store”. Food comes from somewhere. If it is fresh food, it comes from an agriculture farm. If it is in a package, it came from a factory that processes fresh produce that came from an agriculture farm. Either way it came from agriculture.
What really is agriculture?
According to www.TheFreeDictionary.com Agriculture is “The art of cultivating the earth in order to obtain from it the divers things it can produce; and particularly what is useful to man, as grain, fruit’s, cotton, flax, and other things. Dormat, Dr Pub. liv. tit. 14, s. 1, n. 1.”
What then, is Organic Agriculture? According to the USDA, “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
Wow those definitions could not be more different from each other. No wonder there is confusion throughout the United States and world. I was confused too at the beginning. We as a human race, have somehow left agriculture and our food in the hands of the corporations whose goals are solely to make money in the form of profit. After completing a Bachelors degree in Agriculture with a focus on sustainability and over three years of heavy research I can now explain what agriculture is to a two year old AND it is not as complicated nor expensive as corporations lead us to believe.
There are two very different types of agriculture, one in which we consider the soil a sterile medium and an endless supply of salt based synthetic nutrients and chemical pesticides must be added. 16-16-16 ring a bell? This type of agriculture strives to be in complete control, and disregards that there is a natural ecosystem. Makes sense per the definition.
True Organic agriculture, no one is in complete control. Tanya L. K. Denckla who wrote “The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food” states so perfectly in her book that “Soil composition, air quality, water, birds, insects, weeds are just a few of the forces that influence the nature and health of a garden. Your role as a “garden steward” is to work with these forces encouraging the balance to shift in your favor, not to dominate them with the goal of achieving perfection.”
In organic and natural agriculture, nutrients are consistently being recycled into spaces of the earth that we are consuming from. Growing food has cycles, it has it’s ups and downs. Nature can and will always balance itself out. This type of agriculture is based on concepts and not recipes and formulas.
How do you tell the difference? How do you know what to do? There is so much information out there, how can one determine what is agriculture ($ money $) based and what is organic based? For starters one is for the money and one is for your health.
Understanding that the food system is corrupt is the first step, and the next is following some really easy to learn and apply concepts.
I have been working on these agriculture concepts for several years now to help out friends and family members understand what true, real, natural, organic agriculture is. It works. They understand and now they garden. They now grow their own food and know how and why. These concepts can be explained to a child. The first is 6 Soil Health Factors, second is Death is Apart of Life and third, Find the Root Cause to your Immediate Problem.
Read more about these concepts…
Number 1: 6 SOIL HEALTH FACTORS.
In growing food, plants, trees, medicine, etc the SOIL is the most important aspect. Without soil, none of the above would be exist. Soil contains life. In fact, healthy soil will contain over a billion organisms. Dirt is dead. Dirt is sterile. Dirt cannot support all stages of a plants life without synthetic inputs ($$).
Agriculture promotes dirt to ensure that their businesses of selling fertilizers ($$) and pesticides ($$) will continue to thrive. Organic and natural agriculture promotes healthy soil and continual additions of organic matter and compost, which is recycling.
Proper soil health is key. Healthy soil contains ALL of the following Soil Health Factors,
All problems in agriculture and your home garden or yard can be solved and fixed by adjusting those 6 soil health factors. Click the highlighted ones to find out more!
To learn more about Soil: CLICK HERE
To Learn in detail about the 6 Soil Health Factors: CLICK HERE
Number 2. DEATH IS PART OF LIFE
This is so important to teach others and to understand. Think of it this way, how many seeds are in a single tomato? How about a juicy jalapeno? How about a apple? How many seeds in a single sunflower? Lots. Have you ever seen an orange tree full of fruit? Each fruit containing one to ten seeds! Hundreds of fruit equals thousands of seeds per tree. Nature naturally produces several hundred, sometimes thousands of seeds (grass, weeds, trees etc) for every plant.
This is because not all seeds will produce viable plants. Things are bound to go wrong and death is inevitable. Don’t feel bad! This means that you have a “real” seed. You don’t have a bio-engineered seed that is altered in some way to “guarantee grow”. If every seed that sprouted grew to it’s full potential, we humans would have a tough time living. Plants would over take us by sheer numbers.
Another way to think about it: when we humans try to reproduce. Thousands and thousands of sperm are released at a single time. If all of them fertilized the egg, we would all be having hundreds of babies at one time. Nature prevents that. Even when a woman does conceive, the first trimester has a high percentage of “miscarriage”.
Not all seeds will sprout and not all sprouted seeds will produce viable plants. Remember that as your growing food and you’ll smile the next time you have to rid a dying plant to the compost pile. Smile because your garden is alive and death is part of life and you my friend have a natural ecosystem happening.
Number 3: FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM
All problems that you see in your plants and livestock are a result of poor soil health. Finding which of the 6 Soil Health factors is affected and then adjusting them accordingly is key. For instance after a rain storm you see yellowing all over on the older leaves of plants in the garden. Western agriculture would advise you that you need to add nitrogen most likely in a form of a synthetic fertilizer. Yellowing is in fact a sign of nitrogen levels in your plant, but adding a form of nitrogen may or may not help depending on the stage of it growth cycle.
Yellowing is the immediate problem that we are seeing. Take a moment to find out WHY your plant is lacking sufficient nitrogen. A forest in the jungle supplies sufficient amounts of nitrogen to its plants and feeds thousands of mammals including humans. No one ever simply “adds nitrogen” to the forest.
Understanding the 6 Soil Health factors can help in finding out what is lacking and what needs adjusting. For instance, nitrogen is a highly leachable nutrient. It washes away with water quite easily. Mulching provides protection to not only your soil but also the nutrients that are there. If your you can see your soil, then your lacking in organic matter in the soil. The root cause of your immediate yellowing problem is lack of organic matter. Adding compost and mulch to your plant would add nitrogen, fixing the immediate problem and then protect it during rain or watering, fixing the core problem.
Find the other way!