Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Organic Transition

I was investigating WHY DOES ORGANIC GARDENING work and trying to dig up good
information to pass along to my visitors when a light bulb of sorts appeared.  LOOK AT THE SOIL
  • Understand how a plant feeds,
  • what does each plant need to GROW HEALTHY.
  • How does this fit into Organic Gardening
Initial investigation turned up photosynthesis, sugars extracted, leaf composition etc.  Well I knew I need sun and water but what else? Then -
SOIL HEALTH.  With words like nematodes, arthropods, bacteria, soil fungi, soil protozoa, earthworms, etc WOW, I had some learning to do.  SOIL QUALITY depends an all these things working in unison to create healthy plants thus excellent fruits, vegetables and flowers.
HEALTHY PLANTS attract fewer destructive pests, makes sense.
 Who do people attack?  The people that have massive defenses or the people that appear weak?  No brainier; people that are weak are the people that get picked on, and so goes the plant. 
 There are examples in BRIX gardening that show a field devastated by pests next to a field that had relatively no pest problem because of the HEALTHY SOIL CONDITIONS.

There is also photo evidence the COVER CROP PLANTING show bigger yields and more and more Universities and Extension offices are testing and producing good results.  BOTTOM LINE:  There in one thing to understand:
  • The FOOD WEB
The food web is broken down into Four Tropic Levels:
            Photo synthesizers -  That get energy from the sun
SECOND TROPIC LEVEL: organisms that eat photo synthesizers
  • Decomposers
  • Mutalists
  • Pathogens, parasites
  • Root feeders
THIRD TROPHIC LEVEL organisms that eat those in the second level
  • Shredders
  • Predators
  • Grazers
            Higher level predators
The FIFTH TROPIC LEVEL and higher are the birds and animals etc.
 CHANGING THE PARADIGM is the biggest obstacle to green or organic gardening.
 …500 years ago a French writer once said
“There is nothing more difficult to carry out than to initiate a new order of things.  This is partly due to the incredulity of mankind who would not believe in anything new until they have actually experienced it.”
This video in about 29 minutes long will be well worth your time..See crop cover planting in action.

Cover Crop

produced for the East National Technology Support Center of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. By the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute at the University of South Carolina.
Ray Archuleta, NRCS Argonomist said

“ THE KEYS to the SOIL HEALTH are:
  • Limit disturbance, (keeps the Food Web active 24/7)
  • Cover the soil (Keeps the soil moist and cool)
  • Increase diversity (Puts back a variety of food)
  • Keep a live root growing” (Keeps the Food Web active 24/7)
 “When farmers view SOIL HEALTH not as an abstract virtue, but as a real asset, it revolutionizes the way they farm and radically reduces their dependence on inputs (chemicals) to produce food and fiber.“ 

The former Soil Quality Institute ofthe Natural Resources Conservation Service, with assistance from the Conservation Technology Information Center, provided leadership for this project. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Society thank many individuals, including the following, for their contributions.
Elaine R. Ingham
Andrew R. Moldenke,
Oregon State University
Clive A. Edwards, The
Ohio State University
Arlene J. Tugel, NRCS Soil Quality Institute
Ann M. Lewandowski, NRCS Soil Quality Institute
Deb Happe-vonArb, Soil and Water Conservation Society

Printed copies of the Soil Biology Primer may be purchased at the Soil and Water Conservation Society online store at

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