Thursday, July 24, 2014

Benefits of Organics - Fertile Soil for the Future

Keeping soil healthy ensures productive crops in the long-term.

What is healthy soil?

Qualities of healthy soil include:
  • Good structure that resists erosion, absorbs water quickly, and has a high water-holding capacity.
  • Abundance of living microbes and organisms that contribute to good soil structure and release, transform, and transfer nutrients.
  • Retention of more carbon, which helps reduce the impact of global warming.

Ways to maintain it

Organic methods nurture soil's natural health and fertility:
  • Plant diverse crops and rotate them each season.
    Nourishes the most natural microbes, which foster solid, nutrient-rich soil. Also disrupts the habitat for weeds and pests, and builds natural resistance to disease.
  • Use "cover crops".
    Farmers blanket the soil which helps retain moisture, supplies essential nutrients, aerates the soil, and prevents weed growth.
  • Plant crops that are well-suited for the natural environment.
    Reduces the need for assistance from fertilizers and pest controls.
  • Use natural fertilizers and pest controls.
    Preserves the natural state of soil and groundwater; there’s no harmful run-off into our water resources or oceans.

Ways to degrade it

Conventional farms (and even some unsustainable, organic farms) use methods that degrade soil, making it incapable of sustaining itself:
  • Planting a single crop year after year (also known as mono-cropping).
  • Planting crops that do not naturally flourish in the area, or in particular season.
  • Using chemical, synthetic, genetically-modified materials to fertilize and control pests.

More about:
Organics – Fresh Water & Oceans
Conventional Farming - Degraded Soil