A Year in the Life of an Organic Farmer

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

compost

A Year in the Life of an Organic Farmer

Organic farming practices are in use on approximately 4 million acres in the US and 30.4 million acres globally.

It’s unlikely any organic farmers are growing vast acreages of commodity crops like corn and soybeans, but there are many successful large organic farms.

Like chemical farmers, organic growers also start with a seed.

Or, rather, many different kinds of seeds, because most organic farmers have learned raising a diverse group of plants is much more effective and efficient than growing just one crop.

The organic seeds they use are purchased either from independent and organic seed sources or they’ve been carefully collected from the previous year’s crops.

After all, seeds are an organic farmer’s investment in the future.

The organic farmer chooses crops based on what she knows will grow well in her climate and region, what her customers want, and what she loves to grow, because farming isn’t a life you choose to make tons of money.

Organic farming is a decent living because you make enough money, and you feel pretty good about doing it.

She plants her seeds in soil that’s rich and healthy from years of good care.

She might use a tractor to plant her seeds, or a roller crimper or cover-crop roller, but she avoids driving machines on her soil as much as possible since this compacts the soil, causing runoff and erosion.

This saves fuel and time.

Her tractor may not be a flashy new model, but she would rather keep it than take on any debt.

Debt can make the difference between profit and loss.

She uses her tractor for all sorts of things around the farm, and if her tractor can’t do a job, she pays a guy down the street who has a bigger tractor to come in by the hour.

She doesn’t need to buy synthetic fertilizers since every few years she treats her fields to an application of compost, nature’s fertilizer.

She might buy additional compost if she doesn’t have enough, or she could trade with other farmers or even pick it up at a municipal recycling center, although she has to be careful not to inadvertently add any toxins.

Depending on the weather, she may or may not need to water her crops.

Her soil is spongy and holds a lot of moisture.

If she does irrigate, she can use less water than chemical farmers have to, since the soil retains more water.

The water that does run off is less polluted than that of her chemical neighbors’ fields.

To further prevent runoff and erosion, she plants windbreaks (which the birds and bees also love) and adds swales to her fields to catch the valuable soil that runs off.

She knows weeds will like her good soil just as much as her crops do, so she applies mulch to prevent the weeds from growing.

This might take the form of a plastic sheet, straw, or leaves.

If she’s a forward-thinking organic farmer, she plants a cover crop that’s now compressed into mulch.

But weeds do grow, which is why she hires people to help her weed and employs other forms of manual cultivation to keep them under control.

She tries not to till the soil to either plant or weed because she knows doing so leads to erosion and compresses the soil.

She also knows intensive weeding and killing of the weeds’ seeds leads to less weeding over the years.

She may or may not purchase crop insurance, since as an organic farmer she has to pay a 5% premium to get the same coverage as her neighbors who use chemicals.

The people at insurance companies haven’t read the studies showing how organic crops outperform chemical crops over time – especially in bad weather.

Hmm.

Maybe she’ll write a letter.

She checks for pest and disease problems on a regular basis.

Since she’s more likely to have a diverse group of crops, she tends to have less catastrophic problems, but every farmer has to deal with harsh weather, diseases, and insects now and then.

Fortunately, the birds who flock to her farm keep the insect pests under control.

But if they aren’t on top of the problem, she might bring in some beneficial insects to eat the problem insects.

If her crops are diseased, she figures out what’s out of balance and corrects it, either with a mineral supplement or a USDA approved organic remedy.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

If you got value from this, please subscribe below and share with your friends!

If you’d like to read Organic Manifesto, go here Organic Manifesto: How Organic Food Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

20110907_061.jpg

Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field