The Truth About Modern Organic Farming

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The Truth About Modern Organic Farming

The chemical industry would have you believe organic farming takes a “do nothing” approach.

If you’ve ever planted a garden, you know doing nothing doesn’t work.

Doing nothing isn’t the foundation of organic farming – just the opposite, in fact.

Thanks to the Rodale Institute’s work, as well as many organic farmers and researchers around the world, we now have a much better understanding of how to successfully grow food organically.

Not just “sustainably,” but regeneratively, focusing on building soil and ecosystems healthier than when we began and able to heal the damage we’ve caused.

The Farming Systems Trial (FST) study at the Rodale Institute began in 1981 as a way to study the effects of transitioning a farm from chemical to organic methods.

At that time, no university or business would conduct scientific research on organic farming as it was viewed as an inefficient, fringe method of farming.

In the early 1980s the plight of farmers felt dire.

They were in the grip of a crisis.

Farmers were growing too much food, so prices dropped sharply at the same time the price of land dropped.

Many farmers were overburdened by debts and only the largest-scale farmers could survive.

During this period, countless small family farmers were forced off their land.

Robert Rodale felt an urgent need to find solutions to these problems.

He wanted to ensure small farms in America would stay with the families that had cultivated the land for generations and could earn a fair living from their work.

In the 3 decades since the FST began collecting data, the Rodale Institute has researched the best practices of organic farming and shared the information with farmers.

The FST has produced many valuable findings.

Here are just a few.

1.  Crop yields from organic and synthetic-chemical farms are similar in years of average precipitation.

2.  Organic farm yields are higher than those of chemical farms in years of drought.

3.  Organic yields are also higher than chemical yields in flood situations.

4.  Organic production requires 30% less fossil fuel than chemical production.

5.  Labor inputs are approximately 15% higher in an organic farming system.

6.  The net economic return for organic crops is equal to or higher than chemically produced crops.

7.  Organically farmed soil has significantly greater carbon and nitrogen storage capacity than chemically treated farms.

When managed properly, nature finds a way to balance things out.

When we collaborate with natural processes, an intricate chain of natural checks and balances leads to a very harmonious, beautiful, and happy environment.

The natural controls go out of whack when we overmanage, overuse, and overcontrol nature.

We overmanage nature when we try to grow a single crop on thousands of acres, when we try to squeeze thousands of cows into a space too small for even a few hundred, and when we try to kill just one type of bug which throws 3 other bug or the birds that feed on them into disorder.

Nature needs time to heal.

Transitioning from a chemical farm to a certified organic farm takes 3 years, and during this time there may be more problems.

Organic farming is more labor-intensive than chemical farming, and therein lies an irony.

The government is always seeking to create more jobs, but its actions actually emphasize the drive for “efficiency” for farmers, which means fewer human hands and more hours spent alone in giant tractors.

Farm work is hard work; there’s no question about it.

It’s also satisfying, physical work that’s sustained American families for 3 centuries.

Just as important as the jobs is how we treat the people who do them.

No food system can ever be good for us if the people who harvest our food, process it, and prepare it for us are treated badly.

Switching to all organic food production is the single most critical (and most doable) action we can take right now to stop our climate crisis.

Organic farming can pull, on an annual basis, thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide per acre out of the air and keep it in the soil, adding to its carbon stores year after year.

We can go from being carbon polluters straight to being carbon savers, bypassing “carbon neutral” phase.

We’re only beginning to understand just how powerful our soil can be.

Suspend all the chemical propaganda you’ve heard over the years and follow along as we explain how modern organic farming really works.

Organic farming is about more than not using chemical products.

Organic farmers use a variety of techniques to keep their fields productive and healthy.

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

Have an awesome day!

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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


Dick and Lenay

email: – 715-431-0657

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