There are always some valuable lessons to learn form the past. The ancient way of farming is one of those. When I say ancient way of farming, I simply mean “Organic Farming”.
Organic farming is practicing environmental friendly ways of growing crops. It is learning how everything present is nature is interlinked and how it compliments and serves each other. In short, it is experiencing the divine ways of how nature works around us while being a part of it.
Why grow organic food?Many gardeners appreciate organic gardening as it is free from man-made chemicals used in form of fertilizers and pesticides in the fields which can cause an imbalance in ecological system.
Organic gardening is not only beneficial for you and the wild life but also the organically-grown crops are healthier, tastier and guarantee freshness.
Five ways to get started
Take your farming practices back to the basics by following these 5 simple steps.
1.Give it back to the Earth
Start off by making your own compost. Fruit and vegetable peelings, eggshells, teabags, shredded paper, pruning and even fallen leafs can turn into a rich compost that will improve your soil quality. Make a compost bin in which you can collect a balanced mixture of organic waste and let it decay.
2. Welcome Wildlife in your garden
Pesticides sprays done on crops that we eat, not only devastate our health and environment, but they also kill beneficial insects that are less tolerant to these deadly chemicals.
These friendly bugs are nature's way of pest control. Attracting beneficial insects and wildlife to your garden will control many pests for you such as snails, slugs and greenflies. These friendly bugs are very sensitive and less tolerant to pesticide sprays.
3. Encourage Companion plantation
Crops with strong fragrance are grown along side to avoid pest growth such as carrots and leeks are advised to be planted together because they drive each other's pests away.
Dill attracts aphid eating hoverflies. Strong scented flowers not only attract bees and other beneficial insects but also discourage pest attacks on your crops. Garlic plants keep away aphids. Planting marigolds with tomatoes also ward off aphids.
4.Practice Crop rotation
Grow crops on alternate plots each year to avoid disease built-up in soil. Take care of your plants so that they stay healthy and pest free.
5.Adopt Natural Weed Control
Hoe your plot to get rid of the weeds before they could disperse their seeds. A layer of mulch can also prevent weeds from taking over your vegetable patch.
Adopt some if not all of the practices of organic farming and play your part in preserving nature.
( published in t2extra pages: ExpressTribune on 31st Oct,2010)