Easy Organic Gardening eBook
In addition to reducing production costs, farm profitability may be improved by increasing prices received for crop and livestock products. Organic farming is one option for adding value to farm products that has become increasingly popular in recent years. During the mid to late 1990s, retail sales of organic products in the USA and Europe rose 20 to 30 annually (Tate, 1994 Burros, 1997 Welsh, 1999). In 1997, the American and European markets for organic products were each estimated to be between 4 and 5 billion, while sales in Japan were estimated to be 2 billion (Welsh, 1999). Geier (1998) predicted the worldwide market for organic foods will reach 100 billion by 2010.
Now that Gary and Ronnie's reckless fun had initiated the restoration process at Stone Prairie Farm, I couldn't wait to get into the patch between the barn and farmhouse to start a vegetable garden. I had a great assignment in Nebraska that next week, doing the botanical survey of hill prairies and pastured lands along the Missouri River. But it was hard to focus, as I kept daydreaming about what I was going to plant.
These I didn't mind because I was keen to eradicate the existing farm divisions, which were obstructive and arbitrary. I longed for a time when the rolling land would run together into an unbroken ecosystem. Much of this idealism soon faded. I woke one morning to find that the neighbor's cattle herd had wandered onto the farm, trampling a large area that we'd recently reseeded and collapsing a few banks on the spring brook. That damage alone was upsetting, but the cows had also laid waste to the tomato vines, the lettuce, and all the spinach plants in our vegetable garden.
Production of a bountiful food supply in most countries. Despite continuing use, the detrimental effects of these chemicals on nontarget vertebrate and invertebrate populations have been recognized for decades. Moreover, the public is now more concerned than ever about the effects of chemical insecticides on their health, as is evident from the continuing growth in sales of organic foods.
Fruit and vegetable exports are the most sensitive to phytosanitary and food safety regimes, and in many countries they are largely cultivated on small farms. The same is true of organic production, for which markets are growing and also ever more demanding in terms of product quality. For small farmers, once again, organization is a key for penetrating these markets. When organic certification is obtained through farmer organizations, its cost per producer is considerably reduced.85 While there is a substantial price premium for organic products, market analysts have forecast that it will decline because of the rapidly increasing supply of organic products. However, at the same time, national markets for organic foods will be increasing within developing countries, as consumers become more aware of health issues in the diet.86
and chem_anb.htm Apart from mandatory specifications, there are voluntary specifications, which permit the compost manufacturer to use the validating scheme's symbol. In the UK, The Composting Association (TCA) have drawn up their Standards for Composts covering certification, testing, monitoring and labelling of composts (TCA, 2000). These may be viewed at http www.compost.org.uk standard.htm Specifications for composts for organic farming are seen in the EU Eco-label for Soil Improvers, and The Soil Association Standards for Organic Food and Farming - Certified Products Scheme. Criteria for the award of the EU Eco-label to soil improvers are available at
The value of every vegetable garden can be greatly increased and the time during which a supply of fresh vegetables may be secured for the table greatly lengthened by the use of the common manure hotbed and the cold frame. These indispensable adjuncts of the good garden are so easily made and cost so little that it is surprising they are not more common. A good hotbed made the latter part of February or in March can be made to yield an abundant supply of lettuce, radishes, spinach, etc., for table use by the time such crops are being planted out of doors, and the supply of cabbage, tomatoes and other plants for the home garden can be secured ready to transplant several weeks earlier than if plants grown in the open were depended upon.
I cherish having easy, regular access to open space that incorporates wild and functional landscapes. From our farmhouse door, the trails on our farm connect with those of our neighbors' lands. I can follow the forest's edge along the Spring Creek tributary that originates on Stone Prairie Farm and explore the land between the creek and the adjacent agricultural field. I usually let my neighbors know when I'm going out on these walks, and they always welcome me. I often report back to them with the observations I've gathered as I wander the banks of Spring Creek through old black maple woodlands and oak savanna remnants to the fern-draped cliffs bordering the stream. This walk takes me through a farm producing goat milk and cheese, and another with a third-generation fruit orchard and well-tended vegetable garden. Each time I pass this route I am struck by the beauty of the historic farmsteads, with their nineteenth-century barns looming red or white and old granaries and vestigial...
Bioshelters have already been mentioned under water and its use. Here it is suffice to say that a bioshelter is a structure with a solar envelope that is used to initiate a wide range of biological systems within. We have used such structures to grow food year-around in rugged temperate climates like the Maritime provinces of Canada. They are also used to grow vegetables and fishes in deserts and arid regions.
Gardening is also a great way to provide healthy food for you and your loved ones. When you buy produce from the store, it just isnt the same as presenting a salad to your family that came exclusively from your garden worked by your own two hands.