Society <http://ibnlive.in.com/trends/93.html> | Posted on Jun 25, 2012 at
05:26pm IST What organic farming is about
Jaya Prakash <http://ibnlive.in.com/byline/Jaya-Prakash.html>,
With everything going green/raw/natural, the term *’organic farming’* is
very familiar to us these days. But what actually is organic farming?
In simple terms, organic farming is a method of farming which works in
harmony with nature rather than against it. This involves using techniques
to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural environment or the
people who live and work in it.
Such kind of farming aims at cultivating the land and raising crops by use
of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other
biodegradable materials. That keeps the soil fertile and helps in
maintaining a pollution-free environment without harming the natural
balance and leading to sustainable development.
[image: What organic farming is about]
There is nothing trendy or new about organic farming. It is the way we
produced our food for thousands of years until the very recent arrival of
synthetic fertilisers and agri-chemicals in the last century. The concept
of organic farming originated out of the organic movement that existed in
the 1930s and 1940s. The organic movement was actually an anti-synthetic
fertiliser movement. It was introduced by Sir Albert Howard, recognised as
the father of organic farming, who wanted to evolve a more eco-friendly way
of sustainable agriculture.
The benefits of organic farming are far-reaching. From improving the
biodiversity (soil life) and long-term productivity of soil, it also helps
in preserving the original nutritional content of food, keeping us healthy
and the environment clean.
So, now when we know all the good stuff about this topic, *how can we
actually enjoy its benefits?* Trapped in busy city-life and after enslaving
ourselves to technology, living in multi-storey cubes with everything in
ready-to-use format, how can one practise organic farming in the simplest
The terrace and balcony of your house, which is used to dry clothes and
keeping all the junk, can affordably be converted into your home-made
organic farm. With reports of existence of pesticides in fruits, vegetables
and food items becoming a regular feature in newspapers and magazines, It’s
time for you to turn your hands dirty and set up your own organic kitchen
With the problem of space constraint in our cities and towns, the idea of
growing pesticide-free vegetables and fruits in a garden may seem like a
bit far-fetched. But growing and owning an organic kitchen garden is
actually utterly achievable. So to start with, you need not have a big
area. Your own terrace, balcony or even windowsill can be used.
At the very outset, you don’t need to invest in fancy or earthen pots. You
can even make use of plastic bottles, buckets and bathtubs to grow
vegetables. Take a medium-sized bathtub; fill it with soil and home compost
to grow cabbages, cauliflowers, capsicums, radish and onions. The most
important step in organic farming is to make nutrient-rich soil which has
abundant and diverse microbial life that can support healthy plant growth.
It is simple to prepare and the results are extremely effective. Start with
what you have. There’s no need to buy earthworms or any other stuff. Simply
convert your kitchen waste into resource. You can start by growing basic
vegetables like basil (tulsi), mint leaves (pudina), kadi patta, chillies,
lemon grass and different varieties of spinach. In fact, the best is to
start using the seeds of used fruits or vegetables and plant them. Buying
of seeds is definitely a suggested idea but to start with, you can always
use mango, coriander, tomato or pumpkin seeds for your garden.
Since they don’t require too much sunlight, the plant can be kept in a
living room or at a place near the window. You can grow guava, pomegranate
and pineapple, preferably on your terrace since these trees require space.
You can also grow turmeric (amba or raw haldi) easily. Once you are
well-versed with simple plants, graduate to growing cabbage, cauliflower,
capsicum, radish, onions and tomatoes.
Creating your own organic garden may costs you from Rs zero to a maximum of
Rs 100 in the early stages and you can keep modifying it as per your needs.
So, organic farming is not that tough as you always used to think. Try out
these small steps and create your own organic kitchen garden. You should
definitely experience and explore the process. Organic farming is