Make your own free website on Tripod.com

HOME  \  ABOUT US  \  GROWING NOTES  \  WHAT'S IN THE HARVEST  \  MARKET PLACE  \  CONTACT US

 
Organic

     

What is organic growing ?

 

The term organic, in agricultural food production,  it  refers to farming practices.     It encompasses practices that promote the health and vitality of the environment.  It incorporates systems that enhance biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity . 

In order to regulate organic farming practices a number of different certification bodies have been established
in the United States. These organizations oversee the techniques used by the farmers or manufacturers they are certifying and in doing so insist on a particular criteria.  Although the details of this criteria may vary from one certification body to the next, some common standards are as follows : 

-- No
synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers (including municipal sewage sludge) are applied to the crop at any stage of its growth or harvesting or to the soil for a certain period (often 3-4 years) prior to planting. 

-- Improving the soil structure and its level of organic matter by applying organic compost and other natural fertilizers. 

-- Establishing cover crops that will discourage soil erosion and will boost nutrient levels. 

-- Minimizing damage to soil structure by regularly rotating crops. 

-- Excluding the use of genetically modified seeds in the planting of crops. 

 

 

 

Is organic food over priced ?

Very much so.  In a recent supermarket visit, I noticed fresh produced labeled as organic are priced at least 50% higher than other local fresh produce.   Unfortunately, some consumers are willing to pay extra cash for it.

This unfortunate situation is cause by a  brilliant marketing campaign or scare campaign waged by proponents of organic growing over the years around the world.  The scare campaign about the risks  associated with non-organic food sources.  

Furthermore, on several occasions, I saw organic growers post flyers around fresh produce section in supermarkets and weekend market stating reasons why they are more expensive than vegetables grown using "synthetic chemicals".   Reasons given are :

  • Higher cost due to lots of extra care given to the plants such as weeding, mulching, "green" fertilizer preparation, organic remedy on pest management, etc.;

  • Most organic growers are small scale growers and can not get good credit line from financial institutions; and

  • Organic farms in the country are usually small and limited in capacity.

   

 

 

Is organic food good for you ?

 

Although the organic industry does not overtly claim that its food is better for you, they do question the safety of foods produced by other means. This has created the perception that organic food somehow has some added nutritional benefit.  Is this true ?

 

In terms of nutritional value, there is no different between organic food and foods grown by other means.   As a matter of fact, there is no scientific evidence that states you can detect the nutritional difference between a piece of fruit grown using organic method and a piece of fruit grown another way. 

However, one thing for sure is this ... animal by-products are used as fertilizer in organic growing.  These by-products may harbor salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter.   And if we are to follow the principle of ecosystem, well, I'm sure  lots of you people will have second thoughts about farm produce fertilized with animal by-products.  And if we are to follow the principle of database, junk in - junk out.

 

Salmonella (top), E. coli (right)   

In hydroponic growing, we use the cleanest form of minerals to fertilize our plants.  It is like giving your child the best  a parent can afford.  

 

 

 

Is organic farming good for the environment ?

 

The organic food lobby argues that organically grown crops are in essence "green" crops.   In other words, they claim organic farming is the most environmentally friendly agricultural method to date.   Myth or fact ?

 

Fact #1: The world's demand for food by 2050 will be nearly triple today's farm output.  We're already farming 37 percent of the earth's land surface.  Without the high-yield farming methods, hydroponic included, more of the world's rainforest will have to give way to farming.  Without measuring the yield size of the crop, hydroponic farms can produce 1.5x to 2.9x more crop (in terms of number of plants) than organic farmers utilizing the same amount of land.  

 

Fact #2.  The world has a severe shortage of organic nitrogen; so organic farming would force us to convert millions of square miles of rainforest lands to grow 'green manure' crops.

Fact #3.  Ground water contaminated with high nitrate level in dangerous to human health.  In organic growing and soil growing, un-used nitrates can and will eventually go to the ground water where in someday, we will be using it for our drinking water.  Unlike hydroponic close system,  water and nutrients are re-cycled and re-used.

 

This is a photograph of a soil cut-away, where 1) a wide vertical slice was made in a corn field from one row to the next, 2) soil was removed from one side of the cut, and 3) nitrate-reacting powder was sprayed across the face of the other side. The "rusty" stained soil shows the distribution and intensity of the nitrate in the soil.

 

Is FRESH FIELD organic ?

 

If we are to use the true essence of the organic concept and real definition of organic growing, then   FRESH FIELD is as  organic as you can get except that we uses clean  fertilizers.  

   

Organic Criteria At Fresh Field, we ....

No synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides

As a matter of farm practice, we do not use synthetic chemical herbicides, pesticides and the likes.  

   

We employ botanical remedies, mechanical remedies, fast growing method, or other methods that will not in anyway leave any residual toxins in the human body once they consume our farm produce.  Furthermore, the chances of soil borne pest creeping into the farm produce and soil borne diseases attacking the plant is close to nil.

 

Besides, the farm is not located in a traditional farming area nor are there farms around the vicinity.  Chances for pest migration from nearby farm is not probable.

 

No synthetic chemical fertilizers

The chemicals derived from the fertilizers use by hydroponic growers are similar with those use by organic farmers, considering that we share one periodic table for chemical elements.  

   

The  only differences are: 

  • The source and the manner in which the fertilizer  comes from.  The former being from manufacturers (hence synthetic) while the latter from agricultural by-products and the likes.

  • Organic fertilizers are not readily available for plant absorption as it needs fungal and bacterial decomposition stage before the fertilizer can be absorb by the plant.  In hydroponic farming, it is readily available to plants once the fertilizer dissolved in water.

  • Chances for synthetic chemical fertilizers to harbor harmful microorganisms like salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter are less likely than organic fertilizers. 

Improving the soil structure

Not applicable because Lettuce Entertain You Farm Corporation does not use soil

 

Establishing cover crops that will discourage soil erosion and will boost nutrient levels

Not applicable because Lettuce Entertain You Farm Corporation does not use soil

Minimizing damage to soil structure

Not applicable because Lettuce Entertain You Farm Corporation does not use soil

 

Excluding the use of genetically modified seeds

Farm policy dictates that no genetically modified seeds shall be use in the farming operation.

    

^^ return to top ^^