L'organic farming it is a practice that does not involve the use of external products that are harmful to health and does not adopt agricultural methods that are disrespectful of animals and natural ecosystems. Let's find out better.
> Definition of organic agriculture
> Plant production
> Animal production
> The advantages of organic farming
Definition of organic agriculture
Organic farming is a production method that goes back to a regulation governed by the European Union and only those who adhere to this set of rules and regulations called EC Regulation 834/07 can define their products as “from organic farming”.
Therefore, even if in common parlance the adjective “organic” is improperly associated with the product, in reality it must be attributed only to the agricultural method followed for its production. So, to give a practical example, the correct term would be "vegetables from organic farming" and not "organic vegetables".
The term "organic" derives from the Greek word "bios", which means "life", and is distinguished from conventional agriculture for the conscious choice not to use external inputs (products such as fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, drugs, etc.) of synthesis dangerous for the health of people and the environment, nor agricultural methods that disrespect the rights of animals and the biological cycles of natural ecosystems.
When it comes to organic farming there are some main parameters that all companies must comply with:
- Choice of resistant species the characteristics of the local climate, with a preference for native species.
- Crop rotation: it is an agricultural technique based on not cultivating the same species of plants on the same land consecutively for several seasons in order to prevent the onset of parasites and diseases related to individual species, and in addition, through crop rotation, the nutritional principles of the soil are not depleted but can reform from season to season, as the different crops consume and bring different substances and elements from time to time.
- Intercropping: it consists in cultivating different plants side by side according to combinations of species favorable to both. An example: onion and carrot help each other by repelling each other's specific parasites.
- Use of hedges and trees to create passages and boundary markings capable of host predators of various plant parasites (scrub hedgehogs, birds, bats, frogs, etc.) and to act as a physical barrier against air pollution.
- Biological fight: introduction of insects useful to combat the various harmful parasites of organic crops.
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Animal production from organic farming
The farms undertake to respect the physiological and ethological needs (animal behavior), preferring the native breeds that are best suited to the environment, especially for housing (being outdoors).
The number of livestock is related to the surface of the pastures according to the ratios that allow one healthy and complete life, in which they can develop all the healthy behaviors (scratching of the hens, the spontaneous choice of grasses to ruminate for many herbivores, wallowing in the mud of the pigs, etc.) in a sufficient living space.
Furthermore, spaces are conceived and created to isolate the heads of cattle in need of care, while in conventional breeding there is a tendency to distribute preventive drugs to all animals on the carpet. Regarding livestock feed, the feed is produced on the farm itself or imported from other organic farms.
The advantages of organic farming
There are several types of benefits that can be derived from organic farming. On the one hand, there are all the advantages related to the environment, including the animal welfare; on the other hand, there are all the direct health benefits that derive from a diet based on organic food.
- Absence of genetically modified organisms
- No synthetic chemicals in any agricultural phase (production, cultivation, processing)
- Increased biodiversity
- Fertilization takes place with natural fertilizers of organic or mineral origin
- Maintaining the balance of the land with non-aggressive agricultural techniques such as invasive burial and deep plowing
The legislation of organic agriculture
Other articles on organic farming:
> How to design an organic and biodynamic vegetable garden
> Organic farming in the country, growth in contrast
> How to organize organic shopping
> The 3 good reasons to buy organic farming products
> In praise of the shops in the farmhouse
> Bhutan, the first organic country
> Organic diet to reduce pesticides
> Differences between organic and biodynamic agriculture