There is nothing like enjoying the fruits of your labor, literally! The seeds you just planted turn out as little shoots and flowers until they grow into bulbs and finally young little things waiting for their weaning. Picking the tomatoes and leafy greens you’ve been waiting to grow for weeks, can give you a feeling of achievement and pride bordering almost on being a parent.
If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry. Gardening, like all skills, requires time to develop. There isn’t even a standard to follow. How you develop your garden will all depend on the resources on hand and how you want develop it.
Gardening as a hobby
Creating a vegetable garden is not rocket science. In fact, producing your own food and feeding your family in the process can be fun and inexpensive way of engaging in food production. It teaches you as well your family the value of self-reliance and food security.
You can indulge in this venture as a hobby and a source of physical activity, which contributes to the maintenance of mental health. As a means of making your own personal contribution, it is a delightful way to earn extra cash. The following are some techniques that you can use in plotting out your organic farming venture:
1. Avoid the use of chemical inputs – In organic farming, no chemical products like herbicides, pesticides or even fertilizers are used. Plants are allowed to grow without the intervention of chemicals allowing for safe handling from farm to plate guaranteeing a nutritious and healthy yield. Moreover, because no chemical inputs are used, it translates to large savings for farmers while keeping the environment safe.
2. Take advantage of the “biological fight”– In nature, agriculture can take advantage of organisms that are natural predators of parasites and are allies to plants. Insects like ladybugs and chrysopes feed on aphids, while frogs and birds eat insects, snails and worms. Welcoming these animals in your garden contribute to a healthy ecosystem that ensure your vegetables are safe from toxins.
3. Preserve hedges and thickets, replant along the borders to offer shelter and food to animals and insects useful to cultivation – To take advantage of the “biological fight,” provide the necessary environment for insects and animals that feed on pests can take shelter and feed. Preserving hedges and thickets encourages these beneficial predators to stay in your property and assist in your efforts at organic farming. This symbiotic mutual relationship can help farmers improve their yield while providing a balanced and sustainable nature-friendly ecosystem.
4. Use cultivation – Cultivating the earth depletes it from nutrients. It is, therefore, necessary to give it fallow period, so it can regain what it had lost after a cropping season. This method allows for simplification of organic farming since it can provide some natural advantages. The interchange of different plants that undermine disease and pests is cost-effective, because it takes away pest control and disease prevention and is normally done as a commercial, agricultural venture that makes for an ideal option to farmers everywhere.
5. Use natural fertilizers -Nature has its own fertilizers. They are either of animal origin such as manure or plant origin, like green manure or organic leftovers from the kitchen. Fertilizers help the soil retain nutrients. Moreover, the introduction of legumes whose roots contain bacteria that convert nitrogen in the air to soluble nitrogen in crop rotation allows for keeping the soil’s fertility intact.
6. Monitor seasonal conditions – Keeping tab on the environment to schedule the right moment to carry out treatments against certain diseases affecting plants can be identified, thus resulting in the use of the necessary products at the right time, saving money, time and effort.
7. Consider using raised beds -This method is advantageous for controlling aching backs and can help keep weeds at bay while saving space for other uses. Raised beds mean you don’t have to walk on your beds, and they are no wider than a couple of meters. You can reach anywhere in the bed without stepping on the soil and once undertaken, the garden won’t require some heavy digging.
Gardening is neither a new concept nor is it a fad. It is the oldest and most practical means of producing food. Organic vegetables are prettier, healthier and tastier than their non-organic cousins. Moreover, it benefits not just you but the environment as well as the animals that live of the land, resulting to a balanced and healthy ecosystem.
source : Aurora Geib