About Organic Agriculture
Organic farming and gardening originated as a soil-based approach that focused on conserving and nurturing soil biology, and allowing that web of life to grow strong, disease-resistant crops. Organic pioneers, and proponents that followed them, believed this to be a sustainable strategy for truly healthy food production. In the interest of protecting soil biological life, organic growers do not use most synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Click here to learn more about the history and philosophy of organic management.
Innovations in Crop Rotations, Cover Crops, and Organic No-Till
In recent years, I have been working with the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Southeastern Oklahoma to develop a more sustainable model for organic market farming. The major management goals include limiting reliance on off-farm fertility inputs (especially poultry litter) and suppression of bermudagrass and other weeds. The result is a highly-promising bioextensive rotation that relies heavily on covercropping, including summer green fallow. Click here to read a preliminary report. A more extensive report will be published later in 2015.
The National Organic Regulations are hard to read and understand. Certified growers receive a lot of guidance through the certification process, making them aware of what they can and cannot do or use. Exempt growers (annual organic sales less than $5000) do not have the same guidance. Several years ago, I wrote a booklet that small growers can use to assess their compliance; that market managers and buyers can use to evaluate sellers; that consumers can use to get a good idea of what organic growers do. Click here to access a copy.