What is organic?
Organic is anything that is derived from living matter. The natural growth of plants and animals is the organic method. Plants, animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products should not take antibiotics or growth hormones as a part of this procedure.
What is organic farming/ gardening?
Organic farming is growing our plants without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Even the highly nutritious manure from the animals should be from those which have not taken any antibiotics or growth hormones. When we say the word farming it does not stop with just growing plants it includes growing of animals as well in the same way. It should be the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation.
A beautiful explanation from the legend organic agriculturist Dr. Nammalvar. take some time to listen. The Speech is in Tamil with sub titles.
Are we really doing organic farming?
Well this is a much debatable question. My below answer is just to trigger a thought. It might be a scary note but don’t worry too much. We can do less damage and the event of time our future generations will sure to reap the benefit. The soil we all know has been polluted by us. No one can assure that the animals which give us manure are 100% grown organically for generations. What about animals from water bodies? Have we left them as well? However we still have time to get things back it’s all in our hands. Hence my personal view to this is nothing is 100% organic.
What can I use?
Organic produce can be in 3 ways either from 1. Ground gardening/ farming, 2. Gardening/ Farming in grow pots/ bags, 3. Soil less – Hydrophonics.
Organic farming is use of non-synthetic bio fertilizers, compost and manure to form a healthy soil base which should be a proper proportion of NPK (Nitrogen – தழை சத்து, Phosphorous – மணி சத்து, Potassium – சாம்பல் சத்து). Adding true bio boosters such as wood ash, Panhchagaviyam, asafoetida, Epsom salt etc helps the plants to stay healthy
Ground gardening/ farming: A good soil test is first advised based on which you can decide on the NPK needs. In a larger scale it is cost effective to use cattle/ poultry manure and leaf and compost them to form a healthy soil base. The farming should be done on a location with good sun and water resource.
Gardening/ Farming in grow pots/ bags: Soil and compost forms the prime soil base. Unlike the ground gardening/ farming plants in pots do not have the capacity to hold water at all times hence to avoid drying of soil gardeners often use coco-peat (coir – CP) which has the capacity to hold water for certain period. This helps the soil to stay moist. Coir by itself does not have any nutritional value but it is an organic extract and eventually turns into compost when in soil.
Hydroponics: it’s the same concept when it comes to nutrients Just that the soil base is missing and all that the plant needs is supplied through water.