“Organic production is not simply the avoidance of conventional chemical inputs, nor is it the substitution of natural inputs for synthetic ones. Organic farmers apply techniques first used thousands of years ago, such as crop rotations and the use of composted animal manures and green manure crops, in ways that are economically sustainable in today’s world. In organic production, overall system health is emphasized, and the interaction of management practices is the primary concern. Organic producers implement a wide range of strategies to develop and maintain biological diversity and replenish soil fertility.” (USDA, 2007)
• Soil – We care for our soil by using cover crops, compost and crop rotation. Soil is a living eco-system. Certain cover crops fix nutrients in the soil. Healthy soil is full of microorganisms such as nematodes, fungi, bacteria and earth worms and each plays its indispensable role. When compost is incorporated into the soil, microorganisms and nutrients are introduced to encourage healthy plant development and growth. Crop rotation not only reduces disease it also can replace certain nutrients back to the soil.
• Pest management – Not all bugs are “bad bugs” some are beneficial to our garden such as lady bugs, they prey on “bad bugs” and our honeybees are our pollinators. For the “bad bugs” we use
crop rotation which promotes healthy plants allowing them to handle the pressure of some “bad bugs”.
Cover Crops: We choose different cover crops for different purposes. We have found sunn hemp to be very beneficial in our region of the country. It’s a cover crop that will increase organic matter, provide nitrogen, knock back Bermuda grass, grow well in low fertility sandy soils and does not harbor nematodes. Sunn hemp can produce over 5000 pounds of biomass and over 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre. It grows rapidly in as little as 60 to 90 days.