by Feb 26, 2014photo by on seancookandthehmc
Organic farming is a method of agriculture that, rather than using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, uses more natural means, such as crop rotation, biological pest control techniques, and compost, to produce its crops. According to the USDA, the term organic refers to “food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” The following are some things to keep in mind if you plan to begin organic growing.
One of the first things you should consider before moving forward is why you want to grow organic. The reason for this is simple: If you simply want to grow yourself some healthier food, then the requirements will be much less strict than if you want to, say, start a farm as a business. Just one example of one such requirement would be the duration of time that land has to be chemical-free before being able to sell your organic crops.
If you do plan to start this type of business, then you should become very familiar with all applicable standards and regulations. Some additional information for this can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
Knowing what you want to grow is another important question to ask yourself. One reason why this is important is for proper nutrition. Knowing what you want to grow will give you valuable insight into what types of nutrients you should be including in the soil to help your crops grow properly.
Another reason is pest control. One particular technique that organic growers use to limit pests without using pesticides is called companion planting. Companion planting refers to planting other crops that are beneficial to each other.
Companion planting works in a number of ways. First, it can bring other animal and insect life that help crop growth, such as attracting bees that aid in pollination.
Second, it can help attract other animal life that will eat or otherwise ward off pests.
Since organic growing strictly prohibits the use of synthetic fertilizers, you will need to rely on other methods of naturally improving the quality of your soil, such as learning how to make your own liquid fertilizer, how to make your own mulch, and how to make your own compost.
Keeping a journal is another important consideration. Just as you if you were a professional weightlifter, keeping track of nutrition, exercises, and progress optimize the benefits, keeping a journal for your crops is equally important.
In the log, you should keep track of things like the types of plants that were grown, the weather, the types of mulch used, and any other relevant data. This type of journal will prove useful because it allows you to see what you did from one growing season to the next, shows you what worked and what didn’t, and offers insight into what you can do better the next season.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
by Jan 08, 2014on
What’s not to love about fresh air? When you take deep breaths, it makes you feel more energized. More alive. So why not try to be around it as much as possible? Why not try to grow it?
There’s a great TED talk, where Kamal Meattle touches on growing fresh air at home, using a few different plants.
I think we sometimes forget how important plants are to daily life. Look around the homes and offices you visit, and you may see how scarce plant life is. This can be easily rectified! Let’s take a look at the 3 plants mentioned in the talk.
The Areca Palm is a great indoor plant, that can be used to convert CO2 to oxygen. It requires a lot of watering, but also releases a lot of moisture into the air, which makes for a great natural humidifier. Mr. Meattle recommends 4 shoulder-high plants per person.
The money plant is a great toxin remover. It handles removing indoor pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. Works well in the office, with artificial light, but is toxic to cats & dogs. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to keep out of reach.
The Snake Plant takes over while you’re sleeping, absorbing toxins and converting CO2 to oxygen at night. It does not need a lot of light or watering, which is good cause who can sleep through that? Goes great in the bedroom or bathroom.
These are just a few plants that could get you started, building your indoor jungle, but there are plenty more beneficial plants. Take a look at this list of air-filtering plants that NASA compiled. You’ll want to note the toxicity warnings though, or you could be doing more harm then good! If you’re looking for more information on plants and growing fresh air, check out the great book by B.C. Wolverton, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.
by Dec 30, 2013on
With interest in sustainability starting to peak, indoor farming is becoming even more common. People like to grow their own food sources because they know where the fruits of their labor are coming from, as well as what went into, or more importantly what didn’t go into producing their crops. Even in the most settled, urban areas, people are finding creative and innovative ways to produce large yields from their indoor farms. What’s more amazing is people are farming indoors and producing enough crops to make an actual business out of their produce, selling their goods at local markets.
photo by M Borch
Though it is difficult to base an entire meal around herbs, they are the aromatic and flavorful base many a dish requires to be the very best it can be. Herbs such as basil, sage, oregano, and parsley are ideal for growing indoors. Herbs that are harvested for flowers and seeds are more difficult to grow inside.
If you are partial to lettuce and spinach, you’re in luck. Greens such as these grow as easy as 1-2-3 indoors, even in colder climates. Small plants just seem to fare better indoors than larger plants.
If you want to be able to taste results from your indoor farm quickly, radishes are a great little crop to plant, as they start to become ready to pluck from the dirt in as little as 20-25 days.
Small indoor farming endeavors can be made possible by basically making a container garden out of 4″ pots for leafy vegetables, a container you can fit on the windowsill for a small herb garden, and a container at least 10″ across for your radishes.
Growing a humble garden indoors doesn’t require much by way of dirt and soil. A soil-free potting mix is perfect for growing small crops in-house, because it allows for aeration of the roots, as well as drainage.
Are you more interested in growing tomatoes, peppers, and other plants that are trickier to farm indoors? A rotating hydroponic growing system may be exactly what you need. Even amateur gardeners have farmed fruits and vegetables from tomatoes to strawberries, even eggplants in new state of the art hydroponic growers, right inside their home or garage.
Not only can you produce enough vegetables and fruits to supplement your family’s grocery bill, with a bit of hard work you can grow enough to sell at your local farmer’s market. The best part about using hydroponics in your indoor farm is the low level of maintenance required to keep things running smoothly. If approximately an hour of your day seems like a reasonable cost for fresh produce, you’re on the right track.
If the thought of successful indoor farming still seems impossible, take a look at these 14 amazing indoor farms that use revolutionary growing technology to produce food that might have graced your table. These remarkable indoor farmers started off with an idea, just like you. You never know, it may not be long before you share in the success.
by Dec 26, 2013on
We’re pushing a new site design, that should hopefully help all you folks on mobile devices. We decided a green theme made more sense, since we’re all about green farming.
Enjoy the new site, and let us know if you have any issues!
by Jul 06, 2012on
We’re hard at work, trying to offer a better experience. Check out a few of the upgrades we’ve made to the site, as well as a couple links we thought you might enjoy. If you have any suggestions, you can leave feedback anytime.
If you have a listing with us, it is now easier to list what products you offer. You should see new checkboxes in the “Extras” section, when viewing your listing from your account.
We no longer limit you to 4 photos per listing. If you have more photos you want to add, head over to your account and add more photos to your listing!
New uses for eggshells
Chris Barnes shows us that eggshells aren’t just for tossing in the trash. From fertilizer to slug repellant, he lists a few uses that you may not have known. Check out his section for other repurposing ideas.
Organic tomatoes healthier than conventional plants
Scientists explain that when tomatoes are grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides, plants are forced to respond by activating their own defense mechanisms which increases levels of all antioxidants.