he Art of Farming blog series is meant to take you underground here in Ag-Land. Regular readers of the series will, we hope, be able to confidently join in the farmer-talk the next time they come face to face with their favorite growers, or at least make their friends wonder how they know so much about what it takes to grow food.
The All-Inclusive Organic Approach
In contrast to the problem specific, chemistry-based approach to pest control found in conventional agriculture, organic solutions require a wide-angle approach to problem and all of it’s interconnected causes.
“Organically, biologically, life isn’t something you create or control, it’s something you encourage, celebrate, and empower. We can manage to an extent the conditions under which the life we desire flourishes. In other words, we manage the variables to give the carrot and or the cow the right environment to flourish. We facilitate and nurture an environment where the carrot or the cow can thrive, while simultaneously discouraging any challenges to this vitality, and that requires a working biological knowledge of everything that’s interfacing with our crops and herds and flocks.” – Uncle Vern on the organic approach
Know What Eats Your Enemy
Hans Wilgenburg grows greenhouse strawberries, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, and tomatoes. Insects and soil biology are just as much a factor for Hans as they are for farmers growing crops outdoors. In the video below he explains how he uses natural control to deal with plant-eating spider mites and root-eating nematodes.
Working with the Birds and the Bees
What looks like a confused coffee stirrer hanging off a branch in one of Uncle Vern’s peach orchards is actually part of a year-round strategy in worm prevention. In the video below, Uncle Vern explains how these pheromone dispenser provides an organic solution for controlling the Oriental fruit moth.