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Front Page » March 24, 2009 » Carbon County News » The organic grower
Published 1,955 days ago

The organic grower


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By BERT COLLINS
Guest writer

To begin with any use or knowledge about organic growing, should be with, well, the beginning. So here is a brief history concerning organic growing methods.

Sir Albert Howard (1873-1947) was the founder of the organic farming movement. He worked as an agricultural investigator in India for some 25 years and to make a long story short, he noticed the crops and livestock in the adjacent villagers fields were much healthier than the crops and livestock in the government fields. He checked it out and discovered the reasons why and copied and improved on their methods. He wrote many books and papers concerning the subject.

J.I. Rodale (1898-1971) an American, became a follower of Sir Albert Howard's philosophy. He started Rodale press in 1930. In 1942 he launched a controversial magazine called Organic Gardening, which in now the most widely read gardening magazine in the country. He also founded the non profit Soil and Health Foundation now known as the Rodale Institute. An advocate of preventative health care he started Prevention Magazine in 1950 and today it is the nations largest health magazine.

His son, Robert Rodale (1930-1990), carried on his fathers work with many other magazines, among them are: Bicycling, Runners World, Backpacker, American Woodworker, Men's Health and The New Farm. The Rodale Book Division produces some 50 books each year on health, fitness, homes and gardens.

In 1980,with interest in the organic method growing,the United States Department of Agriculture responded with a detailed definition of organic farming. It reads "A production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives."

To the maximum extent possible organic farming systems rely upon crop rotation, green manure, off farm organic wastes, mechanical cultivation, mineral bearing rocks, (which Utah is rich in), and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients, and to control insects and other pests.

Robert Rodale coined the term regenerative and sustainable agriculture. In 1988 the United States Department of Agriculture started a program to fund research on a program it named Low Input Sustainable Agriculture.

Today, in order to get the maximum yields and bring out the full genetic potential of vegetables organic growers foliar feed once a week using one ounce of liquid seaweed and one ounce of fish emulsion per gallon of water and they always use a spreader sticker in the mix to prevent run off.

Organic growers have found that plants can absorb sprays three to five times more readily through the leaves than through their roots. The over spray from the treatment goes into the soil and stimulates vital microbial life. The fact that plants readily absorb through the leaves makes a good case for not using chemicals to grow plants.

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