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- Organic farming: the basic principles
The principles of well-being, ecology, fairness and precaution are the roots from which organic farming develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the whole world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.
Agriculture is one of the oldest human activities: the history, culture and values of communities are inevitably linked to agriculture.
These principles apply to agriculture in the broadest sense, and therefore also the way people work with regard to the land, water, plants and animals in order to produce and distribute food and other basic necessities. The aforementioned aspects concern the way people relate to living landscapes, interact with each other and shape legacies for future generations.
- Useful equipment for organic farming
Thorough assessment must be made of the machines to use in organic farming. When considering tractors, our attention is drawn to the lightest vehicles that create less compaction where their wheels pass over the ground. By using low-energy equipment, lighter and less powerful vehicles are certainly preferable. Hence, some precise and more complex work, such as subsoiling, can be left to powerful heavy vehicles, possibly using subcontractors (for cost-effectiveness).
- Green manure: what is it, what is it for and how to make it?
The first question can only be: but what is green manure? By green manure, we mean an agricultural practice that is highly important in ecological terms. It involves growing plants that will then be cut and buried when fully grown in order to provide a green fertiliser.
Before sowing green manure, the soil must be tilled in the same way as sowing for a conventional harvest, resulting in thorough preparation of the seedbed.
Green manure brings many closely related benefits:
- It provides food for soil micro-organisms, man’s allies in healthy cultivation. By means of their metabolism, they make the nutrients in green biomass available to plants.
- The soil becomes softer and easier to work.
- Water can be stored better in the soil.
- The loss of many nutrients is prevented because they remain in the soil.
- The soil is covered at all times and protected against adverse weather conditions and erosion.
- The benefits of organic farming
Over the last 50 years, scientific studies have revealed that, on average and in the long term, organic farming systems can keep soils more fertile, reduce the need for fertilisers and herbicides, and produce food without toxic residues. In addition, fruit can be eaten without having to peel it, as it is free from any kind of toxins. Organic farming also allows savings in terms of water.
Those who engage in organic farming not only have the satisfaction of this healthy activity but also the guarantee of harvesting healthy, pollutant-free produce.