Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Natural, Organic Or What?

     Garden talk often leads to the daunting and often misunderstood question, "Are you organic?" My hesitation to answer that question is prompted by the fact 'organic' is often misused and grossly devalued. "Are you a natural gardener?" What on earth does that mean? After all, gardens are not 'natural' they are cultivated by man. "So what are you?" I am a bit of both.
      When  we sat down to plan our gardens thoughts of nasty pests and ravishing disease never crossed our minds. All too quickly we were faced with caterpillars, aphids and the all aggravating stink bug. It was time then and there to determine how far we would go in combating pests without defeating the purpose of our homestead.
        A few considerations:
        *Small children. With little ones active in working and consuming the gardens, gave us concern over some methods of pest control, herbicides, and fertilizers.
        *Home well. Having the source of our water right here on the property leads us to further question conventional resources and their effect on water supply.
        *Stocks and flocks. Our animals graze the gleanings throughout the garden season. After reading the labels of most garden products we realized how many are dangerous to them.
      An article from "Organic Gardening" explains my definition of natural/organic gardening, "An organic gardener strives to work in harmony with natural systems and to minimize and continually replenish any resources the garden consumes." Excellent. When I consider the effects of most conventional methods for gardens, they don't fit the model my definition allows. Realizing that conviction and my desire to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me with, it was time to determine what we would do.
      Now that we have defined our garden type or style, it's time to look at what we do to handle the pests, problems, and nuisances plaguing the homestead garden. Join me tomorrow as we peek into the tool shed for a look at methods, products and plans for our natural organic garden.          


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