Organic Farming Good Food For All

Organic Farming Good Food For All
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Organic Farming Good Food For All
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Organic Farming Good Food For All
Organic farming

Organic farming is another agricultural system that originated early in the 20th century in response to quickly changing farming techniques. Organic farming has been developed by several organic farming associations now. It depends on fertilizers of natural source like compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and puts emphasis on techniques like crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest management, mixed cropping as well as the boosting of insect predators are all encouraged. Generally, organic standards are made to permit the utilization of naturally occurring compounds while banning or limiting synthetic materials. For example, naturally occurring pesticides like pyrethrin and rotenone are allowed, while artificial pesticides and fertilizers are usually prohibited. Synthetic substances which are permitted include, as an instance, aluminum sulfate, elemental sulfur and Ivermectin. Reasons for advocation of organic farming include benefits in sustainability, openness, self-sufficiency, autonomy/independence, wellness, food safety, and food security.

Reduced Exposure to Pesticides, Chemicals.
The Organic Trade Association notes if each farmer from the U.S. converted to organic production, we can remove 500 million pounds of harmful and persistent pesticides from going into the environment yearly. Pesticide and chemical usage contributes to several negative environmental dilemmas: 1.Pesticides permit disease immunity to accumulate in crops, weeds, plant-eating-insects, parasites, and bacteria. 2.Compounds and chemicals sprayed plants contaminate the soil, water source, and atmosphere. Occasionally these dangerous pesticides stay about for decades (possibly longer). 3.Artificial compounds also dissuade smart farming techniques like cover crops and crop rotation, which in turn, can cause other dangerous environmental issues like erosion.
Organic Farming Builds Healthy Soil.
To develop wholesome food, you have to begin with healthy soil. Should you treat the dirt with dangerous pesticides and chemicals, you might wind up with dirt which can't flourish by itself. Natural farming practices are much superior than compound soil administration. A sizable nine-year research by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), reveals that natural farming builds up organic soil issue better than traditional no-till farming. Based on Dr. Elaine Ingham, only 1 teaspoon of compost-rich organic dirt could host as many as 600 million to 1 billion beneficial germs from 15,000 species. Ingham notes on the reverse side, 1 teaspoon of soil treated with compounds may carry as much as 100 beneficial bacteria.
Combatting Erosion
Does organic farming build wholesome soil, but it also helps fight severe land and soil problems, like erosion. A significant research comparing adjacent natural and chemically treated wheat fields revealed that the organic area featured eight inches of topsoil compared to treated area and had only twenty the erosion reduction. In case you are not worried about erosion: you ought to be. Erosion problems are really severe, affecting the property, food distribution, and people. But, organic farming techniques do help discourage erosion from happening.
Assessing the Effects of Global Warming
Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial is America's longest running, side-by-side contrast of traditional and organic farming. The trial, running since 1981, has demonstrated a wholesome organic agriculture system may actually reduce carbon dioxide and also help slow climate change. Actually, the Rodale study shows that: "If just 10,000 moderate sized farms in the U.S. converted into organic production, they'd save as much carbon from the soil it would be equal to carrying 1,174,400 automobiles off the street, or reducing automobile miles driven by 14.62 billion miles.
Organic Farming Supports Water Conservation and Water Health
Dwindling water supplies and inadequate water wellbeing are extremely real threats. When our water source is in danger, individuals and the world wind up suffering. American Rivers notes a significant water pollution threat to U.S ponds is runoff from non-organic farms, for example damaging pesticides, toxic fertilizers, and animal waste. Organic farming helps to keep our water supplies fresh by quitting that contaminated runoff. Organic farming also will help conserve water. Organic farmers, generally speaking, often devote some time amending soil properly and using mulch - both of which help preserve water. Cotton, an in-demand harvest, requires a great deal of irrigation and surplus water once grown conventionally. But, organic cotton farming requires less irrigation and so conserves water.
Discouraging Algal Blooms
Algal blooms (HABs) lead to adverse consequences on the health of individuals and marine creatures and organisms. Algal blooms also negatively impact tourism, diversion and so, regional and local markets. While there's more than 1 reason for algal blooms, a main human-based source of algae blooms is runoff in the petroleum-based fertilizers frequently utilized in traditional farming.
Supporting Animal Health and Welfare
Insects, fish, birds and all kinds of other creatures experience difficulties when individuals swoop in and destroy their habitat. Organic farming helps conserve more natural habitat regions but also promotes birds and other all-natural predators to live happily on farmland, which helps in pest control. Also, animals who reside on organic farms are vulnerable to wash, chemical-free grazing which can help keep them obviously healthy and immune to disease. As a benefit for organic farmers, healthy and happy natural animals are productive organic animals.​
Organic Farming Encourages Biodiversity
Insects, fish, birds and all kinds of other creatures experience difficulties when individuals swoop in and destroy their habitat. Organic farming helps conserve more natural habitat regions but also promotes birds and other all-natural predators to live happily on farmland, which helps in pest control. Also, animals who reside on organic farms are vulnerable to wash, chemical-free grazing which can help keep them obviously healthy and immune to disease. As a benefit for organic farmers, healthy and happy natural animals are productive organic animals.​

When Columbus Food Oasis & Farm to School Collide

Renee De Shay How do you build a lasting Farm to School program? This question is faced by any school that has experienced the struggle of maintaining a program through numerous leadership changes resulting from staff, student, and parent turnover. Columbus, Ga. has discovered the answer lies in strong community partnerships and coordination from all […]

The post When Columbus Food Oasis & Farm to School Collide appeared first on Georgia Organics.


Renee De Shay How do you build a lasting Farm to School program? This question is faced by any school that has experienced the struggle of maintaining a program through numerous leadership changes resulting from staff, student, and parent turnover. Columbus, Ga. has discovered the answer lies in strong community partnerships and coordination from all […]

The post When Columbus Food Oasis & Farm to School Collide appeared first on Georgia Organics.

Renee De Shay

South Columbus Elementary students prepare school-grown kale for a taste test. “Farm to school programs are creative and fun, they allow for children to learn about science, math, art, social studies, English, and music inside and outside the classroom. It is a true take home lesson.”- Abeika Alexander, Muscogee County School District parent involved in school gardens.

How do you build a lasting Farm to School program? This question is faced by any school that has experienced the struggle of maintaining a program through numerous leadership changes resulting from staff, student, and parent turnover. Columbus, Ga. has discovered the answer lies in strong community partnerships and coordination from all sides of the food community.

Like many cities and towns across Georgia, Columbus has many grassroots initiatives to promote local food, gardening, and healthy eating, such as school gardens and farmers markets. The local Farm to School programs show inspiring progress year after year. The Muscogee County School District has consistently advanced through the Golden Radish Award Levels since 2016. This year, they will be awarded Gold. The DoDEA GA/AL School District, which includes schools from three nearby military bases, will receive its second Honorary award thanks Stowers Elementary School’s Farm to School program. Stowers is located on the Fort Benning base just south of Columbus.

However, these activities alone do not tell the whole story. “Probably in a lot of communities, you have these things going on. You have school gardens and farmers markets everywhere,” said Anne Cumbie, former UGA Extension agent in Columbus. “But unless you have some sort of mechanism that ties everything together, these grassroots initiatives stay at the seedling level and end up sort of fading away.”

Students at Stowers Elementary on Fort Benning enjoy their school garden!

The mechanism Anne is referring to is the Columbus Food Oasis, a coalition connecting people from Columbus and its surrounding counties to local food. It provides a platform to turn isolated grassroots initiatives into a sustainable program. For 2019, their strategic focus has been strengthening Farm to School and urban and local agriculture. Through their efforts, Farm to School is becoming more sustainable and integrated into the community.

The following snapshots illustrate how a parent, the Columbus City Council, and the Columbus Botanical Garden are creating the infrastructure for a lasting Farm to School program in this area.

Muscogee parent shares passion for urban agriculture with students

“My goal is to make school gardens survive by teaching the community that cultivating a garden is a valuable skill to be used outside the garden as well.” Abeika Alexander

Abeika Alexander has been an urban agriculturist for 17 years. She has four children in the Muscogee County School District. Starting in her backyard, she created her first garden to teach her children to love the earth and growing their own food, as well as involve them in social justice movements, such as addressing food apartheid. Later, she expanded her garden to the neighboring plot in order to be able to provide food for her neighborhood.

As she became more involved in the broader community, she joined the Columbus Food Oasis. Then, she became a Special Education ParaProfessional at Baker Middle School, which began her involvement with Farm to School. She started an afterschool program for Baker Middle School to teach boys how to build container gardens and irrigation systems. This program extended into a summer program on gardening, where she continued to teach students from Baker, and other schools throughout Muscogee County. Through this program, she created two school gardens.

Abeika is actively working to change the norm of gardens that fade away from neglect. “So many times our community gardens and school gardens become inactive and we must change this culture,” she said. “My goal is to make school gardens survive by teaching the community that cultivating a garden is a valuable skill to be used outside the garden as well.” These soft skills include effective communication, teamwork, dependability, adaptability, conflict resolution, flexibility, leadership and problem-solving, all of which are necessary for personal and professional success.

Abeika explained that Farm to School programs can build social connections within the community, which helps Columbus Food Oasis educate children on cultivating food and making healthier food choices. Ultimately, these connections and education make a community more food secure. “Children who are involved in Farm to School programs often will teach friends and family about cultivating food, helping our community as a whole,” said Abeika.

Columbus City Council proclaim October Farm to School Month

As Muscogee’s Farm to School program grew, the local government recognized the hard work of its leaders. Last fall, Nutrition Specialist Nelson Reames and Muscogee County school nutrition staff advocated for the Columbus City Council to issue a proclamation declaring October Farm to School Month. The proclamation also highlighted the main accomplishments of the Muscogee County School District Farm to School program.

Anne Cumbie explained, “The idea was just to not-just pat ourselves on the back entirely, but to let the people in charge know what we’re doing – to get the numbers and all the details in front of them so they knew that the school district served 6 million meals with locally grown produce.”

All the school cafeteria directors, master gardeners and Food Oasis committee attended the City Council meeting to support the proclamation. The proclamation raised the visibility of the Muscogee’s Farm to School program and the Columbus Food Oasis in the local media.

Good neighbors: Columbus Botanical Garden and Blanchard Elementary

The Columbus Botanical Garden is across the street from Blanchard Elementary, an ideal placement for a Farm to School partnership. Stefan Bloodworth, Executive Director of the Columbus Botanical Garden and part of a steering team at Columbus Food Oasis, is passionate about ecology and reconnecting children and adults with nature. He recently hired Dawn Grantham, the former principal of Blanchard, as the new Children’s Education Coordinator at the botanical garden. Her 30 years of experience working for the Muscogee County School District made her the perfect choice to advance the botanical garden’s partnership with the school district, and specifically with Blanchard.

As a former designer of school gardens, Stefan noticed that they often fell apart over time as a result of turnover between parents, students, and school staff. Moreover, care for a garden can be challenging for school staff that already have a lot on their plate. Recognizing these challenges, Stefan and Dawn want the Columbus Botanical Garden to be “Blanchard’s garden.”

To that end, they plan to build a path between Blanchard and the botanical garden so students will see it as an extension of their campus. They are currently designing a natural history-themed children’s garden, incorporating feedback collected from first graders at Blanchard.

Aside from work with Blanchard, Dawn is currently taking calls from other schools in the Muscogee district to answer questions and give advice about starting school gardens. She will also visit schools to get a sense of what they need in order to make the school garden program sustainable. She believes school gardens have a lot of potential to enhance curriculum, provide social and emotional education, and supplement the school cafeteria. She and Stefan are interested in ways school gardens can benefit the community and interface with the urban agriculture theme in Columbus.

The Columbus Food Oasis hopes to expand their Farm to School support to other nearby school districts, including Chattahoochee and Harris Counties. While there is still much work to be done, the Columbus Food Oasis is providing a central place for people to share ideas and coordinate efforts. “The thing about Food Oasis is that it gives people that are coming at the problem from different angles a place to organize and pool their strengths together,” said Anne. “Even though the program is young and growing, to have a place where it all comes together is a big deal.”

The post When Columbus Food Oasis & Farm to School Collide appeared first on Georgia Organics.


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