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  2. Are organically-produced raw vegetables any better than those produced in the traditional ways? [NO!]
  3. Going organic: Are organic pesticides safer than their synthetic counterparts?
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  5. Markam Organic Food Gardens Announcement

 
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  1. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    ORGANIC PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL: How to Grow a Healthy Problem-Free Garden
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  2. Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to
    SAFE AND EASY LAWN CARE:
    The Complete Guide to Organic Low-Maintenance Lawns by Barbara Ellis
  3. BUGS SLUGS & OTHER THUGS
    Controlling Garden Pests Organically by Rhonda Massingham Hart
  4. Rodale's ALL-NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ORGANIC GARDENING
    The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener edited by Fern Marshall Bradley & Barbara Ellis
  5. NEW ORGANIC GROWER The
    A Master Manual of Tools & Techniques for Home & Market Gardener Revised by Eliot Coleman fwd by Paul Hawken


 
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Documents: Special Interest: Organic Growing:

Organic Living
by Safer Brand
April 24, 2011

Organic Living

The Organic Movement

The organic movement began in the early 1900s in response to the shift towards synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides in the early days of industrial agriculture. It lay dormant for many years, kept alive by a relatively small group of ecologically minded farmers. These farmers came together in various associations: Demeter International of Germany, which encouraged biodynamic farming and began the first certification program, the Soil Association of the United Kingdom, and Rodale Press in the United States, along with others.

In 1972 these organizations joined to form the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). In recent years, environmental awareness has driven demand and conversion to organic farming. Some governments, including the European Union, have begun to support organic farming through agricultural subsidy reform. Organic production and marketing have grown at a fast pace.

The term “organic” can be broadly described as food grown without the assistance of man-made chemicals. The beginnings of the organic movement can be traced back to the beginning of the 1800s. In 1840 Justus Von Liebig developed a theory of mineral plant nutrition. Liebig believed that manure could be directly substituted for mineral salts. Many years later in 1910, preceding the First World War, chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosh developed an ammonia synthesis process, making use of nitrogen from the atmosphere. This form of ammonia had already been used to manufacture explosives, so after the war, it was implemented into the fertilization of agriculture.

The organic movement is truly not as new as we all tend to believe it is. Organic food was initially seen as a fad observed by the eccentric few, however today it has become more widespread. As famous organic author Joanna Blythman said, “Organics have come to represent a safe house in a disturbing world where food quality and safety are constantly under siege”. Today, we see whole foods stores as integral parts of the grocery shopping market, specifically, whole foods, wild oats, and others.

Tips for Living a More Organic Life

  • Switch to natural energy sources: sun, wind and water. Fit proper insulation as too much energy is lost through drafty windows, floors and doors.
  • Maximize the amount of natural light coming into your home, switch to low-energy light bulbs and always turn lights off when you leave a room.
  • Bring your family's eating habits back in tune with the seasons and invest in organic fruit and vegetables that have been freshly harvested and haven't spent weeks in a refrigerated container.
  • Consider the impact every element of your home has on the environment.
  • Install recycling systems for waste and rainwater. Use eco-friendly materials like concrete and sustainable timber. (Living the Organic Life)
 

An organic bug spray is available that can kill a large variety of insect pests in all stages of development

Use Organic Insect Killers for Your Garden

Instead of using the traditional insect sprays for your home and garden, which may contain harmful chemicals, switch to an organic insect killer.

Organic insect sprays that are Organic Materials Institute-listed and USDA-approved National Organic Program compliant for use in organic gardening are now available.

These organic bug sprays contain no man-made chemicals, so you won’t have to worry about traditional pesticides entering the food you eat. They are made with ingredients that are easily broken down by nature.

Shop Local

If you do only one thing to go green, start shopping at farmers' markets or ordering from an organic cooperative. You'll eliminate harmful pesticides and fertilizers from your family's diet. When your food is locally grown, you're not spending "food miles"— pollution emitted from flying or trucking it from far away.

Another bonus is that the prices are as competitive—maybe even less expensive—than going to the grocery store. "Start with the things your family really loves," advises Trish Riley, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living. If they're mad for peaches, for instance, switch to organic varieties. You'll notice an improvement in flavor.

Be Picky about Food Storage

Riley recommends cooking only what you'll eat to save on wasted food that gets lost in the fridge's recesses. But with kids, leftovers are a reality. It might seem like a no-brainer to reach for the plastic tub with the snap-on lid, but watch out: plastics — including plastic wrap — contain dangerous chemicals that become unstable when heated in a microwave or washed in a dishwasher and when they come in contact with hot food. To play it safe, use glass bowls or crockery instead.

Keep it Clean

Traditional cleaning products are a source of toxins, but there's a safe alternative—in your fridge. You'll be amazed at how well plain old baking soda scrubs away grease and stains. For wiping down counters and floors, Riley recommends hot water with natural essential oils, which are natural disinfectants (she likes lavender and grapefruit). (McGrady)

Organic Gardening

Works Cited

"Living the Organic Life." The Scottsman 5 October 2000: 11.

McGrady, Vanessa. "Green Living." SCHOLASTIC PARENT & CHILD April 2008: 71.

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