When the average farmer or home grower is thinking of going organic, there’s often certainly a lot in his or her mind. If you’re in this situation, you find yourself weighting potential benefits and obstacles, in a never-ending jump from enthusiasm to concern. In order to help you get perspective on the benefits of choosing to pursue organic growing we’ve prepared a list of some benefits of choosing organic fertilisers for growing food. When it comes to fertilisers, the key aspect of organic gardening, is where the average person finds in going organic a bunch of benefits that severely outweigh traditional agriculture. Hop along as we present some of these, in our list of the five major benefits of organic, all-purpose plant food:
- Cheaper in the long run.
Even though going organic can seem like you get less of your money’s worth, it only seems so at first. The beauty of implementing an organic system of fertilisation along with practices of conservation agriculture is that not only your plants, but the soil itself is improved with every crop that you harvest, as you are actually respecting and feeding the soil microbiota: all the mycorrhizal fungi and the beneficial bacteria, as well as the earthworms and other insects, can keep at their jobs when they’re not suffering the impact of chemicals being pumped into the ground. In the long run, this leads to not having to shoulder the burden of a sterile soil, not to mention the potential runoff of inorganic fertilizers into nearby bodies of water. In contrast, organic soil holds shape and doesn’t allow nutrients to leach easily. Take a look:
- Less pest troubles.
Organic fertilisers also lead to less pest troubles, because a soil that is inhabited by a wide variety of species of creatures is a soil where the competition is much higher, and it is less likely for species of bacteria and fungi can overpower the rest and cause a plague. A poor soil is ripe for the taking, at least for the right strain of fungus or bacteria that can hold against the hard conditions and get to your plants. It’s the same principle that guides some to choose polyculture over monoculture: biodiversity is a great barrier against equally great plagues.
- More nutritious produce.
Research suggests that products grown using organic, all-purpose plant food are in fact more nutritious than those grown using inorganic fertilisers, because the increased content of micronutrients in the fertilisers (nutrients that are used by plants in only small amounts) means an increased content of vitamins and flavonoids in products like tomatoes and bell peppers. In particular, organic vegetables also have a more efficient antioxidant activity, have higher content of iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and in the case of people with a tendency to strong allergic reactions (such as allergic dermatitis) they can greatly present strong health benefits.
- Safer than inorganic ones.
Inorganic fertilisers are dangerous to use around children and pets, and must be handled with care so as not to overfeed and possibly burn the plants, whereas organic fertilisers are far safer to use around children and house animals. Still, nobody should drink them, of course, but there’s certainly a change between having your hands irritated or burned and just having them slightly smelly when using different types of fertilisers!
Organic fertilisers would never do this to a leaf!
- Environmental preservation.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to organic gardening over inorganic methods is, however, the benefits that it has to the environment. While there are concerns that large-scale organic agriculture could take up more land than conventional agriculture, there’s no doubt that at a smaller scale the implementation of organic practices will improve the biodiversity of your garden, reduce fertilizer runoff and nutrient waste, and diminish the environmental impact of your gardening activity. In a world where each little victory against climate change counts, that could be the single most important reason to go organic now.