Organic Farming Myths For Beginning Farmers

29 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Have you recently bought a large amount of land? Are you thinking about starting a small-scale farm to provide produce to restaurants and residents in the area? If you're like many people, you don't quite understand the difference between organic farming and regular farming. In order to better help you start planning your operation, here is the truth behind some organic farming myths:

MYTH: You can't use fertilizer. With modern farming methods, fertilizing crops often means dumping a load of man-made chemicals on the plants. You may be under the impression that organic farming methods uses no fertilizer at all, but that's simply not true. If you decide that you want to grow organic corn, you may find natural corn fertilizer that is based on manure, compost or other similar sources. These fertilizers are minimally refined, in order to retain as much of the natural composition as possible. For example, a manure-based natural corn fertilizer might be baked at a certain temperature, both to remove excess water and to kill any weed or grass seeds that the manure may contain. This allows you to put it on your crops without worrying about whether you'll be doing more harm than good.

MYTH: You can't use pesticides. Although modern pesticides are typically shunned with organic farming methods, an organic farmer has several alternatives available. In between applications of natural corn fertilizer to make your corn crop grow bigger, you may choose to sprinkle your crops with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, powder. Bt is a bacteria that occurs naturally in soil but that can kill certain harmful insects when applied properly. By sprinkling your corn crop with Bt, you could prevent a wide variety of pests from eating your crops. You might also choose to release beneficial insects, such as ladybugs or praying mantises, instead of or in addition to other organic pest control methods.

MYTH: You don't have to wash your produce. Because you'll be using natural corn fertilizer and natural pest control methods, you might think that neither you nor your customers will need to wash your produce. After all, you won't have any harmful pesticide residue on your produce. Unfortunately, no matter what you use as fertilizer or pesticide, you'll still need to tell your customers to wash your products. Various soil-dwelling bacteria, such as E. coli, are able to contaminate your crop no matter what farming methods you use. Washing the produce will get rid of this bacteria, allowing you and your customers to enjoy your delicious corn and other vegetables.

For more information about organic fertilizer, visit Nature Safe.