What You Put In You Will Get Out
Just like you are what you eat, the quality of your fresh produce depends on what you put into the soil you grow it in. Fertilisers enrich the soil with essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which make the plants grow faster and bigger. Although farmers all over the world have been using chemical fertilisers through the years, many are now changing over to organic and natural fertilisers. These fertilisers are carbon-based compounds and this method has many benefits.
Why are farmers switching to organic fertilisers?
When I started my garden/mini-farm the idea was to grow organic produce, but I didn’t fully realise how bad chemical fertilisers are. Here are some of the benefits to going the organic route instead of chemicals:
• Non-toxic fruit and veg – When you put poison in the ground and grow fruit and vegetables in this poison, is it not obvious that the end product could also contain poison? When you use organic fertilisers, you cut out all the nonsense that could lead to skin disorders, strokes, and even cancer.
• You can make it at home- Organic fertilisers can be made at home or on your farm. This saves money and also takes care of other waste products.
• Good for the soil – Ancient land in China and India where organic fertilisers were used are still fertile after thousands of years. Newer agricultural areas are becoming increasingly infertile because they are using chemical fertilisers. The more organic fertiliser is used in a patch of land, the less will be needed over time. It maintains soil structure and increases the soil’s capacity to hold nutrients.
• Safety – There is no environmental pollution involved with organic fertilisers, which are bio-degradable. Chemical fertiliser contaminates land and water. It not only causes diseases in people, but also causes the extinction of plants, insects and animals.
Composting is by far the simplest method of making organic fertiliser, and it is a great product. Compost provides air, water, microorganisms and organic matter to plants — exactly what they need to grow and flourish. Because the matter is partially decayed, microorganism activity has already started — making it easy to absorb. To make your own compost, all you need to do is dig a compost pit in your garden and start adding all the natural waste from your kitchen, along with other carbon-based organic matter like saw-dust and even manure. This will slowly decompose, and you can start harvesting from the bottom. It does take a few months to get going, but once it is, you are not only easing up on your carbon footprint by producing less waste to be removed, you also have an endless (and free) supply of fertiliser!