1 1 WHAT IS ORGANIC GARDENING? A Common Sense ApproachMarch 2013 Master Gardeners of Cape Cod Mary Lou Roberts
2 WHAT WE’RE GOING TO COVER • What is the meaning of “Organic?” – How do we identify it? • How about “Natural?” • Organic Vegetable Gardening • Organic Fruit Gardening • Flowers? • The Wonders of CompostMarch 2013
3 SHOULD YOU TAKE NOTES? Please do if you want to remember any of my ‘words of wisdom.’However, I’ve posted these slides on the Internet. I’ll give you that link and links to Other important resources At the end.March 2013 Master Gardeners of Cape Cod Mary Lou Roberts
4How Many of You AreOrganic Gardeners? Entirely? Partly? Not Sure?
6 THE DEFINITION OF ORGANICOrganic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.From the USDA National Organic Program websitehttp://www.ams.usda.gov/
7 WHAT ORGANIC IS NOT• Not Just the Avoidance of Conventional Chemicals• More Than Just Substituting Organic Inputs for Inorganic Ones
8PROVIDING THE LIGHT, WATER, NUTRIENTS, AIR THAT PLANTS REQUIRE Courtesy Russell Norton Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer
9HOW DO WE IDENTIFY ORGANIC PRODUCTS? There are other symbols. This is the official USDA symbol.
10Reece Latron uses a tractor to carry baskets of greens harvested from AmysOrganic Garden in Charles City, VA. While the certification system is rigorous toensure integrity of the USDA organic label, thousands of producers andhandlers continue to invest in these activities to market their products asorganic. USDA Photos by Lance Cheunghttp://blogs.usda.gov/2012/10/10/organic-101-five-steps-to-organic-certification/
11RELATED SYMBOL Certifies products for use on operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program. https://www.omri.org/
12ADDITIONAL SYMBOL The definition of organic specifically excludes genetically engineered products (GMOs). Council for Responsible Genetics a non-profit organization http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics. org/
15 There is no official definition of Natural.‘Natural’ Can Mean Anything a Marketer Wishes!
16 THE KEYS TO ORGANIC• The Soil• Fertilizers, Herbicides and Pesticides• Maintenance, including Watering• Seeds and Plants
17 ORGANIC SOIL As Defined by the NOP• MAINTAIN or IMPROVE the Organic Content of Soil – By Using Compost, for Example• WITHOUT – Contaminating CROPS, the SOIL itself, or WATER• Possible Contaminants – Fertilizers with Non-Approved Additives (e.g. Vermiculite with Asbestos Content) – Disease-Causing Organisms (e.g., Salmonella, E coli) – Heavy Metals (e.g. Lead from paint disposal, Arsenic from Old Orchard Insecticides and many others) – “Residues of Prohibited Substances”• http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5087122
18USE ORGANIC FERTILIZERS, HERBICIDES, PESTICIDES • First, Look for ‘Organic’ and Possibly one of the Symbols • Then Read the Label – Fertilizers Need Appropriate Balance of NPK and other Desirable Elements – Herbicides and Pesticides • Are they Appropriate for Your Issue? • At What Time of Year/State of Pest Development Are They Effective?
53 OTHER EDIBLE FLOWERS• Bachelor’s Buttons• Dianthus• Some Marigolds in Addition to Calendula – Signet Paprika, Mexican Marigold Mint One Theory is That If the Leaves are Edible, Flowers are Also (Borage, for example)
63 COMPOSTING Composting is a process by which organic wastes are broken down by microorganisms, generally bacteria and fungi, into simpler forms.From UMass Extension Fact Sheet “Waste Management and Composting”
64 BASIC COMPOSTING ISSUES• Materials – 30 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen• Temperature = 160° – 3’ x 3’• Environment – Warm, Damp Well Aerated• Container
65 Note Soil from Non-Organic Flower ContainersI Use Both a Plastic Composter and Wire Bins
67 UNDESIRABLE MATERIALS• Too Much Nitrogen, Water, Large Items• Cooked Material, Especially Meat• Inorganic Materials• DISEASED PLANT MATERIAL
68 THE ULTIMATE GOALS• Abundant, Healthful Food for Our Families and Communities• Sustainable Practices for the Environment
69MASTER GARDENERS OF CAPE COD THANK YOU! Questions/Discussion?
70 A FEW RESOURCES•• UMass Cooperative Extension many good fact sheets written for the MA farmer or gardener• http://ag.umass.edu/••• Maine Organic Farmers & Growers Association fact sheet• http://www.mofga.org/Portals/2/Fact%20Sheets/TB%201%20Organic%20Gardening%20Basics.pdf•• Composting Website• http://howtocompost.org/•• Waste Management and Composting fact sheet• http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/fact-sheets/waste-management-and-composting•• Edible Flowers• http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-8513.html•• Organic Gardening Soil Amendments• http://www.your-vegetable-gardening-helper.com/organic-gardening-soil-amendments.html••• Videos•• How to Grow an Organic Garden• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFsSlS7IHBg•• Composting• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKG8xRTFktg••• Newsletters, etc. (there are many, but 2 I especially like are)•• Mother Earth newsletters• http://www.motherearthnews.com/•• Renee’s Garden• http://www.reneesgarden.com/•
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