Organic Gardening and Farming


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Organic Gardening and Farming

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Organic Gardening and Farming

  1. 1. Crops in the Garden and on the Farm Soils 101Organic Gardening and Farming Kristy Borrelli March 1, 2011
  2. 2. Outline• Important Plant Products• WA State Crops• Different types of crops 1) Agronomic 2) Horticultural 3) Agroecological Practices
  3. 3. Important Products from Plants
  4. 4. Food• Primary types of plants for food – Cereal crops (grains) – Roots/tubers – Oil crops – Sugar – Fruits and vegetables
  5. 5. • Textiles• Wood• Energy
  6. 6. • Drugs• Turf• Aesthetics
  7. 7. Washington State Crops
  8. 8. 2008 WA Ag Market Values• 32.5% of area in WA = Agriculture• Total = $5.4 Billion• Field Crops = $2.8 Billion• Fruits and Nuts = $2.0 Billion• Commercial Vegetables = $475 Million• Specialty Products = $423 Million• Berry Crops = $153 Million ns/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/annual2009.pdf
  9. 9. Top 10 WA Ag Commodities (cultivated plants)1) Apples - $1.3 Billion (value of production)2) Wheat - $1.0 Billion3) Potatoes - $ 693 Million4) Hay (all) - $ 588 Million5) Nursery & Greenhouse - $ 321 Million6) Cherries (all) - $297 Million7) Hops - $256 Million8) Grapes (all) - $297 Million9) Pears (all) - $171 Million10) Sweet Corn - $ 141 Million
  10. 10. WA Crops Ranked #1 US Production• Red Raspberries 91.7 %• Hops 77.3 %• Spearmint Oil 74.7 %• Apples 57.3 %• Sweet Cherries 46.1 %• Concord Grapes 45.6 %• Peppermint Oil 40.6 %
  11. 11. WA Fun Facts!• WA potato growers have the highest yields in the US (produce twice as many lbs acre-1 than ID)• Whitman Co. produces more wheat than any other county in the US and is 2nd in barley production• WA Apples sold in all 50 states and 50+ countries• WA is 2nd only to CA in the number of Ag Products it produces – over 230!
  12. 12. What Plants do you Grow?
  13. 13. Crops(Crop: any plant used for human needs)
  14. 14. I. Agronomic Crops• Agronomy – The specialization of agriculture involved in the production of field-grown crops (grain, fuel, animal feed, fiber)• Relatively low input during crop life cycle• Usually harvested dry or left to dry
  15. 15. 1) Cereal Grains• Any member of the grass family whose seed is harvested for food or feed – Used as a source of carbohydrates – Rice and wheat are the primary staple food crops grown worldwide• Ground and/or processed before use• Usually annual crops
  16. 16. • Examples: Wheat Corn Rice Barley
  17. 17. 2) Legume Grains• Grains from the bean family (e.g. Pulses) – Legume crops harvested for edible dry seeds – Excludes fresh peas and beans, oil seeds and legume forages• High protein and amino acids (20-25% protein by weight) – A main source of dietary protein• Often used in crop rotation• Usually annual crops
  18. 18. Examples: Garbanzo beans Lentils Dry Beans (Pinto, Black, Navy) Ground Nuts
  19. 19. 3) Oil Crops• Common families Mustard, Bean, or Aster• Oil extracted from seeds for human or animal consumption or for industrial purposes – Some crops can produce both (eg: canola)• Oils from plants replace animal fats and oils• After crushing seeds for oil, seed meal is sometimes used as animal feed• Usually annuals
  20. 20. Examples:Peanut, Sunflower, Safflower (food)Canola and Camelina (biofuels) Camelina SunflowerCanola Safflower Peanut
  21. 21. 4) Fiber Crops• Come from various plant families• Stems and leaves used for textiles• Cotton has fibrous flowers• Polysaccharide (Cellulose) structural components are the desired product• Usually annual – Cotton is a perennial in tropics but grown as an annual in the US
  22. 22. Examples: Sisal Flax Bamboo CottonHemp
  23. 23. 5) Forages• Usually from grass and bean families• Grown for vegetative stems and leaves to feed livestock – Singly or mixed varieties• Fed directly through grazing rangeland or pastures or harvested as hay or silage• Usually Perennial
  24. 24. a) Forage legumesAlfalfa Vetch Alfalfa Hay
  25. 25. b) Forage grasses Orchardgrass Bromegrass Timothy
  26. 26. 6) Specialty Agronomic Crops• Various families• Unique crops (fairly recent)• Usually develop based on market need/value• Often perennial
  27. 27. • Examples: Mint Hops
  28. 28. II. Horticultural Crops• Horticulture – The study of “garden crops” such as fruit, vegetables, and ornamentals – AKA: Ornamentals and edibles• Utilized in the living state• Water is essential to quality• Post-harvest care is necessary
  29. 29. 1) Fruit Crops• Edible, fleshy portion of a plant whose development is associated with the flower• Often from a woody tree or shrub• Usually Perennial – Establishment takes time and management• Often from the rose family but also heath, grape, citrus
  30. 30. a) Tree Fruit and Nuts Oranges Almonds Apples Cherries
  31. 31. b) Small Fruit and Berries Blueberries RaspberriesGrapes
  32. 32. 2) Vegetable Crops• Edible portion (i.e. root, stem, leaf, fruit, seed, etc.) of a herbaceous plant.• Vegetables are not produced by woody species• Usually annual crops• Found in various families
  33. 33. Examples:
  34. 34. 3) Flowers• Marketed for bulbs, seeds or cut flowers• Various families and varieties• Perennial or annual• Bedding and Landscaping• U-pick Flowers a niche market for local growers
  35. 35. III. Agroecology• Agroecology- An ecological approach to agriculture concerned with the ecological impact of agricultural practices• Diversifying cropping systems with multiple crops• Greater focus on habitat and natural cycles
  36. 36. Main Purposes1) Substitute biological inputs for outside resources (e.g. nutrients and pesticides in organics)2) Conserve and prevent degradation of natural resources from farming
  37. 37. 1) Crop Rotations• Alternating cash crops annually• Conserves soil moisture in dry areas – May include a period of fallow• Increases soil fertility (if legume is incorporated)• Breaks disease and pest cycles• Usually a 2 to 3 year rotation
  38. 38. Biological Nitrogen FixationA method used by legumes to obtain gaseous nitrogen (N2) from the atmosphere and convert it to plant useable forms of N (e.g. NH4 and NO3)Requires symbiosis with Rhizobium or Bradyrhizobium bacteria.
  39. 39. 2) Cover crops• Usually grasses or legumes in pure or mixed stands• Not the primary crop, rarely used for market• Planted after harvest or alternating years• Killed and incorporated = Green Manure• Grown directly w/ other crops = Living Mulches• Must be tailored for individual systems
  40. 40. Benefits of Cover Crops• Reduce soil erosion/cover soil• Improve soil structure• Enhance soil fertility – Increase SOM – Legumes can fix N biologically• Suppress weeds, insects and pathogens• Can attract beneficial insects• Can improve crop yield
  41. 41. Living Mulch
  42. 42. Green Manure
  43. 43. 3) Polycultures, Companion Planting and Intercropping• Growing two or more crops simultaneously so plants can benefit from each other• Mixture of legumes, cereals and vegetables• Plant architecture and chemical compounds• Variable arrangement of plants• May include animals (integrated systems)
  44. 44. Companion Planting
  45. 45. Intercropping
  46. 46. 4) Agroforestry• Agroforestry – Integration of trees with food crops and pastures – Optimizes ecological and economic interactions – Can be for timber or products – – Agroforestry in Minnesota: A Guide to Resources & Demonstration Sites, UM Extension
  47. 47. Questions?