Ashley Hyde Biology 1010 Quinn Cannon Writing Assignment Organic Suburban Gardening Times are hard on many people these days. It is what people like to call “the greatdepression number two”. This depression entails sky rocketing gas prices, tuition prices goingup, unemployment at a high percentage, and not being able to afford the proper health care thatmany people need. With all that, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is how they aregoing to feed themselves and their family and, whether or not the food is safe for consumption. Gardening in the past has been about plants and flowers that are grown to make a homeor property site look magnificent. People don’t really think photosynthesis doing its work. Inthe past few years many people have turned to organic suburban gardening for a real life saver.This can be done in small or large areas such as a pot outside the house or on acres of land.Many homeowners in Salt Lake and the surrounding areas enjoy caring for their own yards andgrowing their own vegetables. Suburban gardening is growing in and around your own home,and the most useful plants while gardening are grown for our own consumption. There are theeelements that play into gardening; soil, water, and pest management. It is essential to feed and promote the growth of biological soil life for the health of theplants. Soil microorganism are the link between soil nutrients and the plants. Microorganismsinclude bacteria and fungi, both organisms sustain biological activity, help store nutrients in the
soil, and regulate the flow of water in the soil. Bacteria and fungi have large roles in making soilhealthy for plants. Bacteria are fixed atmospheric nitrogen and carbon that produce organic matter andimmobilize enough nitrogen and other nutrients to initiate nitrogen cycling process in soil. Fungienhance the soil quality by decomposing complex carbon compounds, or organic matter. Whilealso improving the accumulation of organic matter, thus helping the plants grow (USDA.com). All gardeners use the nitrogen cycle to their advantage when they use compost. In acompost pile, the same microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and invertebrates; worms and insectsare present in the soil. Break down the organic matter into proteins and amino acids. Ultimately,the microorganisms break it down into nitrate and ammonium which can be taken up again byplants. Whether it is a dead organism or manure, soil microorganisms regulate the release ofplant available nitrogen from decomposing. Decomposition during the nitrogen cycle is a timedrelease process. The warmer the soil, the faster the decomposition.
Suburban organic gardening can also provide safer food for consumption and free ofGMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). GMOs are organisms whose genetic material hasbeen altered using genetic engineering techniques. Either to create more of one thing or to makeit stronger while growing the product fast to insure a greater yield, thus more revenuer.Genetically modified plants requiring more than a single gene transfer are also expected toincrease productivity. For example, stomata might be altered to take in more carbon dioxide orlose less water. The efficiency of the enzyme RuBP which capture carbon dioxide in the plants,could be improved (Mader). Most of everything people consume is modified in one way or another, sadly mostAmericans do not realize it. As genetically altered foods begin to dominate the conventionalfood chain, a growing market is developing for verifiable non-GMO foods, both organic andnon-organic. The EPA, FDA and USDA, all play a role in approving genetically engineeredfoods, maintain that GMOs are as safe as the original plants and organisms from which the genesare taken. The FDA requires a label or pre-market testing on a genetically engineered food onlyif there is a significant change in the foods composition or nutritional content, or if it contains aknown food allergen. Fundamentally, the agency says, genetically engineered foods are as safe asfoods produced through traditional hybridization (CQ Researcher). To be a successful organic suburban gardener is tricky. People must not see every insectas a pest, every plant out of place as a weed and the solution to every problem in artificialchemical spray. When used the long term consumption of these chemicals has been associatedwith such health problems as birth defects, nerve damage and cancer. Children are especially
sensitive to the health risks posed by pesticides; this is the chief reason lawns sprayed withpesticides carry warring signs (Mader). The aim is not to eliminate all the pest and weeds, but tokeep them down to an acceptable level and make the most of the benefits that they may provide. In an organic garden there are techniques used to help with pest control, plant resistantcrops, use good cultivation practice and rotate crops. The gardener would want to use a range oforganic methods at the same time to allow them all work together for the maximum benefits. Gardening itself gives people the satisfaction of having their own produce with asignificant lower cost than buying from the super markets every week. Organic labeled food canbe almost double in price at the super markets. The act of gardening is not a difficult task and itdoes not take up too much time, depending on the crop size. Gardening also contributes to a persons physical and mental health. Activities such asdigging, planting and weeding all contribute three types of good physical health; endurance,flexibility and strength. It is what many consider a labor of love. Sometimes people just need abreak from the everyday rush of life. Most people would be able to channel some daily stressinto their gardens. Reaping the benefits in two ways. People can have a more positive emotionson a daily basis moreover create something beautiful in the process with edible results. Mostgardeners think quality of life in terms of a healthy life style and quality of life.
Work Cite1. Soil Biology Primer. “Soil and Water Conservation Society”. USDA.com. Web. 20. July 2012.2. Koch, Kathy. "Food Safety Battle: Organic Vs. Biotech." CQ Researcher 4 Sept. 1998: 761-84. Web. 20 July 2012.3. Mader, Sylvia S. Concepts of Biology. Salt Lake City: McGraw-hill Companies, 2011. Print