SLOW BUT STEADY INCORPORATION OF ORGANIC PRINCIPLES ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SOIL – LIKE COVER CROPPING – ARE NOW BENEFITING MAINSTREAM AG AND THE PLANET.
The system of soil-reverent farming, known as “Organic Farming” had its origins 125 years ago. Back then, organic farming started out as a protest movement firmly dedicated to the importance of maintaining soil health. Organic farming rejected the then burgeoning – and dubious – “modern farming” production practices which disassociated itself from the soil and instead relied on purchased inputs in a bag.
That organic farming has had an outsized impact on all of agriculture is becoming increasingly apparent as its priciples become adpted by mainstream Ag. That “soil health” is now a buzzword covered by the likes of ‘USA Today’ is a sign of the times. It is also proof that organic farming’s insistence that the soil must come first was the correct concept all along. Jim
“There it sits — in all its green glory — in the produce section of your local grocery store.
“Broccoli. One of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet.
“But 70 years ago, it contained twice the calcium, on average, and more than five times the amount of vitamin A. The same could be said for a lot of our fruits and vegetables.
“The answers lie in the soil and how Americans farm it.
“Over the past two centuries, U.S. population growth and food production methods have stressed and degraded our dirt. Our farming soil is not as alive as it once was, and experts say that’s a problem.
“It’s a complex issue, and there are various factors at play, but studies through the years draw a direct line back to American farms…
“Mary Jo Forbord feels as if she’s doing her part to farm responsibly.
“She and her husband run an organic beef, fruit and vegetable farm on the slopes of a glacial moraine in Minnesota. They plant cover crops, don’t use any chemicals and have reconstructed 380 acres of prairie, replacing what farmers before had wiped out.
“But Forbord says the cards are stacked against farmers like her and America’s food system in general.
“She’s looking at the big picture.”