I want to take a few minutes and address some issues that have come to my attention. Throughout the past few weeks, as I have grown our website, added articles, and answered questions from readers on the various sites and Facebook pages where I contribute, it was pointed out to me that I needed to clarify a few things about this organic approach to gardening.
This thought crystalized as I talked to one of the research directors at the local TXAM AgriLife Research facility, and he was telling me about some of the “trials” they had been conduction on the efficacy of organic-based products. He was clear that the research was inconclusive and that some of the research seemed to be confusing. The product apparently caused an increase in detrimental fungi in the soil, yet the treated plants were healthier and had greater production than the control plants, even with the increase in detrimental organisms in the soil.
What stuck in my mind is that the tests, in my opinion, were critically flawed in one basic way.
The concept of organic gardening (organic living as well) is based on the premise of a system. Everything is connected, and any change in one thing affects the whole system. Consequently, you cannot judge a single piece of the system on its own. Taking a single product or a single component from an organic gardening system and testing it against its synthetic counterparts is not a reasonable comparison.
The point toward which I am driving is that to be successful with organic gardening, organic landscape maintenance, or organic living for that matter, you must embrace the system, not just parts and pieces. To truly be effective, all the parts and components must be present so that the complex interactions can take place and produce the desired results.
The Issue of TIme
Another aspect of organic gardening is time. Nature, by and large, is not driven by a clock. Organic gardening is meant to be a way that we work within the natural orders. Natural processes take time. Patience is one of the critical needs of organic gardening. We are a culture that is increasingly time motivated. Fast food. Faster internet. And chemicals that promise “results in 24 hours.” But is faster always better? What is the cost we pay for the time and convenience that these products promise?
Nature has been at work for thousands of years. It is only in the last 70 years, or so that man has stepped into the scheme and tried to impose his will through industrial farming practices. It has taken most of that 70 years for the real cost of that intervention to begun to be understood and felt. The price we have paid in health issues alone is still far from understood. How many new “wonder chemicals” that were promised to be the herald of a better tomorrow have ended up being the harbinger of death and illness instead?
The Systems Approach
Organic gardening and living is a commitment and a belief that this creation in which we live is superior to anything that man can create and impose. The systems exist already. Our goal should be to work and existent in harmony with those systems in the knowledge that we are connected inexorably to nature and we will eventually reap what we sow.
Links and Resources
For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.
If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.
If you have more specific questions or problems, you can contact us using the contact form on our website. You can also post your question to our community forum at this page; West Texas Organic Gardening Community Forum.
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