I like to smell dirt. On a planting day, I like to scoop both hands into the earth I tend, lift up to my face, and inhale its fragrance. Rich, fertile soil smells of the forest floor, teeming with health and life; the beneficial microbes, bacteria, earthworms and humus. Organically rich soil is heady, almost magical.
I’ll never be so mechanized that I can’t smell the dirt and know what it needs. Fertile soil is everything. Everybody is moving away old fashioned methods of farming as soil began to become little more than a planting medium, with fertility entrusted to petroleum-based chemicals, the pest control. But we are coming back now; back to the earth as it were. In fact, we are coming back with something of a vengeance.
Organic farming is by far the fastest-growing sector in Agriculture. Organic crop lands in many countries have more than doubled. The organic poultry and dairy sectors have even grown faster. Indeed, taste is one of the foremost reasons given by customers who seek out organic vegetables at a local farmer’s market. Freshness is also a factor, of course, but chefs in highest caliber restaurants also seek our organic vegetables and fruit for taste reasons alone.
Studies have shown that organic foods have higher nutritional value than conventional foods. For example organic tomatoes had higher levels of vitamin C than conventional tomatoes.
Organic-growing methods also tend to be friendlier to wildlife, birds, amphibians, earthworms, bees and other beneficial insects, in part by eliminating reliance on chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. These often not only eliminate organisms, but degrade or eliminate their habitat.
Organic farming may also have a significant impact on slowing global warming, in that soils rich in organic matter absorb and retain significant amounts of carbon.
Another reason for organic farming is profitability. Organic growers not only eliminate the cost of fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides but can produce yields at least comparable to chemical methods, and often greater, while selling their products at higher prices.
Our organic farm project situated at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in the Kisii highlands a place that receives rain fairly well throughout the year. The place has good fertile soils which are suitable for the project. It surrounded with lumber, food and medicinal trees. The farm is fairly small. Next to our farm there stands a huge greenhouse which has nothing planted in it.
Currently we are working with school communities, many of them are in Kisii highlands, Kendu Bay and Transmara areas. We intend to work with these communities to establish similar farms in their schools which are environmental friendly. We can achieve these through empowering these communities. This is too realized in three phases of which we are seeking assistance to achieve this goal within the proposed period.
We intend to offer newsletter, either via e-mail or normal post, writing a free gardening column in the local weekly newspaper in exchange for free advertising space. We invite our model schools out to see the farm, and help local schools to begin their own gardens. Also assist in the setting up of community supported agriculture through the schools.
Written by: William Chaberia Omenyo (email@example.com)Above the SCOPE Kisii Board Members and the SCOPE
Kisii Team inspecting the Teams' the SCOPE KARI
Organic garden on 10th January 2013.
A section Amarantoes planted at the garden
Posted by Don Howard. Posted In : Kenya Updates