Organic / Bio backyard - Captions
Because of the new European seed law, whose vote in the European Commission is expected in May, we recall here the importance of protecting the seeds that are the source of life and food.
The traditional seeds can be, unlike hybrid and genetically modified (transgenic) seeds, selected and stored by the farmers, giving rise to a wide variety of foods.
With the new European regulation, the European Commission intends to restrict the use of these seeds, forcing the entry in the official catalog, a time consuming and expensive process which is out of reach of most farmers and their associations.
Organic olive oil is a virgin olive oil made from olives that were not treated in the olive grove with chemical fertilizers and pesticides synthesis, and is produced at the mill with special care not to lose their organoleptic (taste and flavor) and nutritional qualities (fatty unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants).
It is an oil that does not contain residues of agricultural pesticides and should not contain phthalates resulting from the plastic materials used in some mills and packaging.
In Portugal some high quality organic oils are already produced, which have reached the top of the world.
This time of year when the herbs grow favored by the abundance of water, there is a chemical combat of man against nature and that is not justified.
Herbs can often stay longer where they are, with several advantages. On the other hand there are negative consequences to the environment and human health. The main herbicide that is applied has glyphosate as the active substance and, unlike advertised, this pesticide contaminates soil and water and has chronic toxicity for humans, even at low doses on the order of parts per billion.
Still dominant in conventional agriculture, many pesticides are used (insecticides, fungicides and herbicides), and many are endocrine and / or carcinogenic disruptors.
In the reassessment of pesticide toxicology conducted by the European Commission has been given priority to the active substances of greater acute toxicity, partly withdrawn from use in European agriculture. However, many greater chronic toxicity pesticides are still in agriculture and foods. Some are also applied in urban areas such as glyphosate (various trade names), contaminating soil, water and living organisms.
The current food production is inefficient and has great losses:
- 30% of UK horticultural crops are not harvested;
- About half of all food purchased in Europe and the United States is discarded;
- About 500 billion m3 of water are wasted every year in cultures that never reach the consumer;
- It takes 20 to 50 times more water to produce 1kg of meat than 1kg vegetable;
The most sustainable and secure option is to cultivate varieties adapted to the growing season, and preferably in the open air.
The large vegetable gardens that supply the markets, work increasingly with hybrid varieties, which contribute to the loss of traditional varieties. These are the priority varieties for small vegetable gardens of self-consumption and local sale. There are still many regional varieties, the tomato being one of the species in which the genetic diversity is bigger. Thus, we have better food and help the conservation of a valuable inheritance...
This is a type of work that is urgent to do, since most of varieties are grown by older farmers that are leaving us without anybody to whom we can pass on this treasure, which are the seeds.
A lively and fertile soil allows a good agro production in quantity and quality.
The main improvement of soil fertility that enable the intensification of the production without jeopardizing the balance of the ecosystem, are partly copied from nature, but also the result of much human experience.
Among these, we highlight the use of leguminous plants, in symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria, do the nitrogen biological fixation. We can use these plants as green manure and / or as a source of food protein to animals and man.
For the last decades, the dominant agricultural and food system has had negative impacts on the environment and farmers' income. In addition to the impacts on production, the distribution has also worsened the problem, with greater traveled distances and higher expenses. So each day the difference between the price paid to the producer and the selling price to the public is bigger.
Organic farming addresses these problems and, thanks to eco-intensification, it has the potential to feed the entire population of the planet, as concluded in the FAO Conference about Organic Farming and Food Security held in Rome in 2007.
yourself in the place
of the plant
and make sure
be able to offer
the best conditions for
in your garden
Know well the needs of light, temperature , moisture , drainage and soil pH , it has to offer to their plants .
And even now , are all plants like to be chosen from each other ?
Choose a location with abundant light and protected from strong winds. The sunlight through glass can be aggressive!
Drizzle in the morning, not watering the leaves. The soil should be well drained.
Please correct the acidity of the soil according to the needs of each plant.
And good success!