Environmental Benefits of Organic Farming

Environmental Benefits of Organic Farming

I remember when the first Earth Day was organized. That makes me feel old since it started in 1970. Earth Day serves as a reminder to appreciate and protect our planet. It is an opportunity to spread awareness about our environment. As they say, it’s more than just a day- it’s a movement.

Sunrise Flour Mill is trying to do our part in this movement by offering exclusively organic products, supporting organic farmers, and selling heritage grains that are better for the earth and the people on it.

Why is organic farming better for the Earth?

Organic agriculture requires growers and producers to follow specific practices. The practices are set to support the use of on-farm resources, encourage an ecological balance, and promote biodiversity.

What does this look like in practice? Soil is improved by adding compost and animal manures, which break down and enhance soil quality. Organic farms also use cover crops in between growing seasons and rotate crops so all the nutrients needed by one kind of crop aren’t depleted from the soil. These farming techniques help prevent erosion, keep more nutrients in the soil, and build up more organic matter.

Things that are forbidden in organic farming but are regular practices in non-organic farming include the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation and genetic engineering (genetically modified crops or GMO). It Is quite alarming what is allowed in non-organic farming. Ewww.

Organic farming isn't without its challenges

Uninvited visitors, such as weeds and pests, find their way into farm fields. Conventional farmers blast the fields with chemicals but organic farmers take different routes..

Organic farmers take natural preventative measures. This may look like companion planting, biological control, or physical barriers. If these preventative measures don’t work, they may introduce predatory insects to reduce pest populations, or lay down thick layers of mulch to smother unwanted weeds. There is a small list of naturally occurring substances that can be applied to the plants or soil that can help with unwanted pests. This list is highly restrictive and very closely monitored.

Using natural organic farming techniques helps keep harmful chemicals out of our soil, air, waterways, and our bodies.

Why our heritage Turkey Red wheat is better for the environment:

Heritage Turkey Red is more drought resistant due to its extensive root system. The roots go deep down into the ground to find water. It survived the Dust Bowl!! This means less irrigation and need for watering.

Modern wheat grows only about 2 feet tall, where heritage wheat grows 4-5 feet tall. Modern wheat has a smaller leaf canopy, thus allowing more insects and weeds to flourish. This means modern wheat needs more chemical herbicides and insecticides in order to grow. The tall organic Turkey Red has a broad leaf canopy, so it doesn’t need these chemicals.

It's important that we take care of our earth. Small choices you make each day contribute to the overall impact we have on this planet. You can make a difference, one choice at a time.

All for now,

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