Farming With Integrity and Gardening Responsibly

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I will be honest with you, I am not a gardener. I depend on farmers for vegetables and fruits. Having said this, I did a little research on the different farming and horticultural methods and styles and was amazed at what I learned. There have been several significant changes in food production over the past 40 years. Conventional agriculture, which uses pesticides, GMOs, and long lines of vegetables that kill the soil of life, is no longer the only agricultural means. There is a new trend in agriculture that encourages farmers to use their intuitive knowledge to become the best farmers.

According to Grow Network’s Tasha Miles, “For humans, intuition is the ‘feel’ that helps us see future outcomes beyond the present. It’s the intersection of . We’ve seen the formulas and results on how to use that information.” Applying this intuitive ability to horticulture, you will discover more and more ‘out of the box’ solutions for solving a variety of new and diverse horticultural problems. Intuitively inspired, these changes could change the way we do gardening and change the way we grow food. A farmer’s ability to adapt to the needs of plants, soil, insects and the environment can make a difference in maintaining a positive balance in the world instead of depleting the planet’s resources.

Wanting to know more about what I researched, I sat down with my son Joel, who has a green thumb and a horticultural degree and has years of experience working on a variety of organic, local and permanent farms. I asked Joel if permaculture was the best horticultural system, and he replied that it was a viable farming method, but not really intended to feed a large number of people. He explained that the background of permaculture is to harmonize with the land and terrain while minimizing the impact as much as possible. With this in mind, permanent growing farms are not designed for high yields, but they can feed those who live and work on the farm.

Bill Mollison, the person who first coined the concept of permaculture, must have flashed intuition in 1978 when he envisioned this holistic form of agriculture. He wanted to preserve the Earth’s resources rather than deplete them.

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Another way to grow crops is organic farming. When I talked to Joel about this, he shook his head and went on to teach that food may be labeled “organic” by the FDA, but may not actually be completely organic. He explained that the farm can be certified organic as long as no chemicals or GMOs are used to grow the crops. However, these crops can be labeled organic even if they are not organic or treated with natural fertilizers containing GMO-free cow bones. Intuitively, this feels wrong to deceive consumers, while the farm industry relies on buyer ignorance to overlook this important detail. Joel said growing crops completely organic at all levels requires a lot of integrity and very high ethical standards. He suggested that getting to know the farmer would be beneficial. If you instinctively feel bad about the farmers and their practices, consider shopping elsewhere.

Perhaps another option is for each of us to plant organic food in our backyard and not have to deal with farmers at all. But I have experience building a garden with my daughter and spending hundreds of dollars cultivating the land, preparing and fertilizing the soil, planting plants, installing irrigation, installing grids and watering, and composting the garden. It felt like a waste of time and money. But again, I am not a gardener. I will humbly leave it to the experts. I haven’t been able to develop an intuitive connection between plants and soil. Instead, I mechanically followed the backyard gardening of my gardening book. I have a much deeper understanding of the insights and skills needed to plant and harvest a healthy and beneficial garden or farm.

Because I rely on farmers to grow my food, it is important to educate myself on the integrity of various agricultural practices and choose to purchase vegetables and fruits from trusted sources. There is no right way to grow food, but agricultural practices that preserve the environment and do not pollute the planet are the most intuitively positive approach to growing food. Hopefully, over time, more and more people will be guided to find free farming methods that cater to the needs of the land and support us all in a healthy way. Because ultimately, each of us has a responsibility to our planet and its ecosystems.