Whereas conventional farming and landscaping destroys natural cycles, Heidelberg Farms and other organic farmers and landscapers restore nature’s balance. In “The Gift of Good Land,” Wendell Berry said it best:
An organic farm, properly speaking, is not one that uses certain methods and substances and avoids others; it is a farm whose structure is formed in imitation of the structure of a natural system that has the integrity, the independence and the benign dependence of an organism
Organic growing is so different than any method that uses chemicals. First, the soilneeds to have most of its nutrients in non-leachable forms. What this means is there are nutrients not yet available to plants that must be converted into plant-available nutrients in the root zone. This is where the beneficial species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and microarthropods manage this conversion process in a healthy growing system. Heidelberg Farms mimics these systems to restore nature’s balance.
By the same token, you cannot just thrown down some random organic nutrients and call it a day either. Restoring nature’s balance requires certain steps, including:
- Residual toxic chemicals must be broken down from the growing environment by beneficial bacteria and fungi.
- Bacteria and fungi must then tie-up those nutrients, so they are not lost when water passes through the soil.
- Lastly, bacteria and fungi must be eaten by protozoa and nematodes to release tied-up nutrients in a form that is available to the plants. If any of these microbes are not present in the soil, you need to get them back and reestablish the normal set of organisms to allow for normal nutrient cycling.
Simplicity in restoring nature’s balance
Hide your calculator. You do not need to engage in fancy math calculations to garden organically to restore nature’s balance. When nutrients and a diverse cast of microbes are added to the soil, the plants can take care of themselves. In other words, they know what they are doing.
This process does take time. However, when normal cycling has been reestablished, you will use considerably less water. Why? Because microbes restructure the soil by creating air passageways and cavities that retain water (and air). Through the course of time, you will save money, time, and energy. Of course, the real takeaway is that as the health of your plants improve, so will their immune systems and ability to fight off problem pests and diseases.
Like with anything, you need to have patience to restore nature’s balance. You still could suffer environmental disturbances outside of your control—pesticides drifting from a neighboring yard is just one possible complication. Extreme heat, like this past summer, is another complication. The caveat with all of this, though, is that you will be doing your part to restore nature’s balance—and that is a great thing.
Have questions? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919. Let’s get you set up for spring and restore nature’s balance together!