Organic farming does away with many agropharmaceuticals and pesticides which in traditional agriculture are used to “solve” various problems, often related to the presence of pests and the appearance of plant diseases.
Taking this step does not mean giving up on healthy vegetables, but simply change direction .
an organic garden must be resistant work well , that is, capable of dealing with problems with their own resources and reacting to the unexpected. We can take natural ecosystems as a model to see how The biodiversity it is important for the health of our vegetables. In this article we will discover the importance of a diversified garden.
November 24, 1859 is an important date in the history of natural science. A book of great impact for the human interpretation of nature has been published. “The origin of species by Charles Darwin was debated in its time, and still is today, by many people who did not understand it then and still understand it today.
In his theory, he argued that there is some sort of law that shapes life forms on this planet, expressed by that well-known and misunderstood term of ” natural selection “. To put it very simply: the most appropriate organism at that time is chosen to lead life in that particular environment. “This selection removes everything that is not necessary” one might think, but it is not.
This selection takes place, and can take place, only and exclusively because it acts on a great variety of different subjects. It is true that the most appropriate is the “favored”, but it is momentarily, locally and not exclusively “favoured” most of the time. This is due to the fact life to evolve has an enormous need for diversity , this variety of elements on which to make the selection. Life itself has chosen biodiversity to progress. Those who study genetics know how many ways organisms must scramble their genome when it comes time to reproduce. Life has been able to use this chance, given by events that change things (for example, solar radiation that generates mutations) transforming it into an infinite creative resource . Nature’s intelligence is limitless and will always surprise us. But what lesson can we draw from this speech?
The difference is a richness
Diversity is the only true wealth this is true for almost all contexts and our garden is no exception . Biodiversity, as we have seen, is the ability to adapt, the ability to cope independently and to withstand the unexpected!
We know that large-scale industrial agriculture does not respect these “natural” principles very much, fortunately in our garden we have the possibility of doing what we want, without being tied to the logic of the market.
How to promote biodiversity in the garden
Here are some tips to promote biodiversity.
- Diversify crops : when sowing or transplanting our vegetables, we try not to make large plots with a single variety. This makes the vegetable easily attacked by pests. It is possible to use the » associations i.e. those combinations of plants that go well together and help each other.
- Leave areas of spontaneous vegetation A fence in the garden can be useful and will have many functions: it will enrich the soil with organic matter for years to come, it will attract pollinators and beneficial insects, and if you are lucky it will produce food. Many “weeds” are generally edible and nutritious, others have various useful properties.
- Plant flowers and plants that attract pollinators so that you can serve your garden and the whole environment well.
- floor maintenance , we have already discussed in other articles the importance of biological diversity in the soil, both in terms of animals such as insects and earthworms, and in terms of microorganisms. From this point of view, it is important to interfere as little as possible with the soil, and each time the soil becomes very dirty or synthetic chemicals are used, the biological balances of the soil are disturbed, it is therefore necessary to reduce these practices to a minimum. In addition, we have already seen how in degraded soils we can intervene with EM and mycorrhizae, we also remember that good mature compost is an excellent source of living organisms for our soil.
- You use seeds that guarantee genetic diversity and reproducibility (not F1 hybrids), moreover this discourse is vast and we have just treated it separately in two articles, what are hybrid seeds and what problems do they pose to agriculture.
- Preserving life forms with fertilizers and biological treatments that do not reduce biodiversity too much. there are pesticides that stimulate the plant’s defenses and the ecosystem instead of acting directly on the parasite or are products that do not harm the rest of the environment. You must be careful here, in organic farming, treatments such as pyrethrum (insecticide) and copper sulphate (fungicide) are allowed, which, although organic, have great repercussions on biodiversity. We always invite you don’t just trust the label in such cases.
Let’s say that these practices are also seen through their negative: not working the land, not extinguishing weeds and not using synthetic chemicals. These happen to be some of the principles of natural farming, also known as clean farming. In fact, nature spontaneously generates the diversity we need.